Sunday, April 21, 2024

STRONG SUIT: Making that day nice


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How can you tell when you have had a good day?
Instinctively, each of us hopes for many good days but seldom stop and take notice when they occur.
I have just had another good day and as I began to recount what made it so, it struck me how important it is to have a positive frame of mind. It began with a recognition that being alive in Barbados, is something I could not have imagined when I was struggling to establish a good life.
I thought of the various people who sought and received my assistance and the fact that I am valued enough to attract these requests. I thought of the convergence of so many resources that have been put at my disposal because the thrust of my work is deemed to have merit.
I thank God that I am able to see challenges and obstacles as necessary components to my development into a fully human person. Each of these reflections gave rise to specific occasions to rejoice.
I also thought of how the “dark side”, filled with doubt and despair, can immobilize and blind us to ways we are daily blessed and cause us to take for granted, what should be celebrated. I am certain that each person reading or hearing this article, has something they can give to someone and not even miss it.
In the wake of the recent Central Bank report of contractions and declines in virtually all indicators of economic health, a palpable cloud of pessimism has further descended in Barbados and the region. When I greet people with the question; “how are you doing?” the majority of the responses are “fine for now” or some derivative. Most of the focus seems to be upon diminished chances to get more money.
If you put this in the context of a person being told they have a major disease with a poor prognosis, research shows that patients with positive attitudes have the best chance of being healed. With that positive attitude comes a determination to not be defeated and a marshalling of your best efforts.
I still remember, more than 13 years ago, when I was told I have cancer. I had gone to the doctor because I didn’t feel well but when I heard the news, I felt like death was imminent. For a long while, I thought only of what I would not be able to do and conjured up hosts of worst case scenarios. These thoughts immobilized me and caused a further decline in my efforts to improve.
Fortunately, I was brought up in a family and community beset with perpetual adversity. Stories of people who persevered inspired us. My sources of inspiration include Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Mohammed Ali, Nelson Mandela, Magic Johnson and a host of others. They constantly remind me of my obligation to make good use of the time I am given.
We are responsible for nurturing our own spirits and being a source of encouragement and support for each other. It’s a personal choice that radiates and returns what you send out.
The next time you greet someone or respond to a greeting, remember that being alive is something to celebrate. Have a nice day.
• Dennis Strong is founding president of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants.


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