Crabs in the bucket

I have been reading with great interest the debate on the seven-year roll over here in the Cayman Islands.

It goes without saying that I have always supported the advancement of qualified Caymanians in our own country.

For this to happen however, Caymanians must first address an issue that affects our small community that is home grown ? specifically, the negativity that exists between our own Caymanian people.

As a people we seem so quick to live up to our ‘crab in the bucket’ mentality of constantly seeking to tear down instead of building up.

My comments today have been elicited by a letter from S. Trenwick Bodden who recently made some disparaging comments about local boxer Charles ‘the Killa’ Whittaker.

As I read the letter carefully many thoughts flooded my mind and I decided that a penned response would be necessary.

Firstly, I wanted to make some general comments about the cynics among us that attempt to bring us down by any means necessary.

Indeed, it is always so much easier to be cynical and critical of others than to reach out and extend a helping hand. The cynics among us would say this is the way of the world.

I would say we have a choice on how to view each and every situation that is presented to us in life: my friends, the glass can either be half full or half empty – it is simply up to you to decide how you want to see life.

I choose to see it as half full, despite the negativity of many around us.

The plight of Charles trying to fundraise for his fights on a regular basis is the plight of many Caymanians.

Many of us are struggling to achieve some dream or another.

For some it’s attaining an education, a house of our own or becoming professional boxers. Amazing how many want to tear down our dreams and in the process tear us down as well.

Just this past Friday my girlfriend reminded me of a teacher many years ago and gave my mother some advice that I should be placed in the Lighthouse school because there was little hope for me.

Every day I am grateful to my father, the late Urick Solomon, who had the foresight to remove me from the confines of our beloved island.

What he ultimately gave me was the ability to see that my dreams are only limited by what I can imagine for myself and not what other people imagine for me. It would be amiss of me however to not point out that, in a small community like Cayman, people can have a real impact on your life.

They choose to say negative things about which in turn causes others unfairly to pre-judge you.

They choose to put stumbling blocks in your way, which may cause you to doubt your dreams and ultimately yourself.

They choose to focus on the negativity around us instead of the positives that occurs on a daily basis.

To my friend Charles Whittaker I would say take S. Trenwick Bodden’s letter to the editor and frame it.

Place the letter in the most obvious place that you will see it every single day and let that be your motivating factor; let that push you beyond anything you could imagine. It is always much easier to tear down than to build up and I would invite S. Trenwick Bodden to join Charles in his fundraising efforts.

As a fellow Caymanian, I would like to encourage you in everything that you desire that is positive and good. In the words of one of my favourite poets, ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.’

Do not allow the negative thoughts of a few to distract you from what you have achieved.

Believe that the future is bright and holds many blessings for you because it does.

For my fellow Caymanians I would encourage you to think twice before deciding to tear someone down with disparaging comments and negative thoughts.

When you speak ill of others what do you hope to achieve?

George Adams said it best, ‘There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.’

Join me today in deciding that when you get out of the proverbial bucket you will help those around you succeed as well and not seek to tear them down!

Sandra Catron