Can’t we all get along?

What a shock to read the headline on Wednesday, 23 August, Caymanians resent expatriates.

Is this disturbing headline and all of the recent divisive rhetoric contributing positively to the future of the Cayman Islands?

We need to re-focus.

Let us cast our minds back to September 12, 2004. Cayman was shattered, torn apart at the seams.

Together all those who cemented this community – Caymanians and non-Caymanians alike (international citizens) worked side by side to rebuild Cayman from the soil upward. We must not forget the enormous selfless contributions to Cayman’s rebuilding made by Government bodies, countless companies, individuals, churches, charitable organizations and schools.

Almost two years later, Cayman is back on its feet.

Yet the future of so many of the responsibly minded people who contributed so positively to the post-Ivan rebuild is now in limbo whilst they wait to hear whether or not they can remain in Cayman.

Such individuals have made Cayman their home because they love it here. They are no burden to this community; in fact they are quite the opposite.

Immigration policies have long existed in Cayman and everywhere else in the world and we all understand the need for them, but surely it is how these measures are handled, which has far-reaching effects on the economy and community; whatever your nationality is.

Like so many nations in the 21st Century, Cayman has become a multi-cultural society.

Whilst we recognise this brings some challenges with it, Cayman has always been rightly proud of its reputation as a Caribbean island, which embraces social harmony amongst diverse nationalities.

Indeed, this attitude has always been so refreshing and has made Cayman a great place to live and work.

In a world of rapidly advancing technologies, speed and international travel, increasingly higher levels of education, equal opportunities and human rights, the planet’s pathways have opened up. It is noteworthy that the majority of us share our home nations with other nationalities.

On our journey through the 21st Century Cayman we should delight in the positive cultural aspects, traditions and contributions that different nationalities bring to these islands. Through this Cayman’s own culture will continue to shine.

In all we do, we should aim to embody and exemplary society where the integration of many nationalities is a peaceful and happy one.

After all isn’t it this which helps Cayman so unforgettable?

Paula Tongue