Letters to the Editor: Culture lost without God

This letter is in response to a letter that ran in the 6 April, 2011, edition of the Caymanian Compass titled ‘What is Cayman culture?’.

It was with interest that I read the article. The writer asked some very profound questions and I believe they are worthy of an answer. Unfortunately, I may end up raising even more questions, which will require Caymanians to consider and answer individually before was can answer nationally.

The writer asked ‘what is Cayman culture?’ and alluded to the surface matter of the response. ‘Their penchant for hard work. Their civility, their honesty and respect for their neighbours coalesced into what was truly Caymanian.’ Here the writer pointed out some of the principles the Caymanian people lived by, many of which are still evident today. The fact is that the principles we live by are the definition of who we are. Culture is the manner in which we enact and express these core principles within a geographical confine.

The Cayman Islands was built on three great principles. First and foremost was love for God. That is the one true God as revealed in the Holy Bible. God the Father and God the Son. The Son was made manifest to us for our salvation as Jesus Christ. He is the Saviour of this fallen world. The second great principle of Caymanian culture was love of family. Families stuck together no matter what! Family decisions were made with the benefit of the entire family in mind, not just one or two individuals. Regardless of the item in question, it’s distribution was family wide; whether a catch of fish or a bunch of bananas. The third foundational principle of Caymanian culture was love of neighbours. Neighbours were treated like extended family. Wherever there was overflow it was lovingly, freely given.

I was truly privileged and blessed to be born and afforded the opportunity to grow and develop within this environment. It was a little Heaven on Earth. Communication was vibrant, open and honest. Respect for others, especially your elders was a must. Discipline was quickly, effectively and efficiently dispatched by all members of the community, as needed. Children were raised within the context of the community as a whole, not just the individual homes and immediate families.

What happened?

The writer cited the dilution of our population resulting from immigration and expatriate rule over a docile population as explanations for what remains of our culture today…I utterly refute those explanations. It is up to each individual to examine themselves and decide who they are daily! Additionally, I am uncertain as to where they myth of Caymanians being a docile people has risen from. Nothing could be further from the truth! I assure you that we are more than willing to stand up and fight to the death for what we believe in. The question is, what exactly is that? The almighty dollar, corruption of what were natural expressions of indigenous activities and strong outside influences are closer to the truth.

When we lose sight of God and offer our worship to anything else, which for the most part appears to be wealth and material possessions, we lose our selves! Not that there is anything wrong with wealth and material possessions, in and of themselves, but we greatly err when we make them the central focus of our lives, which is worshipping them! These things are unable to fulfil and succour the yearnings of the human soul. That space is reserved for God and only He can truly fill it and bring forth the blessings of peace, righteousness and holiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. If we lose ourselves it is impossible to maintain good and right family and neighbourly relationships.

Fellow Caymanians, I urge you, remember who you are! Let us together turn our faces towards our heavenly Father. He is waiting to bless us beyond what we can ask or even imagine. Let us not forget that  He is merciful, long suffering, slow to anger and just.

Ian Wood

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Truth be told what you speak of is the past although I agree with the second and third points that you have stated, and that we need to return to those, the first is highly deceitful we are not and have never truly been a godly country (if such a place even exist). We are a country of hypocrites and sinners who play godly, I say this not to offend those who practice what they preach, but in reality for us to succeed as a nation we need to lose the sheep’s clothing and get real. We are our biggest hindrance to economic prosperity we expect everyone who come here to conform to our rules when we don’t! WAKE UP Cayman if the past way of life is for you, keep it for you but don’t say that we as a country need to be more God-like. The youth of these islands are growing up and are more receptive to what the real world has to offer outside of Cayman’s bubble, religion is not the only thing that saves, I assure you that an atheist can have a higher moral standard than any religious person.

    It is in the home and within the community that morals are learnt, human nature lets you know right from wrong even before you are submerged into the Gospel. Adaptability is the only way forward if we are unable to change and accept change we may as well return to farming and the barter system.

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  2. Another Truth be told, God is in all of us and in everything around us. The problem with Cayman is no different than any problem anywhere else. Most people that they are Entitled to all things without working for it! Religion teaches the same Entitlement – No need to work at who you are, simply go to church an be baptised and somehow, magically, Jesus’ blood will cleanse you and you are ready for heaven! Simple! No need to be responsible or accountable to anyone.
    When as a society we can comprehend the hidden, misconstrued Truths that are in the Bible, but hidden and miscontstrued deliberately long ago, then and only then can we expect to live in a upward moving society/culture. You see each of us are here to recognise or I AM presence the Divine in all of us and that is each person’s main reason for being here, then we will view the world differently.
    Any religion that teaches fear is a religion to avoid. Christianity, as is taught day, was deliberately shrouded in secrecy in order to control the masses thru force, not empowerment with knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the spiritual or esoteric teachings of great Masters like Jesus, Buddah, Kuthumi and the likes – and the more recent historical peaceful enlightened ones like Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Theresa.
    We are all here to become enlightened, but when do we stop and realise that if we keep doing the same thing, beleiving the same thing and getting the same results that on a whole we must be reading the wrong manual or teachings?
    It is time that we realise that as a culture or society, it is our programmed belief system on a whole that has us where we are. Not one person is to blame. There is no one answer, but there is one cultural truth: our beliefs make us what we are. And all that we reap is what we have sown, collectively, for what the majority does overrides all others in cumulative results.
    For those who understand, no explanation needed; for those who don’t, no explanation possible!
    If you don’t understand these words, please don’t judge what you don’t understand…contemplate it!

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