Finding the cancer within

Hello my people and residents of the Cayman Islands. I have written many letters regarding my views of our community and offering suggestions on what I have experienced.

I don’t have a degree in sociology (wish I did), but I have been blessed with a little grey matter between my ears, thank God. We have reached a time in our history that we have developed to a fair extent, but I believe we are SOCIALLY and MORALLY BANKRUPT. It’s unfortunate that in our quest to chase material wealth we have overlooked this and continue to this day just making one big deal after another, with those who continue to use us.

I know many will not read this, and of those that do some will disagree. Some couldn’t care less for what I’m about to say, but hopefully there will be the few that take the time to digest and understand my views.

I have great faith in our young people, especially those of university age and I believe therein lies the hope for these Islands. At the same time, I worry for them and their future if my words are not heeded.

Folks, we missed the boat from the early development of these Islands, not to say that a lot of good work and thought didn’t happen back then, and has given most of us a decent standard of living. But I maintain we developed this country and forgot its people. Apart from the glaring failures in our education system, which have seen many graduate ill-prepared, or didn’t graduate at all, we have given our people a sense of entitlement that in these hard times are our greatest enemy.

BEING CAYMANIAN IS NOT A QUALIFICATION folks, as some of our past leaders suggested. You also have to be able – and if the system failed you, it is in your interest through the sweat of your brow, to make sure you equip yourself to hold a decent job and earn an honest living. We have those in authority who people could run to and complain and the big whip would be used to chastise the offending party, when in truth we were simply cultivating a sense of entitlement. Don’t get me wrong, I want every Caymanian born here or adopted to have a bright future, but right now we are ill-equipped to do so and this is where the buck stops! This is where those who don’t have and want will turn to other means – and we are seeing this as I write – robberies, burglaries, drugs, murder, etc.

This my people, is The Cancer Within! The Cayman Islands remind me of beautiful fruit and when it’s peeled and opened the insides are rotten. If we don’t recognise this and do something about it, as a people we are doomed. This place had the opportunity to be the best. Because we were late developers we could look around and learn from others’ mistakes.

Somehow we have managed to mess this all up and we are an island nation of selfish money grabbers. Those who can put themselves in position to grab the most are doing so, forgetting that those who don’t will come for what you so selfishly craved and stepped on them to get.

We also have in this country an entity of seemingly unlimited wealth, known as the The Dart Group, that during the past 10 years has accumulated large amounts of real estate. This group, the developers of Camana Bay, a modern town, are entrenched into the fabric of the Caymanian society. But how much is too much folks? Most of us can’t see past the fact Caymanians have jobs with this entity and they buy our property for inflated values giving us some temporary wealth.

I’ve always maintained no one person or entity should own so much of this small Island, to the point where they call the shots with whoever is in “power” (are we really in charge?). Why do you think accounting firms limit their revenue from a single source? For fear of undue influence, that’s why!

I blame our people who allowed it to happen. I blame those who sold out, because it couldn’t own what you wouldn’t sell. Where will this all end folks?

Along the way it has hired some of our best talents and brightest minds. Each day it gets harder to control as it likely impacts each of us in some way.

Apart from the Dart Group and its huge influence over the country, there are other foreign entities that do business here that don’t carry that much weight. At least Dart hires and trains locals, but there are others, and you know yourselves, that can do better and offer more to our people. Instead, you protect your own and hire repeatedly from your homelands, where you use the excuse that Caymanians are lazy and can’t do the job.

How hard have you really tried? Or have you seen this as an easy way out? Yes, we have those among us who don’t pull their weight. But we also have some of the best among our ranks.

My people you have to be prepared to change gears as well. You may have been an office executive, but now all you can find is a cashier job. Take it! Make do until you can better do, because times are hard and you want to keep something coming in that’s an honest living.

Folks there’s one thing I know and it should be clear to all power hungry souls in Cayman and around the world, is that at the end of the day, there is no power greater than people power! And if the people are not happy and many are suffering while few are benefitting, you run the risk of social chaos and losing it all.

I have said my piece and spoken to each and everyone that reads this. Your future is in your hands – you decide what kind of islands you wish to have and how you want it developed. At the end of the day what should be important is that each person has a stake in it, can make an honest living, take care of family and maintain some of the values that made us one of the most welcoming and hospitable places in the world to visit and do business. If we rush along and develop, leaving our people behind once more, we run a serious risk of social unrest in this country, the likes previously unseen. Beware of the CANCER WITHIN.

Osbourne Bodden

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