Caymanians are wise, smart but can do better

| 21/03/2016 | 17 Comments

Cayman News ServiceGeorge R. Ebanks writes: I had the pleasure of going to Cayman Brac recently, which gave me the chance to slow down a bit as the pace of life there is as it was in Grand Cayman in years gone by. I sensed more “togetherness” amongst the people of Cayman Brac than I do here in Grand Cayman. I also sensed a more loving spirit abiding there and also a sense that the people of Cayman Brac are more protective of each other’s way of life. I got the feeling that if you were to criticise or “run down” a Bracker, you would run the risk of finding the entire island community against you.

I wish we still practiced that same “togetherness” here in Grand Cayman.

In order for us, as a people, to be strong is for us to unite and stand together. That’s just it. Stand together! But when last have we stood together? The main thing I see is the need to quit finger-pointing and to start working on solutions.

Nobody can deny Cayman’s success. Anyone who tries to is either jealous or is a complete idiot. It makes me laugh when I hear foreigners come here and talk about all of these “fool Caymanians” and what a bunch of idiots they are. I have not yet taken them on but I always think to myself, “Well, for a bunch of fools, we’ve done pretty darn good for ourselves, haven’t we?” I mean, we couldn’t have all been fools or this place would still be mosquito infested and largely unknown to the world.

So my short weekend trip to Cayman Brac, besides being somewhat therapeutic, also made me think inwardly a little. And in the process, I left the Brac with a message for all of us.

Number one: let us not underestimate Caymanians, past, present or future generations. They have proven themselves over and over and over again and are no less lacking in either intelligence or motivation than anyone else. What we have here is truly remarkable for such a small place in terms of the economic success and the overall peacefulness in terms of the quality of life.

Number two: the crime problem here is a growing concern, but still not to the same proportions as many other countries. Home and business break-ins are on the rise and that is and must be of real concern because it will be vitally important for our long-term survival and well-being for everyone to feel safe within your home or against having your property broken into. We need effective policing against our ever-increasing crime.

So let’s start with the fact that this is a truly amazing, wonderful place, and a lot of smart, hard-working Caymanians over the years have and continue to contribute tremendously, both to our local well-being and also to our international global standings. We should and must acknowledge these civic and industry leaders whenever the occasion arises. One fact is very certain: Cayman didn’t just “happen”. It took a lot of foresight and hard work and will always require a vigilance to stay competitive in both the financial and tourism industries.

So the issue, then, is how do you maintain and grow the economy to preserve and enhance the good things that have come from it — in the least invasive possible way — in terms of the negative impacts that growth and prosperity have on traditional Caymanian culture and the values embedded in their Christian heritage?

To me, it all starts with the educational system, which is in obvious need for an overhaul, but also extends to the family structure and the need for better social services. We simply have to improve the standards and demand more from our children in the public school system. The days of “school leavers” need to be gone. Each and every school child upon graduating from high school must have the ability to read, write and do math at the 12th grade level. I believe that a real “re-vamping” of our educational outputs, both at the micro and macro levels, must be holistic but also with a focused effort to make the improvements real and impactful. It could be technology-focused and supported in large measure by the major private sector employers, who should also have a “skin in the game”.

Make learning exciting and relevant to their lives. Make it “cool” to be smart and to get good grades. Parade highly successful Caymanians (and others) in and out of the school system on a regular basis to talk about their careers and the importance of education. Let us show these children (from the earliest point possible) what is possible for their own lives.

Children who may or may not otherwise have the benefit of good role models in their home lives, let us work together to fill such voids. We all need to give them something to aspire to and make them believe in themselves and take pride in their learning, but also learn from early on to be accountable for their own actions. Then when they are a little older, take them on the job with you, be it as a police officer, dentist, office worker or small business owner.

Pair up kids with willing role models and make it a new part of our culture to always be looking out for kids as part of our own social responsibility. Rather than grumbling about their lack of manners, teach them right. If we have taught our own children right, then go the extra mile and teach someone else’s child those same things. All on a volunteer basis, of course, and not just for the best and the brightest, but also for the worst and least motivated students. Show them what hard work and knowledge can do for them, so they will have something to aspire to.

So, my message is that while we have lots of people, and indeed even our global financial services competitors, against us, we should and must be a proud people.

Because in the final analysis, we all should join together and sing in one accord that we Caymanians are wise, smart and we can do better still!

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The problems of cayman are social. Fix them through education.

    1 bring two reputable universities here and make the place a university town.

    2 require 8 hour school days all year round. Extended summers no longer exist for public school students. Vacations will be broken down throughout the year.

    3. Mandatory 2 month work experience for all students. Starting from year 7.

    4 mandatory contraception for public high school girls. If parents don’t like it. Send the child to private school.

    5. Mandatory etiquette training included in public school curriculum. Starting in primary all the way to graduation.

    6. Full enforcement of uniforms.

    7. Protection by law of teachers from physical and verbal violence. Parents/guardian and child violating teachers rights have mandatory prison time. If caymaniam rights were acquired by paper application, deportation order is attached following prison release.

    This will fix the problem. In two generations, there will be no more issues. A light hand has been placed. That hasn’t worked George. Make real suggestions to the real problems. It’s all nice to say nice things. Let’s actually fix things.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are two things that will always make people hate you. Tell them they are a bad parents or a bad driver.

  3. MM says:

    It is all well said to pat our Caymanians on the back for the development of this Country, but is that also missing out on some very important historical points?

    The first banks, major legal practices, health care and so forth were actually established in Cayman by ‘foreigners’. Caymanians made their bread and butter by leaving this country and travelling elsewhere.

    At the moment we see the success of many Caymanian millionaire families; their success came from the travel of their forefathers who observed the surroundings in developed countries whilst in port during their sails and brought those innovations home where they opened similar business from their hard-earned savings. (For example the Kirkconnell’s, the Tibbett’s and the Merren’s).

    However, the major face-changer for the Cayman Islands has undoubtedly been the financial services industry – this industry became the success it currently is by the combined intelligence and brainpower of not Caymanians, but of legal professionals who realized one day that the Cayman Islands had no taxes… from that the framework of our current Companies Laws and banking regulations was formed and the influx of business and development began. This stir is the wave that many Caymanians road on to attain their current success.

    So, if we were to expand our cultural and historical knowledge, remove the “horn-tooting”, do some actual research and begin to truly observe what caused the explosion of development in the Cayman Islands – it would not be the supermarkets, hardware stores and tourism attractions that our locals jumped at the opportunity to establish – these are all opportunities that arose from the brilliant minds who drafted the idea of our “tax-haven” society – and those minds were monumentally not majority Caymanian.

    But, lack of knowledge is the death of any society and my people jump at the opportunity to say “this is ours, not yours” every chance we get without knowing facts and/or history. In fact, it seems to be a Caymanian motto to “stop dwelling on the past”. There is a lot to be learned from the past and our biggest failure is not to dig and learn.

    There is nothing in these islands for Caymanians to “unite and take back”, fundamentally everything established here was never ours in the first place except the land our forefathers sold for shillings and few pounds. Check the archives to see the transactions where beachfront, South Sound land sold for as little as twelve pounds in the early 1900s; that is your heritage and your great-great grand-whoever sold it.

    Nothing that has been done or is being done as an injustice to Caymanians in this country has been orchestrated by an evil alien force – we have done it to ourselves in one way, shape or form. Whether through voting for the wrong sleazy leaders to get a new washer, selling out our children’s heritage (land) for a quick buck or watching corruption by our own people pass by and not blowing the whistle… the sooner we wake up to this reality, the faster true solutions can be formed.

    • In all instances my firm view and position has always been that irregardless if you are a 6th generation born “Caymanian” or a long term resident who acquired Caymanian citizenship through the Immigration process; once you obtain your Caymanian citizenship, YOU are a Caymanian.

      At the final analysis, we are all seeking; or should be seeking; the same end goal. That is; a Cayman Islands, that is multicultural (we have over 120 different nationalities currently living in harmony here); prosperous and where ALL of its citizens are living in peace and prosperity and where no one; who comes and makes these Islands their home; and involves himself/ herself; feels like an “outsider” but indeed feels not only a part of the solution but indeed is a vital and integral part of the forward progress of these OUR (our= born Caymanians; long term residents and all and sundry).

      At least that’s how I see it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    togetherness? in the brac? in cut throat county? lmfao

  5. Anonymous says:

    The education system is a mess the social services with 2500 families on some form of public assistance is a mess, you can sing whatever song you so choose but there is a large segment of the country who have not benefited from Cayman’s growth and who are falling between the cracks.

  6. NCIS: West Bay says:

    George, I salute your effort, but as a multi-generation Caymanian, my view is that that there are many wise & intelligent Caymanians. Many being airline pilots, doctors, lawyers, some also carrying the lead in superior GPAs and making the Deans List in major colleges in various countries, but unfortunately just like every other country in this wonderful world we live in, we have far too many ultra foolish Caymanians – that being locals and paper Caymanians alike in that pool.

    Cayman has done well in our successes and has had far more potential, credits to a combination of Local and foreign people alike, but our careless & dirty Politicians and the forsaken fools(of varying levels) who elect them to power has done a lot of damage to this here little island nation that will essentially be irreversible. To undo the damage will be nasty results.

    Caymanians are not united. Too much greed, divisiveness and selfishness that is ripping apart our society and structure as a people, in effect plays against us having any good chance at surviving the present and future as we know it.

    So given the above, the bottom line is that intelligent people like myself can only wish us good luck into the future. Done deal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Relax and slow down in the Brac? From your fast paced life here? Building yourself a career George? Trying to impress people? Failed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You are right in one thing. You do have to do better to get any kind of respect for Caymanians. At least in the eyes of those “driftwoods” They have all seen a world that is not Caymankind.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We Brackas always look out for our Brackas even though we’re in Grand Cayman, something people should learn here in Grand Cayman, after all if we don’t look out for each other no one will! Watering Places living in GT.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does looking out for each other also mean that you confront a mother when you know her son/daughter is no good and is up to illegal activities, or do you turn a blind eye cause you stick together?

      Given the current state of crime everywhere it seems the community very much stands together as nobody hears, sees or knows anything.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well reflected and immediate action IS required from the residents who have any form of vision past their nose.
    Cant we just get a fundraiser/committee/or whatever setup…you know those cool things you see in the paper all the time..stuff the foreigners use to get PR points out here!
    Im thinking a nice “Caymanians United Party” or “C4C – Caymanians actually FOR Caymanians” ….Ask Kerry Kanuga, Jasmin ‘Yaz; M, Derek Haines, Ariane Dart and MANY of the others what action can do….It bears a re-action (in their case a predetermined re-action)!


    *We have a different breed of ‘Caymanian’ on the rise not sure if THEY will ‘fancy’….have a look on the news they cant stop US…they too scared. We shall see how long these professional hide’n’seekers remain here in Peace (again reaping fruits they NEVER planted) *

  11. Rhett says:

    Perhaps as banks are now being researched, and held accountable to the States, the IRS……and the divulging of names of such Americans involved, it will change the fast growing pace of corruption.

  12. Anonymous says:

    George, hope you run for election!

  13. Anonymous says:

    George – these days “standing together” usually takes a tumble at the first hurdle because “standing together” also means that one has to be able to let someone know when they are wrong and fault has to be accepted. Unfortunately, these days nobody wants to get involved in anyone else’s business so everyone is inclined to turn a blind eye. This especially holds true for child rearing. God forbid someone chastises someone else’s child……..

  14. Anonymous says:

    proverbs 27:2
    Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips


  15. Just Sayin' says:

    It all starts with gas prices George. That’s your root cause right there. March forth!

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