Culture change and changes in social behaviour are the prerequisites for a safer and more wholesome society. A society is simply the sum total of individuals, families and communities that make it up. And a society is synonymous with a country or territory. The Virgin Islands is no different.
This idea is not rocket science. A family’s morals, strengths and weaknesses reflect the members of that family and their individual dispositions and characters. It is much the same for organisations: People decide the direction of a business or organisation just as people determine the direction of a country or territory.
Society is made of communities of people who work, play, sleep, think and decide the outcomes of that society. A country or territory is a collection of families, communities and societies: the sum total of the people that populate the land.
Effecting social and economic change is not just about politicians and other leaders managing resources and people. It goes deeper. There is no change without change in the behaviours and mindsets of the people who make up the society.
A change in social behaviour is crucial for the positive direction of a country or territory, over and above any fine-tuning of its politics and society by leaders and other elites.
‘Courage and resolution’
Show me the individual in his or her rawest form, and I will have an idea of where he or she will end up in the great play called life. The same with a country or territory: Show me the people and their morals, values and culture, and that will give me a fair idea of the state of that country or territory.
Change requires courage and resolution. It requires a change of values and culture. The great movements of history — the arrival of representative democracy; the defeat of fascist tyrannies; social welfare; social justice; international law and order; and more — were driven by great leaders. However, these leaders would never have been able to carry out these historic changes without the masses of the people who were the cogs in the wheels of change.
Transparent, accountable and honest governance are worthy ideals for the VI. The preceding combined with visionary leadership will lead to the Promised Land. However, without a change in our own individual behaviours that in turn leads to wider social and cultural change, all is in vain.
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