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You all have been kind readers of the first edition of Stepping Stones and before I start this second edition, I pause to say thank you very much for your kind comments.

As I move around and interact with friends and family, I try to pay attention and make an effort to be conscious of my surroundings, our conversations and us, generally, as human beings. Now, one can only agree that every day we are faced with more hardships and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep current with our bills, enjoy dining out, or treating ourselves with a hairdo or some new shoes. That is often the story I hear, and the things I observe. The truth is; it is difficult these days to satisfy even our most basic needs- to properly provide for the needs of our children and families.

I look around and I can see that children and the elderly suffer the most during these hard times. The decline or termination of social benefits and the announcement in the news a few weeks ago by the human rights chair, that there are over one hundred children without a seat in school, confirms my observations.

I look again. I can see civil servants in the Turks and Caicos Islands anxiously wringing their hands as they are forced to take the government redundancy package. Listen with me now. I can hear almost everyone naming and blaming and pointing finger at others including myself. But you and I both now, casting blame never helps. We know that finding a solution is much more helpful, so let’s do just that! I believe we can make this the appointed time in our lives.

In the midst of the uncertainty and distress, I see we are surrounded. We are surrounded by tools. We know for every job, business venture or advancement, we need some type of tools, equipments or skills.

We already have the gifts of human intelligence and will-power. We all have the power to think and move; and yes- we all have the ability to change if we want to. God has made us a remarkable species. He made us with all the natural resources we need to thrive and survive. We have the knowledge; and we have the skills to solve most of our current national, personal and social issues here in our Turks and Caicos Islands. Everything we need is already present around us. If we are missing anything at all (and I am going to take the risk to say), it seems to me to be a lack of love, justice, effort, care and concern.

Let this not be a sad story, filled with characters that are not able to identify their tools, use their skills or discover their will power to become creative and productive.

What is happening to us? Have we forgotten our potential and our purpose? None of the inequities in our society could exist without our contribution. The sad events that are reported in the news confirm our sense that it’s the midnight hour; that our worse nightmares have become our waking reality and we should feel afraid.

Take a moment and reflect on a fearful period in your life. It paralyses you; it makes you feel helpless.

Well God didn’t send us here to be powerless spectators, but to become powerful initiators. I believe by now you have some of your tools in mind. I can think about the very car you are driving, have you ever thought about that badly needed delivery service or that transportation business?

I believe that most of us have these commonly used necessities such as stoves, washing machines or an iron and a board. We have refrigerators and most of us have an extra bedroom and there are so many other tools such as the computer around us. I can testify- that is how I got started many years ago. By using what I have. And you can too. It may not be much, but it is a start.

We can use whatever we have, to start that much needed business for that much needed income. We have many qualified Turks and Caicos Islanders who can use their skills to bring hope for the future. We are each other harvests; we are each other businesses, each others magnitude and bond.
A model for harmonious living won’t be created by the government and we cannot rely solely on our religious leaders to initiate it. Theologies would say “Love is the guiding principle in the world” but a religious or spiritual philosophy has no meaning until we practice it.

So what would you use or give to make our community, our country, a better place? What would you give or do to ease the suffering in our neighborhoods? With so many injustices, taxes and neglect, what do you care deeply about?

Listen inwardly and hear the messages God sends to your heart. Now choose your tools and walk with me step by step moving forward. Let’s work and make good differences, because if you are not actively engaged in easing the suffering, you are contributing to the pain.

Until next week reflect with me… we are all in the same lifeboat, and in order to survive we must use our oars to pull smartly in the same direction. Where we go from here depends on you and me.