Because we are living in a service-oriented world, it is necessary that our children understand the workings of our economy.  Perhaps we should not wait until they reach College or High School before we expose them to the subject of Economics.  I would encourage anyone to start teaching and training our children about the science of dealing with the production, distribution and consumption of wealth, goods and services as soon as First Grade.

 

Having run a Group Home for potentially incorrigible Youth, at home and one abroad, I am acutely aware of a few issues concerning our Youth: Some lack motivation and some have extremely negative attitudes, They often give the impression of possessing impervious, negative self-images and  all too often they desire to achieve with as little effort as possible. However, I would like to remind us that not all of our Youth are that way.  We have many of our young people who are thriving. They are participating in numerous educational, recreational and social programmes around the Island and abroad. They are seeking and attaining qualifications in areas of higher learning more than every before.  However, there are many of our children who are not so fortunate.  They have not had the care and support of positive role models or mentors who have had the experience and the exposure that many of us have had.  If you see value in helping our young people, the Mirrors Programmes, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters are just two of the many organisations that we can join to make a change for the good.

            I must take time to extend praises and to give thanks to you, the members of Hamilton Rotary a service organisation that has put Service before Self and has contributed much towards the good of our community.  In this one room, imagine how many years of wisdom and knowledge, the resources, the amount of skills, and the magnitude of the network that is present here today.  Your very presence signifies your concerns about where we, as a people, and our country are going.  Yes our community is becoming more diverse by the day and although we drive at the modest pace of 25 to 35 kilometers per hour, Bermuda is functioning at a much faster pace inside the bounds of the business world.

             In order to change our behaviour, we need to change our attitudes. The best place to begin is by looking at our personal attitude towards change.  Those who accept change find excitement and new experiences, challenges and dimensions to life.  When we exhibit the belief in and make a commitment to continuous growth, those whom we associate with will also want to grow.  Remember motivation is not manipulation, and the principle underlying our attempt to change attitudes must be the desire to help others to grow in the areas of their greatest interests.  It is far easier to develop someone in the way they're inclined to go than it is to attempt to lead them in a direction for which they're poorly suited in terms of aptitude or temperament.  I am sure that you are not surprised by the amount of cooperation you get when you show interest in people and their future and that in itself is a most important step in changing attitudes.

            As much as we complain about our youth, we need to take a little more time to contribute towards the positive growth of our neighbours' children since as responsible parents we really have no choice with our own.  Money is good, but it is not always the solution to some of the problems experienced by our Youth.  "They" are the Bermuda of tomorrow who are in need of our support, your personal support, your presence and your guidance.  Yes, I agree that our Bermudian people need to: Curb our attitudes, Join forces with the International Companies, Accept the diversity that comes along with it, Establish controls, Train and develop ourselves so that we can provide quality services, Increase our communication and mediation skills and Support the needs of our youth.   But what else can we do to make Bermuda an even better place?  I suggest that once a year, the members of the Rotary Club and any other concerned professionals active and retired, pool their resources, their experiences and their knowledge to provide a Day of Mentoring.  This could be a day for giving free professional advice and knowledge on a one-on-one basis to any interested person - the single mother of two, or someone who has to change careers mid-stream.  From technical career planning to tutoring in communication skills, to the proper way to walk, and talk, to successful interviewing techniques.  We would just require whatever talent that can be pooled for the common good.  A National Day of Mentoring would not require your money, but your time and your expertise.  Nothing could be more valuable than that as it is truly a matter of our survival.