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Belize~ The Power of Example

Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018. 8:50 a.m. CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.

By Richard Harrison: Do as I say….but not as I do ?!
ex•am•ple ( g-z m p l)
n.
1. One that is representative of a group as a whole: the squirrel, an example of a rodent; introduced each new word with examples of its use.

2. One serving as a pattern of a specific kind: set a good example by arriving on time.

3. A similar case that constitutes a model or precedent: a unique episode, without example in maritime history

4. a. A punishment given as a warning or deterrent.
b. One that has been given such a punishment: made an example of the offender.

5. A problem or exercise used to illustrate a principle or method.

“Example” is very powerful in all of our lives. Many times, the people who “tell” us what not to do….are the very same ones who give us the “example” to do those very same things. In the end, it is our choice, but our choice is influenced in great part by the examples that we see in our lives.

If our guardians tell us “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”….but then they sleep until the sun is high in the sky…..will we turn out to be persons that rise early every day? Does rising early show anything about our level of self-esteem and ambition?

If persons above us in authority tells us “honesty is the best policy”….but then we hear them concealing things, telling half-truths and sometimes bare-faced lies….will we turn out to be honest persons?

If leaders of our group give a great speech saying that “we must be transparent and accountable” …..but then we see them out of the corner of our eyes with their hands constantly in the cookie jar….asking subordinates to adjust accounting entries so they can scrape from the piggy bank….then making every effort to conceal this behavior…and getting away with it….will we turn out to be persons that are transparent and accountable? Creole say “fool di talk, but da no fool di listen”.

If our community elders advise us to be “law-abiding citizens”…..but then we see them manipulate the law for their own favor……and for the favor of their family and close friends and people to whom they owe favors…..will we turn out to be law-abiding citizens? I asked a senior police officer why he was in a heavily tinted vehicle with no license plates….he said “oh, this is a government vehicle….my phone no registered either”.

If our elders tell us to “dress and behave appropriately”….then they wear the skimpiest outfits and behave like carnival revelers at every opportunity, in front of their children….and give us money to buy our own clothes, music, drinks and drugs long before we can afford to do so for ourselves….will we not follow their example?

If our parents advise us to be “loving, faithful and true”….that “who lies, cheat…and who cheats, lie”….yet you see them sending and receiving text messages off the hook that need to be deleted….appearing and going incognito at odd hours….caught up in a thousand lies trying to cover up each new lie….will we turn out to be loving, faithful and true? Is this not why the children suffer the wrongs of the parents?…is this not an unwritten will to children from their parents?

EXAMPLES are powerful influences in our lives. All of us are examples to each other….but the example given by adults to children….is much more powerful….because children are still forming values and morals….which determine their levels of need, want and desire…..which forms their attitudes and behaviors….who they become.

All our words and actions…especially our body language (which accounts for the largest percentage of what we communicate)…..are our examples. BUT….words and actions come from THOUGHTS…..and thoughts come from morals and values.

I note, as a product of the Catholic church-state system of education, that Catholic doctrine was the basis for educational development of our morals and values. I have convinced myself to have great respect for things that thrive more than a hundred years….even when they are not based on the Catholic doctrine…and even when I myself might not believe in them.

I believe that good morals and values are very important in building peace and prosperity in the life of individuals, families, communities and countries.

I do not see where state education….in the absence of the structured doctrine of the church….have developed alternative and credible methods for structured development of good morals and values.

This is why I believe…..that the Church-State partnership for education…..with all its imperfections….will serve our best interest….better than a purely state-school-system (in its current form) ever will.

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