March 6, 2014

Atoll development -- nurturing good investment

Any development is about investing effort and energy into things we do to make an improvement. In the case of personal development it is about the focus we give to improving the aspects of character in ourselves that make us better people given the objective we have in mind  -- whether it’s a skill for earning a better living or imbuing ourselves with the goodness of moral values that make us better human beings. By acquiring those skills or character we invite others to have confidence in us and draw them to us as friends, spouses, business partners, employees, even team-members in sports.

We can extrapolate this even to our national development or local atoll development in Maldives. Yes, an atoll is not a person but it’s a confluence of persons or in this case personalities. When the people of an atoll become the aggregation of such goodness, the way others look at them is transformed from a state of social invisibility to a condition of visibility. Our attention is drawn to things that we like or we see the potential for gains that will make us be a part of it. This has great relevance in the case of investments that will boost the economy or the social well-being of an atoll. This being so, the atoll leadership has a lot to do to invite this visibility. To the degree that the atoll council members can become such good human beings with the leadership that will draw others to invest with confidence or decide to relocate to live there will be the hallmark of the leading atolls of the future.

Our policy on decentralization should be used to good advantage to share the benefits with the people of the atolls. However, this will require the polity of the atoll to be aware of such windfalls that could be theirs by electing leaders that will make the cut and show progress; not dynastic incompetents who will only warm the seat for another five years until the tamasha begins again. It is a huge leap of awareness that we all need to have, and each of us must make the effort to understand our role in this our newly found democracy. And it is for us to realize that people's power – as the essence of democracy - is truly possible only on that fateful day of elections. Our decision that day will keep us in joy or tears for the next half decade. Let's make our choice count and not be led up the garden path over and over again.  

Perhaps we adults smile each such day for the momentary ego boost we get from the presents we receive in exchange for our vote, but our children would certainly cry when they discover what we left behind for them.

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