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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 36 - Wednesday, January 29, 2003
abrahamPositive Attitude
by James Abraham

Choosing our attitude. Have we realized that our attitude is our choice and that we alone can decide how to deal with events in our lives? Have we chosen our attitude? The answer to this question will determine how we position ourselves in life, to face the challenges ahead of us in an effort to revive our flagging economy in Dominica.

Attitude is defined as ones’ feelings or mood toward things, circumstances or people. No matter how we may choose to define attitude, it is one of our priceless possessions. During these times of changes in our beloved land, it is sometimes easy to allow circumstances to rob us of this possession. So you may ask, how can I choose a positive attitude given the current situation?

First, we must know the importance of attitude. It is important to remember attitude is everything. Attitude, whether positive or negative, shows in our daily lives. Many people say attitude is more important than experience or education. They often use attitude as the tiebreaker between two equally qualified candidates.

We cannot change the past or how others act, but we can change our reactions and attitude. A positive attitude is a vital asset at any time. We must portray a positive attitude as we present ourselves.

Secondly, we must take responsibility for our attitude as well as actions. This will give us strength and control during time of change. Prior to a change, most people are comfortable because the situation is familiar. When situations change, we may experience feelings of fear, anger, sadness, resistance, as well as relief, hope, or excitement.

What we do with these feelings is what makes the difference. We are expressing similar sentiments with respect to the current state of affairs in our country. For instance, the current stabilization and adjustment measures that is in place to revive the flagging economy, the reduction in employees wages, stabilization levy, hike in gas prices and tax on public utilities.

There are discussions on reducing the current parliamentary structure and representatives on the Island. I must admit that I am a strong advocate of that move. William James, the father of modern psychology said, “The most important discovery of our time is that we can alter our lives by altering our attitudes”.

When we are able to find something positive or see possibilities, we will have energy and motivation. Many of us are on the verge of losing homes, cannot afford to pay the mortgages on time and sadly do not receive salaries on time as well. Many take sides and will continue to do so, in blaming one side or the other for the island’s current state of affairs.

It is paramount that, if we learn to manage our attitude, we will not feel paralyzed, and potential benefits will follow:
- We will be able to secure assistance with a positive attitude;
Our self-esteem and productivity in both the private and public sectors will increase;
- We can and must be a role model for our children and others, for our future and hope now lies in the hands of our youths; and
- We will have more energy to pursue our goals and dreams.

Thirdly, we must act to create our own future. A positive attitude will help us create our future instead of being held back by allowing negative feelings to affect our attitude and behavior. A positive attitude must be that centerpiece. Choosing or exhibiting the right attitude is critical to Dominica’s success and the Integrated Development Plan, if there is going to be one? Life offers many possibilities to people with positive attitudes. A positive attitude can enable us as a people to:

. Eliminate corruption and bring honor and dignity to the Dominican people and government;
. More vigorously enforce our laws;
. Bring stability and development as a nation;
. Bring a sense of security to tourist who visits our shores by getting rid of the so-called hoola gangs that plague the streets of our capital and major tourism attractions on the island;
. Promote freedom of the press and print media without fear of victimization and/or governmental interference;
. Return governing of the nation to the people;
. Entrust Dominica to Dominicans;
. Learn new skills;
. Revitalize;
. Privatize;
. Consolidate and restructure ;
. Reevaluate our goals;
. Follow the dreams we have always had; and . Take risks.

The question is do we have any dreams for Dominica? The Integrated Development Pan, in my opinion, is a step in the right direction.

Kofi Anna, Secretary General to the United Nations said in an interview once, “one must have dreams and build castles in the air, as everything are surrounded by a dream”. Having said that, I do have some concerns as to the petty politics, bureaucracy and hindrance because of definitions, personalities, etc that tend to threaten the IDP project.

In the process, we will and must meet new people and learn new things if we are to be competitive and develop our homeland. It is imperative that we recognize also, our own resources and look from within with the same eagerness and respect we exhibit to the outside competitors on our island.

How do we create a positive attitude? Well! We must monitor and correct our attitudes. One of the most difficult yet important tasks is to monitor and correct deterioration in our attitude. Many “red flags” may surface which indicate that our attitude may be slipping.

Some of these flags are fear, procrastination, dismay, self-blame, or bitterness. Boy! Do we have a lot of that in our country? Our politicians, civic leaders, clergymen and women must all be on the lookout for these feelings and behaviors so we can respond positively and direct our thoughts and actions to more results oriented activities.

It is imperative that we continue to maintain structure with our time. Studies show that when we find ourselves in changing situations, it is important to maintain structure and routine. This helps in keeping positive attitudes. Structure will help us stay motivated, on task, and see the steps we need to take to show progress. Unfortunately, it would appear that our politicians have not mastered that art in the interest of nation building.

Our politicians both past and current must recognize that they have to involve the people in determining the direction our country should take in these hard times. It serves no meaningful purpose if we do not set high standards and guidelines. Expectation of our public servants and governmental services, focus attention on customer service (an area in need of significant training), of course the enforcement of our laws, the provision of competent and efficient services to both our citizens and visitors to our shores.

We must avoid exclusive programs and implement inclusive programs for all citizens regardless of any political, religious, sex or other affiliations. We have to establish incentive that will encourage returning Dominicans back home.

As is, the current climate tends to run our most valued resources, our people to the shores of Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Antigua, Canada, Europe, Barbados and the United States. Interestingly, it may be argued and even be proven that nearby Antigua may soon have more Dominicans residing there than the entire Dominican population.

Why are all these citizens leaving in mass numbers and in the prime of their lives to places like even Guadeloupe? Clearly, something is wrong with this picture and we have to recognize that fact, if we are to develop Dominica and change our attitude. It is paramount that we must change our mindset as well, if we are to change our attitude.

Finally, we must engage ourselves in positive self-talk. People talk to themselves all throughout the day. We must stop ourselves when we realize we are talking negatively. We must attempt to replace negative messages with positive messages.

Change “I will never… with me am going to…” We must avoid being hooked on the European and American influences. The influences of television and channels such as BET, etc have and will have some effects on our formative and cultural upbringing. Choosing a positive attitude.

Based on these facts, we have to surround ourselves with positive people who encourage us and help develop us. Unfortunately, attitudes are like magnets. Positive attitudes attract positive results. Spending time with positive people who make us feel good about ourselves and the current situation will help maintain a positive attitude.

It will take and does require hard work to succeed, but we will find that it can be accomplished more effectively with a positive attitude. Our positive attitude will be valued and appreciated by those around us. Remember when changes come our way, and it will, we can and must remain in control by of course, controlling our attitudes and responding positively to that change.

With that said, I forewarn that I am not advocating silence on issues affecting our beloved country as to the contrary I believe that if we continue to remain “silent” we will not effect positive change to which I speak.

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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 36
Looking Back for the Future
Extreme Sports Cyclist
World's Oldest Person Turns 128
Positive Attitude
First Crushes Start Flame

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