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The Games Begins Now! A Formula to Stop Talking and Start Walking Published: Sunday, June 4, 2006 By: Dr. Manuel E. Maldonado Cotto

During the course of the last weekPuerto Ricohas seen a plethora of publications and other fables that have been stirring on the news and other media regarding our current situation. AsPuerto Rico’s foremost research and intelligence organization, we have been discussing all of these so called insightful reports and bibliographic reviews, with some passion, questioning and outright skepticism.

For example, an article published on the latest issue of a respected organization, states that Puerto Ricans are lazy by nature and that particularly men tend to invest their time at the beach, in the malls and reading stuff at high traffic bookstores. The main issue that troubles our minds, hearts and souls is that they reach these utterly wrong conclusions regarding the work ethic of our work force, the richness of our skills-knowledge and the sacrifices made by many individuals, families and corporations, by focusing on a small group of statistics that don’t tell the whole story of our island.

We believe Puerto Rico is a great country, we believe that we will overcome our current economic dilemma and we believe that oversimplifying a complex problem to a handful of measly variables is an act of poor judgment, a lack of local insight and an outrage to everything we have done, thought and achieved in the last fifty years. And as a clarification to our loyal readers and customers, don’t get us wrong; we don’t intend to close our eyes to our current reality.

Of course we acknowledge, understand and have explained, with a lot of research, blood, profoundness and authenticity, in each and every corner of the island our trials, tribulations and successes as a modern society. For quite a long time, we have been discussing in all the most important forums the needs that call for swift, decisive and unreserved action; the anemic situation of our economic infrastructure, the erosion of Puerto Rico’s competitiveness, the government’s huge size, penetration and resilience, the corporation’s need to optimize its cost structure and the imperative task of concocting a cohesive agenda for jumpstarting socio-economic development.

Yes, we have a long way to go. As a society, as a democracy and as a nation we are at a crucial time in our history, and these times require hard work, discipline, sacrifice, talent, skills, knowledge, optimism, hope, solidarity and above all faith. Because those who preach that there is no light at the end of the tunnel; those prophets who foresee a total collapse of the economy; those prescient wizards who lack a profound sense of discernment and those who say that the game has ended, fail to factor-in the intangibles that are present in our social fabric and that time after time have helped us push forward.

We shall share with you the recipe to stop talking and start walking toward growth, enhanced prosperity and prevail against our current situation:

 

  • Commitment to a clear vision – We need to see ten years down the road, beyond that timeframe we would be dreaming with cobwebs and chimeras.
  • Keep everybody up – The family, the community, the enterprises and the government must share the responsibilities for enabling involvement so no one is left behind.
  • Roles must be clear and wide - Everybody must know what is expected from them, what are the things that need to be done and nobody can bail out, because we all are on the same boat.  
  • Organic collaboration and growth – It is fundamental to understand that if there is socio-economic development and wealth is created, everybody will benefit from it.
  • Develop knowledge and skills – These times demand that everybody engages in learning lifestyle, those who bank on formal education only will keep up for only eighteen months, and this game is lifelong.
  • Communicate the truth – If we talk about our most crude facts, and harsh realities, with respect and dignity, we start to understand the things that really need to be taken care of.
  • From mission impossible to mission possible – Our outlook on the future must shift from a “we cannot do it because… mentality”, to a “we need to do it because… mentality”.

We believe it can be done, we need to spread the word and we count with each and every one of you to help us.

Finally, we declare, pronounce and state to all believers and non-believers alike: The Game Begins Now!

God bless you all.


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