I remember hearing the Chamorro economic strategy of doing things of “little by little.” That is actually a good strategy, especially when taking on a big task. There is no doubt the task at hand now for the governor is to literally turn the adversity created by Ralph into prosperity for the people. But too often when people are hit with adversity they surrender to and even sometimes drown in the adversity, never thinking about how to reverse the situation—a give-in or give-up attitude. There is often no magic economic pill, no investor to save us all or anything that can immediately create the conditions for a complete reversal, but I feel confident in saying that our new governor is nothing like the previous one and that there is real hope for things to be turned around. However, this is where the Chamorro strategy of “little by little” becomes so important, as committing to small efforts to change things often collectively turn into big changes. It is critical that we (the CNMI) start working little by little on fixing the old and creating the new things to rebuild our economy.
Turning adversity into prosperity is more about the mindset of those who are challenged than their ability, which is why we see some people just give up, even when their life is at stake, because it requires thinking and doing outside the box, but in economics it’s referred to as breaking and creating paradigms. There is a world of unfinished economic-related issues that Ralph didn’t address or complete, as he was working on restoring Garapan for both of his terms and it’s still not finished. It is critical for our economic present and future to begin work on rebuilding our economy now as the trust the governor wanted has already been restored with his election and I’m sure he’s not going to do anything to change that fact.
There is no doubt that we, as a people, are facing genuine adversity. However, by taking on the smaller projects left undone or never started, our economy can begin to start shoring up itself, little by little. We must now try to turn adversity into prosperity, little by little.
Ambrose M. Bennett
Kagman IIII, Saipan