As I examine the history of Belize, I notice a shift from determinate optimism to indeterminate pessimism.
During the fight for independence in the 1940s and 1950s, the majority of the population was sure that if they took political control of Belize, things would be much better. This was demonstrated by the vigor and vitality of the nationalist movement.
By the 1980s after independence, things had changed. Independence did not bring milk and honey to all. Life did improve somewhat, but people noticed that Belizeans replaced the British, and social stratification was similar to colonial times.
The outlaw developed as the breadwinner for many marginalized families. Politicians and criminals had a relationship that was unnatural.
Whatever a people believes becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, because life is both determinate and indeterminate simultaneously; it is probabilistic.
If you work hard toward a goal, there is a good chance that you will achieve that goal. If you believe life is uncertain and hedge your bet, then by diffusing your efforts, things become more uncertain.
Even Belize’s politicians’ approach to development is pessimistic and indeterminate. It is not like Singapore, China or Israel, where virtually everyone knows the plan and believes in its inevitable success.
Good leadership is about motivating others to make a commitment, but can a person do that if he or she is not dedicated (optimistic and certain)?
Brian Ellis Plummer