Monday, June 29, 2009

The Spirit of Optimism

Talifaitasi W. Satele

A close relative once gave me his perspective of what it means to be the cook for one’s family or village. He said that even if you slaved all day preparing food for the President of the United States, it is the cook, not the President, who gets to eat first. After all, someone has to taste the food before it gets served.

His point of view reminded me of something very unique about the Samoan Culture. Those who practice our culture always seem to have the trait to make lemonade out of lemons. I sometimes want to call it arrogance, but it’s more a combination of unrelenting pride, appreciation of life and a strong dose of optimism.

With the canneries closing, I think we’re missing that sort of inspiration from our leaders. All I hear from the top are numbers and models and mystical multipliers that, even as a self-proclaimed economist, I’m left rather uninspired by anything the ASG or the Congressman has had to offer in the way of solutions so far.

Our leaders are always quick to suggest that we return to our roots when it comes to our economic way of life (which is unrealistic). I very respectfully suggest to our leaders to return to that Samoan spirit of optimism that our people need in these very difficult times.

The departure of COS could either be an opportunity or a loss. Like they say, the choice is ours to make.