Saturday, November 18, 2006
Out-migration is a symptom of something deeper.
This is an article in this weeks independant. Not sure if it is an editorial or a OP-ED piece either way he hits on some good points and highlights why some of the disenting voices should look within themselves before speaking out.
Harry Tucker of Bell Island
returned to Newfoundland
four years ago from New
York, where he provided
strategic and tactical IT
guidance to the largest firms
on Wall Street. Tucker, 41,
moved to the St. John’s
area to try and turn things around; he had
visions of making a difference “on a larger
scale.” Today, he and his family are preparing
to move back to the States. Tucker says he
couldn’t overcome the “victim mentality,” the
“can’t-do” attitude. “I don’t want my kids growing
up in a place that believes it is defeated.” Tucker
says he will return to visit, but not to live. “I
wouldn’t even retire here.”
By Harry Tucker
The media is abuzz these days
over allegations of conflict of
interest regarding the government
intention to invest in a new
fibre-optic link with the mainland.
Before the fuss over this development,
we were bombarded by the supposed
disaster brought on by outmigration.
As we continue to lament
about how opportunity continues to
pass by the province for greener pastures
elsewhere, how can we be sure
that we are not manifesting that which
we so vehemently complain about?
It seems that people often complain
about lack of opportunity here. When
opportunity is presented, the same
people complain that they don’t like it
for one reason or another. They never
offer suggestions to make an opportunity
better — they passionately want
the current opportunity to be killed.
If the opportunity is killed, this allows
them to revert back to their original
complaint that nothing good happens
here. This is victim mentality, plain
If I were an investor viewing
Newfoundland from abroad, I would
see the province as a place where
opportunity is not embraced — conflict
is the preferred model. If many
people here focus on the downside of
every opportunity and fight it as
strongly as we appear to be fighting
each one, how do we set ourselves up
as a shining light for investors to think
about investing here? I posit that we
are creating our own reality and, in
fact, have mastered the ability to do
People refer to out-migration as a
big evil demon that needs to be
stopped. Out-migration is a symptom
of another problem. That problem is lack of
opportunity for people, young and old, to follow
their ambitions from the perspective of their
careers, their families and their long-term interests.
Lack of opportunity is not the only reason,
however. If you have a friend who constantly
complains and laments about how sad their life is,
you tend to want to spend less time with them as
they drain the energy out of you.
On a larger scale, if you are a forward-thinking
individual who wants to cultivate opportunities
wherever possible and you are surrounded by
people who prefer to stay mired in negativity, you
choose to disassociate yourself from those people,
even if it means you need to leave your province.
This represents a symptom of an even larger
problem. That problem is the reluctance of many
people to embrace an outlook of abundance and
prosperity. When a new idea comes to light, I
rarely hear people say, “Let’s get it done,” or “It’s
not bad, but we can improve it by doing this.”
I do not see collective intelligence strive to
make the idea the best one possible nor do I see
energy invested in making the idea stronger. I see
people invest their energy into shooting the idea
down, with the amazing knack of manifesting an
infinite number of ideas as to why something
should be stopped instead of why the idea must be
allowed to grow. Imagine the opportunities that
would exist if we could put the same energy into
supporting, incubating and improving proposals
as we do in promoting the death of ideas.
Now people are criticizing Premier Danny
Williams’ contacts as far as the fibre-optic opportunity
is concerned. Like it or not, in the real
world of business, you are only as powerful and
capable as the network you are a member of.
This is a fact of business life and it is how business
gets done. If I were investing the province’s
money into such a project, I would rather do it
with people that I know and have confidence in
rather than invest money in a complete stranger.
The Sprung greenhouse comes to mind.
I would suggest to people who excel at generating
idea killers (private citizens, government
representatives, etc.) to hold their tongue and follow
the golden rule of “don’t criticize an idea
unless you have a way of making that idea better.”
It is easy to be critical of anything. It is much
more difficult, albeit much more productive, to be
critical of an idea because you see a shortcoming
that needs to be shored up in order to help the idea
be even more assured of success.
I returned home four years ago from New
York to contribute to the local economy. In several
weeks, I will have returned to New York for
good. Why are we (and many people I associate
with) leaving? We are leaving because we feel
that many in this province do not want success
and this is contrary to our outlook that opportunity
for success exists everywhere.
I would suggest that we keep the law of attraction
in mind. We do indeed receive what we
focus on the most. This is not a mystical law
steeped in silly, ancient lore. When we promote an
atmosphere of positive-idea generation, strong
investment opportunity, forward thinkers and
excellent business opportunity, we will attract
others with ideas and money who want a piece of
that action. This causes the opportunities to
expand and multiply, creating wealth and opportunities
in turn. The process feeds on itself and
grows faster than anyone can keep up with it.
If we choose to be a culture that complains
about everything, criticizes everything that happens
and looks for the stake-in-the-heart that will
kill every idea, then the message we send out is
“stay away, your ideas, investment capital and
energy are not welcome here.” We then architect
the very thing we spend so much time complaining
So the next time a new idea is presented to the
public, think about this. Our actions and our
words will either contribute to the success or the
failure of that idea. Your actions and response to
that idea will produce a result, good or bad.
Which result do you want to be responsible for?
It is easy to be responsible for failure. Being
responsible for success is much more difficult, but
the rewards are much greater.
Harry Tucker (A New Yorker in a
Newfoundlander’s body), Topsail (soon to be
New York, again; this time by choice)
While I can empathize with Mr Tucker about alot of our internal politics. I feel there are serious deficiencies and draw backs keeping NL down by being apart of canada the way it presently exists and treats NL.
As an aside read the entire commentary by Mr Harper which commonly gets quoted as "Culture of defeat"
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