Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Freundel Stuart. (FP)
A government minister is calling on Barbadian youth to adopt positive attitudes, build self-confidence and work towards the actualisation of their dreams.
Addressing a wellness workshop held by Loving Arms Organisation and the Dayrells Road Community, Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Freundel Stuart, told participants that "self confidence is where it all starts. If you don’t have that, everything else comes crumbling down".
Pointing to the important role of self-confidence in the achievement of success, Mr. Stuart said "it has to do with how you perceive yourself, since there is potential in every one of us to accomplish our goals".
According to him, the success of individuals in Barbados was often based on the premise of their educational background, rather than on their current achievements or direct contribution to society.
He advised: "Do not allow yourself to be stymied by discussions as unhelpful as those regarding which educational institution someone went to. All knowledge is important, no matter where you get it from.
"It is not the compound on which you are educated that will make the difference in the long run, it is what our young people are prepared to put into their studies, how they are preparing to craft their dreams and work towards the realisation of those dreams," added Mr. Stuart.
Another misconception embraced by society is that "if you have a child or you find yourself in a position where you belong to the so-called manual labouring class, you are somehow inferior to those who belong to the mental labouring class". The Attorney General regarded this as "another deadly form of illiteracy", responsible for undermining the confidence of the youth.
"No matter what kind of work you do, you are a mental labourer as well. We have imbibed a lot of these myths and made them part of our stock and trade, and allowed them to influence how we relate to one another," said Minister Stuart.
"The time has come in the year 2009 for us to revisit some of these fears, expose them for the fraudulent theories that they are and construct a new set of relationships based on equality, rather than on the emphasis on difference," he stressed.
The Attorney General dispelled further notions of low esteem by reinforcing the point that "there is gold in every one of us", and he encouraged the youth to strive for their maximum potential, regardless of the extent or triviality of their task.
Also in attendance was Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who delivered brief remarks to launch the workshop that would provide training in building confidence and self-esteem, wellness and youth, preparation for the world of work, building a community spirit and entrepreneurship and self-employment.