Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Henry Teaches Us a Lesson
We spent a good part of Tuesday exploring Grand Cayman Island. Part of the day was spent in a tour bus operated by a Latino named Henry. It seemed odd to me at first that Henry spoke so lovingly of the Cayman Islands and that he stressed as much as he did the economic health of the nation and that it was due to an adherence to capitalism. It was nice to hear, but was unusual in that tour guides typically speak mostly about the sights to see and the things to do in their area.
The Caymans have lovely waters to snorkel in and, I’m sure many other wonderful features of which I am not personally aware. There was an interesting turtle farm that we toured in the morning and in the afternoon we took a boat out to ‘Stingray City‘ and snorkelled among the numerous stingrays that congregate in the area for free food. Tourists feed the stingrays from buckets of squid that are brought by tour operators for that purpose. In addition, there are lovely hotels, beautiful homes and charming people everywhere. This is all very nice, but really nothing unusual in the Caribbean.
It was only after listening to Henry for an hour or so, that I put it all together. He started comparing the Caymans to Cuba. I realized then that Henry himself, or at least family or friends of his, had some direct experience with life in Cuba. I suspect that Henry might have grown up in there. His English wasn’t that good, he still spoke with a heavy Spanish accent. Henry, it seems, knows that capitalism means opportunity and prosperity and that communism means hopelessness and economic stagnation. He should tour our North American universities and explain these facts of life to the academics there who think that a Marxist utopia is still somehow possible.
I am spending a lot of time speaking to my son, sometimes just listening as he explains to me, as if I am hearing these gems for the first time, what he has just read in the book ‘Rich Kid, Smart Kid,’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki. My son is determined (until he decides to become a monk or a beach bum instead) that he is going to build a business empire. I am encouraging him to learn all about money and how to make it work for you. I want him to be able to avoid all the mistakes I have made over the years. When I started in business, I had nothing, knew nothing, and very nearly accomplished nothing. I had to learn the hard way. Now, I enjoy being able to pass on what I have learned to my son. For the moment, he still thinks I know what I am talking about.
Next stop is Cozumel, Mexico.