An Idea for Puerto Rico’s Recovery

Today, driving through several ravaged towns throughout the central region of our gorgeous island several thoughts kept swishing through our minds as we pondered the destruction and devastation caused by María. The flora will grow again, strong and beautiful, and our fauna will return plentiful; but the question that kept circling in our conversation was, what about the economy.

We didn’t come up with a clever answer, nor will I present an esoteric list of themes we hear from everyone (e.g. Gingrich). Nope. I only have one thought, perhaps one idea that I truly think each and everyone of us can implement right away.

If as a result of the destruction that María caused we truly want to build a better PR, I believe there is something each can start doing at once. This will shake our core, but will build a stronger PR. It will help build a sturdy foundation that will defend us and steer us clear from making some of the same mistakes we now see evident everywhere we look. It’s so simple you may miss it.

Everyone can asume responsibility for selecting, hiring and promoting only those employees, suppliers, and vendors that truly meet but the highest standards of merit and show proof of qualifications. If we focus on hiring and promoting based on strong work ethics, dedication, qualifications, values and virtues, as well as proven experience, and immediately fire, dismiss, rescind, and stop using or relying on “palas”, “padrinos”, and “panismo”, and all other forms of corruption significant amount of costly and unforgivable errors and omissions will be reduced, corruption won’t disappear but strong character will deter it and make it public, the levels of wasted time and resources will diminish, productivity, innovation and morale will flourish, end to end times will shrink, quality will improve, and as a result we will have a much prosperous Puerto Rico.

It’s a small thing that everyone can do, at every level, from the purchase of a single item at a corner store to hiring and awarding massive government contract.

Chose and reward merit, not friendship, family connections, high school buddies, or amazing yet shallow, hollow and irrelevant social skills. How much better it will be if the best candidate or vendor also happens to be a wonderful character. Otherwise, in the wake of María what is evident now that the tide receded and is showing us all the vulnerabilities and imperfections, much of the suffering, loss and despair could had been avoided if we had hired and contracted qualified professionals, avoided wasting billions in contracts to unqualified friends and relatives, acted on our willful disregard and didn’t turn a blind eye towards all those wrong around us

Then perhaps, I think, maybe we wouldn’t find ourself where we are today in the aftermath of María.

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