EXCLUSIVE: Sint Maarten’s Path Forward: Reclaiming Our Values for a Brighter Future by David Salomon

** Exclusively on SXM Talks, articles by David Salomon **

About the author: David Salomon is a dedicated citizen of Sint Maarten with a passion for improving his community. By partnering with SXM Talks, David aims to engage and inspire action through his writings, focusing on raising standards, advocating for accountability, and guiding practical change. His work is a call to action for Sint Maarteners to unite in enhancing their island’s future.


Sint Maarten’s Path Forward: Reclaiming Our Values for a Brighter Future

PHILIPSBURG – As Sint Maarten finds itself in the aftermath of recent elections, the air is thick with anticipation and reflection. My journey, both as a candidate and as a concerned citizen, has offered me a unique vantage point from which to observe our beloved island’s pulse. Through countless conversations, observing daily life, and reflecting on our shared experiences, one truth has emerged with clarity: the urgent need for a return of morals and values within our society.

The Present: A Reflection on Our Current State

Sint Maarten stands at a crossroads, marred by challenges that affect the very fabric of our daily lives. The deteriorating state of our infrastructure, the frequent power outages, the relentless traffic, and the unsustainable healthcare system paint a picture of a society struggling to meet its basic needs. At the same time, a surge in foreign investment has transformed our landscape, with high-end hotels and condos popping up left right and center, often at the expense of local well-being and without offering real benefits to our community.

The Past: Lessons from Our History

Our current predicament is not without precedent or explanation. The lucrative allure of tourism has, over time, shaped us into a society increasingly focused on individual gain, overshadowing the collective good. This shift, significantly influenced by the legacy of leaders like Claude Wathey and external capitalist models, has led us away from a foundation built on shared values and common goals. Unlike the Netherlands in the early 1600’s, which found strength and prosperity through unity, education, and technological advancement, we find ourselves divided, chasing fleeting successes at the cost of our communal well-being.

The Future: Envisioning a United Path

The vision for Sint Maarten’s future is ambitious yet entirely within our reach. It calls for a transformative shift towards becoming a beacon of innovation, sustainability, and unity in the Caribbean. However, the realization of this vision demands more than economic strategies and policy reforms; it requires a fundamental realignment with our core values.

Reclaiming Our Values: A Collective Call to Action

This is a call to every self-identifying Sint Maartener to engage in a profound introspection about the type of future we desire for our island. It’s a plea for a return to the values that foster a healthy, thriving community:

Accountability: Taking responsibility for our actions and their impact on our society.

Honesty & Integrity: Being truthful and ethical in our dealings, embodying the trust we seek to restore in our leadership and among ourselves.

A Will to Learn & Work Hard: Embracing continuous learning and dedicating ourselves to diligent work, not for individual gain, but for the collective good.

Kindness, Caring, & Respect: Treating each other with compassion and dignity, building a community where everyone feels valued and supported.

All these are just some of the values that if held in high regard would lead to better decision-making on all levels. To further embed these principles into the fabric of our community, it is imperative that the government spearheads a values-driven campaign. This initiative would aim to instill and reinforce the right values among the population, ensuring that each Sint Maartener not only understands but lives by these guiding principles.

From the Top Down and the Bottom Up

While it is crucial for these values to be exemplified by our leaders, true change is reciprocal (from both sides). It must also surge from the grassroots, from everyone’s commitment to embodying these principles in daily life. Only then can we forge a society that excels not just in economic metrics but in the quality of life and mutual respect.

Conclusion: A Unified Journey Towards a Promising Horizon

As we embark on this journey towards reclaiming our identity and realigning with our foundational values, let us remember that the strength of Sint Maarten lies in our diversity and our unity. By choosing to embrace a future grounded in shared values and collective aspirations, we can transform our society into one that not only provides for its citizens but also sets a shining example of resilience, innovation, and compassion in the Caribbean and beyond.

Together, let’s choose to build a Sint Maarten that thrives on integrity, hard work, respect, and a deep-seated sense of community. It’s time to chart a new course, guided by the values we hold dear, towards a future filled with promise and prosperity for all.

By David Salomon