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Andrea Christian – local author

Cayman News Service

“Speaking Freely” by Andrea Christian

Excerpt from “Speaking Freely”: Chapter 3 ‘Mental Evolution for our Mental Revolution’

…Distribution of universal rights means there is no price for using the rights and no one is forced to exercise their rights. We have the right to vote but in Cayman it is not mandatory.

Freedom of speech includes the right to be silent.

Rights cannot be bought and sold. This is important because we can then at least try to put in place the checks and balances on the market to preserve values that are not denominated in dollars.

As an aside and a timely example, let’s consider some reasons for universal rights. Traditionally, the rationale for public interference with any aspect of the free market and provision of public services, has normally been because of the interests of third parties. As we contemplate the privatization of certain government services/authorities, we need to hold leaders accountable too because some services cannot be left to private enterprise. There is no way to ensure the benefits will be channeled to the buyers and away from the non-buyers.

Therefore as an important right, universal suffrage, the right to vote, if someone can literally buy our votes, he/she can buy part of our dignity, he/she can buy power over us. Clearly, by forbidding rights to be sold, society is encroaching on our freedom, but it is also protecting us from others who might want to take our rights away.

Again, we must always remember, we are living in a capitalist society and although we know that normally money cannot buy rights directly, it can buy services that in effect produce more or better rights. So the more we increase efficiency (seeking more), then we should have access to more money and more opportunities but therein lies the issue. It may be argued that efficiency and equality are not the same.

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Our dignity and respect may mean some mental shifts.

We would have to fall away from group mentality to ensure leaders are held accountable and others will understand unethical, unfair and self-serving corrupt acts will not be tolerated.

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Until Caymanians see the power in unity and not simply look at the system through fearful or greedy lens, any personal gains will only be temporary. I say that because as Caymanians embrace, the already flawed capitalist system and persons with whom they perceive as no threat are controlling the system; others may quickly acquire the same universal rights and a new minority in charge of the capitalist democracy may actually emerge.

I am convinced that as long as ‘native’ Caymanians are not helping each other when justified, they’re indirectly helping others, in some shape or form.

The mere act of gaining political independence will not be enough to ensure a lack of discriminatory treatment or unequal distribution of different forms of income, about which many now complain. The United Kingdom itself have citizens seeking independence from the European Union and even within its borders, as demonstrated when Scotland went to the polls but resulted in its unsuccessful independence.

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More about Andrea Christian

  • born and raised Caymanian, mother of 12 year-old son
  • avid reader by age of 10, especially of Nancy Drew series
  • trained teacher and attorney
  • started writing in 1995 initially planing to do a romance novel but over time felt compelled to raise questions about social, political and religious ideas in the form of a series
  • owned and operated a tutoring and educational centre that focused on teaching using local arts, crafts, flora, fauna and heritage sites. The centre was called The HOPE (HELPING OTHERS PURSUE EDUCATION) Centre in 1998 and renamed KayCees Educational Centre in 2011.
  • started children’s series to engage children and parents in discussion of various attitudes and issues affecting children
  • author’s page on Amazon
  • author’s FaceBook page – Books by Andrea Christian

Works completed to date and available online and for now from the author directly are as follows:

1. KayCee, A Cayman Crab – book #1 in children’s series

2, Eruption in Paradise – book #1

Clash in Paradise – book #2

Secretly Woven in Paradise – #3

Vengeance in Paradise in Paradise – #4

The first four books in the adult series based on revelations by the protagonist, ‘Blaise’, who works as an undercover photographer/private investigator who discovers many secrets in paradise.

3. Speaking Freely is the first book and foundation for future edition of personal essays on identity, use of symbols, social and political influences and experiences as a Caymanian mother, employee and concerned citizen.

The first three books in the adult series were published in 2009 and self-published on Amazon in 2014, with the other books. The author’s goal is to provoke views, ideas and maybe solutions to some of the issues we all face in any society in the form of stories using many aspects of Cayman’s indigenous animals and landscape.