Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 11th 2014 Contents This week, the chamber is
pleased to reproduce the an edited
version of the address delivered
by Chamber CEO Catherine
Kumar upon receipt of an Hon-
orary Doctor of Laws degree from
the University of the West Indies
on October 24, 2014.
It is my privilege to address you, the
2014 graduates of the Social Sciences
Faculty of the University of the West
Indies. I myself am a proud graduate
of this very faculty.
I am honoured, thrilled, grateful and hum-
bled that the University of the West Indies
selected me to receive this distinguished
Honorary Degree as a Doctor of Laws.
Today I want to focus on the three Cs:
choice, commitment and conscience.
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to be
a successful business leader. This was my
CHOICE. As a woman, I had many difficult
choices to make including, how to circum-
vent the glass ceiling.
I am where I am today, standing here
before you, because of the choices I have
made over the years; many, many choices.
The choice to study hard and not be overly
influenced by the party mood so that I could
graduate with honours. It feels like just yes-
terday, that I was wearing a similar gown.
Today, as it was for me, for you it is as
much a celebration of the end of one journey,
as it is about starting another. It is for this
reason the graduation ceremony is also called
On my graduation day, while Stephen
Covey s advice "to begin with the end in
mind" was not yet written, I knew it instinc-
tively. Do YOU know your destination point?
You can work very smart and get to a
destination only to find out there is not
where you wanted to be. Don t let circum-
stances rule you. You have to be in charge.
Of course, I made mistakes along the way
and so will you. But the choices you make
henceforth, will indeed determine your
Dream! Use your human imagination,
know your destination, write a plan and
follow it to achieve that dream, changing
the course as is necessary along the way.
There are many roads to take you to the
A degree is a great start, but it is neither
a magic wand nor mover of mountains.
Doors will not instantly open to the jobs or
businesses you want, nor do opportunities
you believe you deserve. Your COMMIT-
MENT must be steeped in passion and push
you to aggressively go after the goals you
set.Commitment means showing up in the
workplace, on time in spite of any challenges.
Commitment means delivering on or
ahead of time, keeping your word.
Commitment is taking pride in your work,
making it shine with the success you hope
Have you thought about the difference
between being "interested" in something
or being "committed" to that goal?
John Assaraf defines the difference this
way "if you are committed to something
you will do everything in your power to
make it happen. If you are only interested,
you will find excuses when the going gets
A scourge of entitlement seems to be
plaguing our land, and many of our new
graduates. Far too many walk through the
doors of business, degree in hand, expecting
success, unwilling to work a long day. In
some, I have seen commitment so lacking
that more time is spent on social media
than in toiling to deliver quality work on
time, or without excuses.
My father was tough on my eight siblings
and me. He was committed to our success
and we were constantly encouraged to stay
committed to our education and our dreams.
He taught us to work harder than we played.
Thanks to him, we are all professionals with
two lecturing right here at UWI.
Commitment is part of the magic formula.
It starts with the dream you envision and
continues with a commitment, to see it
through to the end.
Strive for the goals you set.
Commit to your dreams.
CONSCIENCE is the judgment that
assists in distinguishing right from wrong.
As you CHOOSE your journey and COM-
MIT to seeing it through, as a citizen of this
world I urge you to have a conscience.
We live in a world today, where giving
back seems to be something we leave to
DECEMBER 2014 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG17
T&T Chamber of
Industry and Commerce
CEO: Follow the three Cs...
Choice, commitment, conscience
others. The concept of making the world a better
place, let alone leaving it a better one, needs more
Conscience is not martyrdom. Conscience is vol-
unteering. It is giving back to your church, your com-
munity, helping those less fortunate than yourself,
opening doors for others, etc.
I say to you that a truly successful person, is one
who is known not only for reaching the pinnacle of
their business or profession but for the lives impacted
along the way.
I urge you to revive the conscience of your home-
Our society needs us if we have any hope of being
Success is conscience. Build and create your legacy
with a conscience so that it is filled with inspiration,
as it will be with financial means. Do it, so that you
are proud to say: "I too, walked here."
I urge you to grab hold of your future by using
these three Cs: choice, commitment and conscience.
You can build it out to Twitter s 140 characters as
there is a lot more one can add. It is my wish that
years from now, when called upon to impart a few
inspirational words to a graduating class, each of you
in this room today will be able to say "choice, com-
mitment and conscience helped me to audit my life
as I journeyed to success."
Don t be afraid of the big wide world as you are
already there through the World Wide Web. The
future of this world depends on each and every one
Congratulations once again.
When you get home write the words, "choice,
commitment, conscience" on something, put it across
your forehead, take a selfie and post it on Instagram.
Congratulations to all the other honorary graduants.
Thank you, my alma mater, for the conferment of
this honorary degree and the recognition of my con-
tribution to UWI and T&T.
God bless you all.
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