By Walt F.J. Goodridge
Summary: With its year-round tropical weather, world class shore diving and rich cultural diversity, Saipan is a destination worth discovering.
If you're like me, a title like "The Truth About [anything]" is a compelling one that makes you want to read more. I believe we all, on some level, yearn to know the truth. Especially if you've heard contrasting things about life on Saipan, it would be nice, once and for all, to get to the truth of it all, wouldn't it?
The truth is, however, there is no single truth about Saipan. In any attempt to uncover the truth, what we find are subjective perspectives, opinions and observations determined by individual agendas. Some agendas are simple: (eg. "I want to make everyone as miserable as I am"). Some agendas are complex. (eg. "We will organize a federal takeover, reshape it in our image, and make this an R&R [rest and relaxation] spot for the troops.")
Even the news media has an agenda. People joke that the media's motto is "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!" A good (i.e. salacious) story sells papers, magazines and advertising. Yes, the truth changes based on who is speaking and what they want out of life.
So, whether Saipan is a "Pacific paradise" or a "den of corruption" is all based on one's perspective and agenda. If you are a pessimist who wants people to wallow in your misery, then Saipan is one thing. If you're an optimist, bent on helping improve conditions, it's another. If you call yourself a "realist" (generally a pessimist in disguise), then things generally tend toward the negative with the disclaimer that you're just being real.
But that's all okay, because if you know a person's agenda, then everything they say and do makes sense (unless their agenda is specifically to confuse you about what their agenda is; or unless they're just crazy). And, if you know a person's agenda, then you won't be unduly misled by their claims to truth.
So, with that said, what's MY agenda? Here on Saipan--for my own selfish reasons--I'd like to maintain the cultural diversity, natural beauty, and uncomplicated lifestyle that I've come to love about living here.
But wait, there's more. There's also a part of my agenda that some may consider subversive, and that is to reveal the underlying deception of most modern ideals and belief systems, encourage a lifestyle that values simplicity and minimalism instead of consumerism, and excess, one that favors the natural over the artificial, and at the same time that honors everyone's right and freedom to choose whichever lifestyle works for them.
My goal is to help people arrive at a set of choices that creates a clean environment, promotes optimal health, safeguards the rights and freedoms of all, and offers an effective understanding of reality.
Every column I write, every website I launch, and every project I embark upon includes a combination of some or all of those agendas. But don't be misled. Remember my agenda. It's not my nature to focus on the negative, however "real" the realists say it is. People who harp on doom won't start businesses or see the opportunity in the "doom."
Even my facts are selectively offered based on my agenda and what I want you to see. Even though I strive for a 50-50 balance, I'll always tend to give at least 51 percent (accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative, as Bing Crosby sang) to aid the possibility of victory and the triumph of hope.
The Truth About Saipan
So, with that said, here is my truth about Saipan:
'Come See For Yourself!'
But, ultimately, the only way to discover the truth about Saipan is to come see for yourself! But it would be wise to heed the moral of this story:
Once upon a time, a person moved into a new town and asked one of the town residents, "What are the people in this town like?"
"What were the people like in the town you just left?" the resident asked in return.
The new person answered, "They were unfriendly and nasty."
And the town resident said, "I think you'll find the people here are just about the same."
Later, the same resident was approached by another new arrival, who asked the same question. Again, the resident asked, "What were the people like in the town you just left?"
The answer was "The people were warm and friendly." And the resident answered, "I think you'll find the people here are just about the same."
If this is your first introduction to Saipan, I hope you take the time to learn more and take the next step to Discover Saipan!
First Published: Nov 23, 2009