Letters

When the student is ready, the teacher will come

Dear Editor,

Push pause! I remember in 2015 when the students returned to school in the middle of the week from summer break. They were out of control.

It seemed they had forgotten everything over the break.

The following Monday, I called an impromptu assembly with the entire school with one salient message: “Push pause!”

I reminded them that we needed to restart the school year by going back to the basics: “We are a Christian school; here we honor our elders; here, we act as students.”

That reset the tone for the new school year. It was based on returning to the old foundation.

As a nation, we need to push pause. A lot is coming at us and there is a lot to do, but we cannot achieve lasting success without God – a lesson our forefathers taught us.

Our ancestors, trapped in slavery, prayed for deliverance and God delivered. Our ancestors, trapped in an oppressive political system, prayed for deliverance and God delivered. So what makes us think we can throw off God and take it from here?

In the book of Esther, a king paused. One night, God moved on the king to read the ancient books. In them he discovered that Mordecai, the man that his personal adviser, Haman, was trying to destroy, was the same man who had exposed a plan to assassinate the king.

Needless to say, Mordecai was honored and Haman destroyed on the very gallows he had set for Mordecai.

Where am I going with this? “Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is God’s purpose that will stand”. You cannot continue being your own counselor and doing it your own way. And how is that working out for you?

Change is a constant in these times and even worse, the change we are now experiencing is accelerated.

We are each challenged to manage change daily in our personal, professional and national lives and, without godly counsel and God’s timeless word to guide us, we are doomed to repeat the same vicious cycles and call it success.

Chris Comeaux advises that “as individuals, and especially as leaders, we must have a firm grasp on our cause and purpose in order to direct our intentions, our actions, our habits”.

We, as a people, and national leaders especially, all need to revisit, reflect and restore the principles upon which this nation was founded. We cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I propose we revisit the white papers of old that were created by our nation’s brilliant minds that are presently gathering dust.

Do you remember the white papers or policy documents produced by former administrations that set out proposals for future legislation that never really came to fruition?

These papers provided a strategic course of action for our nation. What if we were to merge these ideas with the plans of today and create a national plan, not a politically partisan plan, that we can all buy into?

This will require the engagement of every stakeholder with influence in our nation whether it be the church, the government, the academic, the civic and the corporate communities.

I conclude with another quote from Comeaux: “I often talk about the importance of remaining in the ‘learning mode’. I believe that, regardless of our status, title, age, wisdom, training, etc., staying in the learning mode means that we are consistently curious, teachable, and open to learning even more. It positions us to remain in a state of humility and teachability so that we truly never stop growing and learning. It disarms others and creates environments in which everyone can thrive and continue growing.”

A word to the wise is sufficient.

 Alicia Brennen-Brathwaite

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