Lisa Hanna: It's the small things that count
That there is much in Jamaica that needs fixing is a fact that few will dare to challenge. But amid all the negativity, there are a lot of positive things happening. And while we should not downplay the importance of highlighting and discussing the negatives with the aim of hammering out solutions, it is equally important to highlight positives as well, however small. How else will we fan the flames of hope among our fellow Jamaicans?
To that end, I would personally like to thank Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, for her role in making a recently held awards luncheon a memorable occasion for 16 impressionable youngsters.
A few weeks before the function, a letter was dispatched to the minister asking her to address the awardees and their parents at the function. As the organisers of the event, we were impressed with how quickly she furnished a positive response to our request.
On the day of the luncheon, we learned from Ms Hanna's representative that she would be attending another function before ours. While we were grateful that she would still be coming, we immediately began making adjustments to our programme to facilitate her late arrival. The minister, however, still managed to be very much on time.
The most heartening moment, however, came not too long after Ms Hanna's address, as she was preparing to leave for yet another function. Though pressed for time, she agreed to take a few pictures with our awardees. To say they were enthusiastic about being photographed with the minister of youth and culture herself would be an understatement.
At one point, I was fearful that Miss Hanna would lose her footing having come under fire from a 'barrage' of hugs. However, when we sought to 'rescue' her and bring the photo session to an end, the minister would have none of that and graciously agreed to take even more photos. All were delighted!
As I watched the children with their various gadgets, happily scrolling through the photos they had just taken with the minister, I had no doubt in my mind that this encounter, though brief, has significantly boosted their confidence and sense of self-worth.
It was Frank A. Clarke, an American politician who made this observation back in the mid-1800s, who said, "Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realising that life is made up of little things." I believe that Ms Hanna deserves commendation for seeing the value of spending some quality time with this small group of individuals. Her small gesture will have a lasting positive impact on these young minds.