It's Father's Day! To celebrate, we asked some well-known Jamaican men to reflect on their fathers — from their favourite sayings to the valuable lessons taught.
1. The best lesson your father taught you?
Never worry about things you can’t control.
2. Your father's favourite saying?
He doesn’t have a favourite saying, but he would say 'toweng' whenever he spits, and everyone knows him for this!
3. Your favourite memory of your father?
My father is never one to show emotions, however, the morning my mother passed away I ran to tell him what had happened and for the first that I can remember, my father hugged me and said to me, 'everything is going to be all right'. That made a world of difference to me at that moment and I did believe that I would be OK.
1. The best lesson my father taught me is to value every individual. He taught me the importance of inter personal skills and how critical it is to be able to relate to multiple personas, and in a manner that they all feel comfortable in your presence. His nick name in a number of circles is 'friend,' and watching him relate to all, being a friend to all and able to manoeuvre multiple spaces truly impacted on me and made me try to model him. This has tremendously helped me through life and in fact, in my political journey has been one of my greatest strengths.
2. “I love weekends.”
3. My best memory is the first time my father attended one of my political meetings. I still remember the pride I felt that my father was there supporting me. One of the few times I got the chance to thank him for all that he has done to take me this far.
1. Always told me to respect my elders.
2. Him singing the country and western version of Red Wine.
3. 'Kiss everybody for me' or 'How mi stay?'
1. He was very big on maintaining integrity — keeping promises, being on time, honesty and generally being above reproach. He believed in honest, hard work which he always said was never something to be ashamed of, no matter what that job entailed.
2. 'My integrity is not for sale'.
3. I played a lot of sports mainly football and cricket, but he would never ever mention anything to me directly or even let me know he had attended matches. He would never mention anything afterwards to give away the fact that he had been there. But every once in a while, I would catch a glimpse of him up in the stands inconspicuously among the crowd and it made me feel proud and excited to know he was there to watch me play. That is my best memory of my father — that moment when I spotted him in the crowd.
1. Listen more, talk less and never speak when you are angry.
2. 'Don't ask someone to do what you would never do yourself.'
3. He was a simple guy with a quiet confidence. As a child, on our many drives through rural Jamaica on weekends, he would tell us about Cuba before his family immigrated to Kingston in 1930, and pre and post Independent Jamaica. Those conversations still ring in my head and shaped my love for culture, entertainment and nature.
1. The best lesson my father taught me was to always value honesty and integrity.
2. He didn’t have a favourite saying!
3. Best memory was family outings every Sunday.
1. The best lessons my father has taught me are the value of family and maintaining a close bond to my siblings and relatives; placing personal integrity above all else and the importance of giving back to society. I have also learnt from him that actions more than words are the most important guide in setting an example for others to follow. So,
as a father, we learnt more from what he did than what he said.
2. I don't think he has a favourite saying.
3. My best memories of my dad are the unqualified support he has given me in everything I have done. From watching every football and cricket match I played at school to his support for the work that I currently do.
1. My dad had an expression that he used to repeat to various business guests at the dinner table over the years. It usually came up when somebody regarding his job or responsibility did not deliver the work promised. So, rather than quarrelling, my dad would say: "It's really quite simple. It's either can do or no can do." I often repeat this expression in dealing with various business matters and even personal ones too.
2. 'What's the matter with you?'
3. There are so many. But one that stands out is when he was perhaps 91 years old playing tennis with some pros and standing just over the net hitting balls back and forth stinging to pros with hard hit balls. It took guts for the opposition to stand up against him. But it was more an expression of humour.
1. Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Live each day as if it was your last one.
3. Playing basketball with him in our backyard.