Sat | Oct 1, 2016

What's our leaders' inspiration?

Published:Monday | February 8, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

The longer one stays away, the more unreasonable it seems to adopt a prescriptive posture on what ails Jamaica.The backseat driver can be a nuisance at best, or a dangerous distraction at worst, and the same is true of the overseas oracles who often give the impression that merely living abroad is itself some special qualification. It is not.

Alongside though, are the genuine interest in nation building and regret, perhaps, at the unintended and extended absence.

It is in this latter spirit that I proffer a thought on leadership, inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela, and partially depicted in the film, Invictus. As terrific as the film is, it pales in comparison to what we know to be the reality. But it offers tremendous insight into what kept him sane in a jail cell for 27 years and inspired him, later, to lead a deeply fractured nation from a position of forgiveness and hope rather than bitterness. He cited the works of others before him, immortalised in great writings such as the poem Invictus and constantly repeated the final lines: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."

I watched the movie and wondered: What is Bruce Golding's and/or Portia Simpson Miller's philosophy of leadership? What is the framework within which they seek to build a nation and to inspire a people to follow?

I am, etc.,

Dr GRACE VIRTUE

gvirtue@usa.net

Silver Spring, Maryland