The way I see it, leaving a positive legacy is important. I am of the committed viewpoint that God placed each and every one of us in this world, for a specific purpose and that ultimately that purpose is to enhance the lives of others.
So, it is in our best interest to seek to discover the gifts and talents that God has endowed us with (all of us are blessed with at least one) and use them to his name’s honour and glory.
Now, be careful here, because it is not about self-exaltation and a glowing eulogy really makes no sense when you have not contributed to the welfare of humanity.
I reflected recently on my work life and I am still not convinced that I have done enough for humanity and I am asking God to help me to make a more meaningful contribution, before I make my eternal exit.
So, I started as a Public Health Inspector, a job that was hitherto looked down upon by the Academics within the society, but has since gained great status.
I was responsible for Charlestown and then Gingerland. As I reflected, some pleasant memories came to mind.
You see that pit latrine set in the middle of the Gingerland cemetery? Some people still think that it is a mere store room.
No siree Bob! I had it erected.
After numerous complaints from Mr. and Mrs. Boston Brookes (of blessed memory), that the cemetery workers were defecating right under their bedroom window, I instructed them to dig a pit hole and I got some used lumber and galvanize and got someone to construct a pit latrine for their use.
Since then, even persons who attend the funeral services, utilize it, when push comes to shove.
Well I newa!
Sadly, I visited it this morning and had a word with an official at Elliot’s funeral home and discovered that the latrine has outlived its purpose and era.
It is apparently filled and is more used now as a store room for the tools of the men.
I am committed to speaking with Mr. Huie Sargeant, PS of Agriculture and suggest to him that in this modern era, proper toilet facilities (modern) should be constructed on site for the workers and persons attending funeral services.
You know the Pump Station at Fothergills?
Well, there was a time that that station did not have toilet facilities and after the incessant complaints of Thomas Merchant, I wrote to the Head of the Water Department and instructed that a toilet facility be constructed. I remember even placing in the letter, ‘even a pit latrine,’ as I pointed out that there should be no working environment, without toilet facilities.
We expected a pit latrine. They got a flush toilet!
There are two other incidents that stand out too.
I remember when I visited a certain home in Gingerland and at that home was a man, his wife and an 11 year old daughter. No toilet. The wife explained that they all frequented the bushes.
I spoke to the gentleman and he literally huffed me off. He could not care less about health laws and regulations. This is how he had lived and this is how he was going to continue to live. He literally told me to do what I want.
Well I newa!
Before I wrote him an official citation, I decided to speak to him one more time. The meeting started on a rocky footing, as he remained adamant that he was not going to change his lifestyle.
However, during the conversation, I touched a sensitive area. I happened to say something like: ‘Well, if you don’t even care for yourself, think about your eleven year old daughter. You really want her to be using the bushes?’
Within a week, the man had constructed a spanking brand new pit latrine for his home.
He is dead now. His wife is still alive and the daughter is married and now enjoys the comfort of a home with a flush toilet.
In another village, there was a man with a much larger family. Now, he had four or five daughters. I insisted that he should get a latrine and told him of the dangers of using the bushes. He did no curse me but kept procrastinating.
One day, he came looking for me. He needed help in acquiring the latrine fittings.
Why the sudden change?
A man who lived neighbourly, had followed one of his daughters as she went into the bushes and as she removed her clothing, he pounced. The girl managed to escape unharmed but that father had a latrine in his yard, within a two weeks period!
There are more stories but then I moved on to Social Security.
Just before I applied to work at Social Security, I knew absolutely nothing about the scheme. I was one who got upset about the fact that they were deducting money from my salary. For what?
In applying for the position, I went out of my way to read up on the scheme and learn as much as I could about the institution.
I remember that during my interview, one of the board members remarked that he was impressed with my knowledge of the scheme.
Poor he did not know that it was all newly acquired.
However, when I was given the opportunity to work as an Inspector and having resigned to the fact that it was an important feature of any society, I decided that the general public must get the same knowledge as well.
Within my first month of employment, I had convinced my bosses about the need for the now popular program ‘Social Security Five and ran it singlehandedly in its first phase.
Later, following up on a suggestion from Mr. Charles Bussue, I further convinced them of the need for a television program and so ‘Social Security and You,’ came on stream.
Of course, along with the talented Chesil MARK THE FIRST Hamilton, we created a host of meaningful jingles for the institution, with Chesil allowing me to lead eventually, as he stated that he had WRITER’S BLOCK.
I was late referred to as ‘the face of Social Security.’ Maybe not the best looking face, but a face nonetheless.
Happy to see that the legacy continues in my absence.
There were also two instances which I will mention at this time.
I spoke to my friend AUGUST and told him to register as a Self-employed person and reap the benefits later. He told me that he preferred to manage his own money.
Sometime after, he got into a terrible truck accident and called me to his bedside and told me to tell him about the benefits again.
The day he came out of hospital, he signed up and he lived to reap benefits, prior to his untimely death.
There is another gentleman who met me about three weeks ago and told me ‘Thanks, thanks, thanks.’
I asked him ‘for what?’
He reminded me that many years ago, I had approached him about registering as a self-employed person. I remember now that he huffed me off. In his opinion, Social Security was a nasty scheme, ‘only talking people money.’
Why was he so elated now?
He had received a letter asking him to go to the Social Security office. He was approaching his 62nd birthday and there was a pension in the offing.
Since then I met him and his smile was wide as the whole of Charlestown. ‘I got my first pension,’ he said. ‘Now I can go States to visit my family.’
If someone had given me a million dollars, I could not have been happier!
Then of course, I invested in a video camera since 1989 and have been providing the people of Nevis and beyond with sports stories and relevant video footage ever since.
Then there was my brief stint as a member of my beloved Credit Union’s board and the many jingles I created to promote their efforts there.
Now in the twilight of my working life, I still feel inadequate. I don’t think I have done enough. I am still asking God to show me the way to do more.
I also realize that unlike other persons who charge for every favour that they are asked to do, I still do a lot of FREE work. I think that I am WUK ‘E NUTTEN’S first cousin!
Sometimes I just wish I had the money to help more people in need…..
The sobering fact is that, after all that I have accomplished thus far, by God’s grace, it is totally meaningless, if I don’t find a place in heaven at last. It would have only made for a great eulogy and nothing else!
So, my dear reader, we need to seek God and live in accordance with his will and his way and help others in the process.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?