“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”
— Nelson Mandela
Just wait until you have children of your own and you will see what I am preaching to you about.”
A line that multiple generations have heard their parents say to them since time began. Something that time has continued to prove will always come to fruition.
Many in my generation are now not only parents but are becoming grandparents. As such, we have had to painstakingly guide our children through every phase of their lives. Perhaps even more painstakingly, we have had to navigate ourselves through the perils of parenthood.
On a grander scale, persons in my generation are now in the driver’s seat of almost every facet of Bermudian society. Whether it be as educators, the Civil Service, tradespersons, clergy, helping agencies or in the political arena, we have evolved into positions of not just influence but, more importantly, positions of ownership.
Ownership in the sense that we are accountable for steering our country in the direction that it needs to head. We simply do not have the luxury of pointing fingers at others and saying “It’s their fault” or “It is not my job”. For those of us who have been recently elected or re-elected, we are in these 36 seats not because of our own will and volition; we are here because 34,000 fellow Bermudians decided that each one of us was the person that they wish to represent their aspirations, desires and needs.
We have a moral responsibility to remain accountable to our individual constituencies and to our island home. Equally as important, we must remain in communication with both those who voted for us and those who did not.
So today as we walk into the hallowed halls of the House of Assembly, we must remember that we were not elected to engage in petty bickering over inconsequential issues. We were not elected to stand on a soapbox and repeat our own personal opinions over and over for 20 minutes.
We were elected on a mandate of improving the lives of all Bermudians by listening to their concerns, seeking their consensus and carrying out what is best for them.
None of us were forced into politics. Each of us decided to venture into this realm of responsibility and take ownership of our island home. Collectively, we must use our resources in both the public and private sectors to create governance that truly serves the many versus serving the few. Our fellow Bermudians demand and deserve nothing less.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org