Fine examples set by Mrs Cherry Williams and Mr Anthony Murray
FROM time to time we have reason in this space to comment on the impact individuals can have, not just for the good of themselves, relatives and friends, but for the wider community and society.
Too often, Jamaicans are inclined to simply go through the motions, convinced that they are in no position to make a difference.
Stories in yesterday's Sunday Observer of Mrs Cherry Williams, a sanitation worker at the Dunn's River Falls in St Ann, and Mr Anthony Murray, principal of Lethe Primary School in St James provide yet more proof of the difference individuals can make if they push for the extra mile in service of others.
This newspaper and, we suspect, readers as well feel uplifted by Mrs Williams' assertion that she loves her job and does it "to the best of my ability". Further, she says, she finds her job "rewarding", especially when the guests appreciate her work.
Mrs Williams is employed to ensure that the restrooms, gazebos and their environs at Dunn's River are kept clean. Clearly, she understands the linkage between her work and visitor satisfaction.
She is playing her part for the greater good of Jamaica's tourism product and provides a positive example for those around her.
Beyond that, Mrs Williams, a woman of religious faith, recognises she has a responsibility to
help others in their personal lives. She is a counsellor and adviser to those experiencing difficulties and crises.
Mrs Williams knows that she should do her best at all times, for when humans have done their best, angels can do no more.
We are told that Mr Murray became principal of Lethe Primary in September 2011, and immediately set about transforming the school.
He wasn't content to simply go to work and collect a cheque at the end of the month.
We are told by the Sunday Observer that Mr Murray developed "several plans and policies relating to health and sanitation, nutrition, school improvement, disaster management, school assessment and reading. He also implemented punctuality, assessment, disciplinary and students' governance policies...".
Since 2011, under Mr Murray's leadership, student performance in literacy, numeracy and other measurements has leapt forward.
Partnering with parents, the residential community, Rotarians and businesses, Mr Murray has made giant strides in improving the physical infrastructure, including re-roofing of the staffroom, repainting the school and establishment of a security fencing.
With the help of parents and businesses, educational murals have been painted on the walls of the school. Partnerships have led to the acquisition of computers for a reading programme, et al. Mr Murray has successfully lobbied the Universal Service Fund for a computer room.
He has partnered with the Sandals
Resorts International group, which has provided materials to create individual classrooms; and with the PetroCaribe Fund to construct modern sanitation facilities.
In short, Mr Murray is the very epitome of the leader every school should have. He has not
hung around waiting for Government to take action. Mr Murray has acted in service to his students and community.
As we get set to enter 2014, all Jamaicans should draw from the inspiration and example of Mrs Williams, the sanitation worker, and Mr Murray, the teacher.