Missed opportunities in that barefaced question

Missed opportunities in that barefaced question

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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Dear Editor,

A few notable radio personalities recently expressed their endorsement for Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton to be named “man of the year 2020” for Jamaica should such a title award be commissioned.

Dr Tufton has surely won the hearts of many Jamaicans for helping us to 'ride through the storm' in this past year, and for this good work he is deserving of our appreciation and support. However, “good” in describing work, or anything for that matter, must never be separated from God; and, actually, the two are one in the same.

Additionally, just as how one can surely know the tree by the fruits it bears, one cannot, or should not, separate “the man” from his work.

Tufton, the man, is just a man, and, like all of us, has fallen short of the glory of God. And so, while many of us have written off a barefaced journalist's question on his actions, and in doing deemed it an affront, unprofessional, out of order, or over-exuberant, we missed out on three noteworthy things.

Firstly, US President Bill Clinton, who held the highest office in that most powerful nation, the US, was drawn before the Senate for his personal activities, and later impeached for perjuring the Senate on this said matter. One might consider it to be a little matter, but who is to tell if this little matter could have compromised his faithfulness to his office and to the people he led? These matters have to be addressed.

Secondly, in our admiration for Dr Tufton, and his respectful, respectable and composure-filled response to that journalist, we failed to see the oddity in that scenario. Fighting fire with fire is an actual firefighting strategy, and it is not far-fetched for a public figure to do the same with popularity-destroying rumours, where disclosure of the rumour is staged in a formal setting. Still, the issue should have been appropriately dealt with.

This brings me to the final and greatest opportunity that was missed: Contrition. It is out of contrition that truth and mercy spring. We all need truth and mercy from one another, for our father in Heaven has given us these in abundance, and therefore expects it from us. Dr Tufton could have extinguished the 'fire' and its embers with these two virtues, and perhaps become an ambassador in this regard. After all, part of good health is having healthy relationships, and even God knows that, at the end of the day, we all need each other.

Andre O Sheppy

Norwood, St James


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