In Beijing, for example, there was additional pressure on Bolt to deliver, and the superstar delivered emphatically by destroying the myth of a Justin Gatlin challenge in that first big race of the championships. It is a victory that with all things considered, must have inspired every member of that Jamaica team to even greater excellence. I remember watching a video clip of members on the Jamaican team in a hotel room in the athletes’ village watching that 100m final, obviously shot with a cellular phone, with running commentary by some of the athletes. You could hear the near reverence with which the big man is held within the team coming out in the comments. When the big man, Bolt, beat Gatlin at the line to win gold, the phone was still running and it captured the ensuing pandemonium with the loud, jubilant, and colourful cheers by the Jamaicans, who stormed out of the room and into the hallways. The big man had delivered and Jamaica was the best. The bar was now officially set in the biggest event of them all. Confidence must have swept through the Jamaica team like wildfire as the proverbial domino effect followed. BOLT EFFECT EXPIRATION Twelve medals, inclusive of seven gold, two silver, and three bronze, saw Jamaica finish in an impressive second on the table at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. It is fair to say the dream run continues for Jamaica in international track and field. There has been one constant in recent years of Jamaican excellence in the sport in the form of Usain St Leo Bolt, the inspirational leader and standout performer whose influence directly and indirectly cannot be overstated during this period of pound-for-pound dominance by Jamaica. Bolt was at it again in Beijing, winning his now customary three gold to take his total to 11 World Championships gold medals. Amid the euphoria of celebrating the success of the Jamaican ambassadors, there is the clear and present danger, I think, of taking the ‘Bolt Effect’ on Jamaica’s on-the-track fortunes for granted. Bolt invariably leads from the front, with the stellar 10-metre event run off early in all the major championships, giving Bolt the perfect platform to set the platform. INSPIRATIONAL VICTORY The Jamaican governing body, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, must recognise and address the inevitable fall-off that will occur when the ‘Bolt Effect’ expires. The soundings are that Bolt could walk away from the sport in another two years. The void that will result from that eventuality obviously cannot be filled, but things need to be put into place to minimise the fallout from that imminent Bolt exit. We all need to understand and appreciate the fact that we are all living in the time of the greatest athlete to have ever walked the face of the Earth and that if and when he goes, the sport will not be the same, and Jamaica’s status will not be the same. It is going to take some major adjustments locally and internationally to appreciate life in track and field after Bolt. By all means, we must continue to enjoy the spectacular brilliance and genius of Bolt, but we need also to understand clearly that it cannot and will not last forever, and that sooner, rather than later, Jamaica especially, will have the arduous task of continuing our quest for excellence in the sport of track and field without the ‘Bolt Effect’.
The central concern of this fifth article of the series centered on the family and its indispensable place in all human societies is the role of the children in the life of the family. The bible says children are a precious gift to the couple. They are from God as both a responsibility and a source of joy to the family they are born into. Children do not choose which families they should be born into. Parents cooperate with God by choosing to have children. Therefore parents have a particular responsibility to ensure that their children are given the best of opportunities to be trained, educated and enabled to make the most of life’s opportunities. But the children have the responsibility to cooperate with their parents for their good. How? We shall explore below. The fourth article of the series on the role of the wife/mother made the following points:Clearly the bible places the husband as head of his family and by implication the wife is second in command of the home. But by being second does not subordinate her to her husband. They are equal partners. The man is the head of his family in terms of responsibility and order but in terms of privilege, managing and caring for the home they are equal. Genesis 2:18 says God made the woman to be a helpmate to the man. The world helpmate means a suitable companion to him. The two collaborate and complement each other for the greater good of the whole family and home. They are not in competition.The writer of Ecclesiastes puts it beautifully like this: “Two are better off than one because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. If someone is alone and falls, it is just too bad, because there is no one to help him. If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself?” (4:9-11). The central point of this passage is that husband and wife beef up each other’s efforts. They complete one another. What the father lacks the mother supplies and what the mother lacks the father supplies.Proverbs 31 speaks of the virtuous or capable wife who is not lazy and selfish but rather works very hard alongside her husband to maintain the home for the benefit of all its members. She rises early and is prudent and finds creative ways of increasing the family income. She does not give excuses but sincerely makes good use of every opportunity to provide for her family and thereby takes responsibility alongside her husband for the welfare of the whole family.Father and mother ought to share the responsibilities of the family according to the gift or ability of him/her who can do it better rather than other and not on the basis of gender (man and woman), and none should see self as better than the other or inferior to the other. Both of them are equally responsible for their family and its wellbeing. The children of the home need to realize as members of the human family (nations, communities, institutions, organizations, committees and families) they have both privileges and responsibilities. They need protection and the right environment to grow to be responsible for their actions and the greater good of their surroundings (things, situations and persons).They should learn early on to share and partake in the care and the welfare of the whole family. They must learn to do the little they can as they grow up: take care of their rooms, clean up dishes, sweep and make the house clean, and take care of their clothes. As they grow more and more in age and education they ought to take on more responsibilities for the wellbeing of the family and other institutions they belong to such as the community, school, church/place of worship.It is necessary for them to contribute and not just enjoy what others offer them. It is important for them to learn to associate hard work and achievements with some tangible rewards. The awareness should be inculcated in them that their own wellbeing is dependent on the welfare of others. Children should pray and cultivate the healthy habit of having a passion for learning the right things in life, and aiming for high standard achievements in the important things they put their hands at. They must not leave others to do the work but should rather join in. They should aim for righteous living by always striving for what is right and required rather than for convenience and popularity. All children must take their part in making the family a unified and healthy entity.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)