I’ll preface this piece with the statement that there are extremely valuable lessons in a proper sports culture, and Belize is missing out big time because our sports culture is kind of a disaster. Looking at the failure of sports for our children, we still have sports competitions for the primary schools annually, but the way that works, you’d think we have never looked at how more seasoned countries run their show.
The way it works for most schools is that the principal’s office gets a schedule of events for the year, and children who are interested are put together under someone who “used to play” or who has a known interest. There is little vetting of coaches to check their character, their leadership skills, and their understanding that at that level life lessons are more important than winning.
A couple important life lessons that you should get through a healthy sports program should prepare you for being fired or demoted, which happens to every person at some time in their life, either because a new boss doesn’t appreciate your talent or simply prefers someone else to you, or that great reducer of skills, aging, brings you back to the pack.
In sports, no matter who you will grow up to be, as you go along you will enter levels that are above you. Then you will have to adjust to being just a sideshow, a minor piece or no piece at all, at least for a time.
Belizeans are way too fearful of being fired, and fair enough, everyone wants to earn money, but the fear factor involving status is just way, way out of proportion. It is no great shame to be fired, unless you are just a lazy bohga. Really, for many people in this world, the only way they land in their perfect spot is by getting the boot from a spot where they thought they were a perfect fit.
Ah, in the line of firing, do you remember that after Winston Churchill’s great victories in World War II the British dumped him in the elections? Hmm, a local hero says Churchill actually bombed those disgraceful on-the-fence Americans to get them into the war, but I draw the line on the local hero’s musings. Banzai, the Japanese thought out and executed that attack all by themselves.
Here’s what Dr. Paul Addison had to say about Churchill’s firing in the story, “Politics in Peacetime”, published by the mighty BBC. Addison says that during the war Churchill had some crazy popularity, and that in May 1945 the opinion polls showed his popularity was at an incredible 83%. Everyone thought he would lead his party to a massive victory at the polls.
Addison says, “…the very qualities that had made him a great leader in war were ill-suited to domestic politics in peacetime. Politicians are often rejected by voters because they have failed in office. But one of the reasons why Churchill lost the general election in 1945 was because he had succeeded in completing the almost superhuman task he had taken on in 1940, and in a way this made him redundant.”
I said it isn’t necessarily a shame to get thrown out. The world teems with people who got dumped and landed in the right spot. Understandably, jobs are especially critical at this time, but in ordinary times getting the heave ho shouldn’t be so big on the scale of pain. Welcome to the world when you get the boot.
The story about demotion, being asked to take a lesser position, is big about ego. Demotion shouldn’t be such a great demoralizer, but it often is because in that area we have a very bad culture. Sometimes, however, the person who is asked to take a demotion could be responsible for their difficulty, if they were the type of boss who liked to kick people around. There are people like that, and it’s impossible for them to accept a demotion, and very ambitious of management to ask them to accept a lower rung, because poison will contaminate such an environment.
A team is most productive when all the personnel are in the right place. I didn’t disagree with Major Jones on his discussion about us needing to have more respect for talent, because it has to be clear that whether it be level of education, determination, loyalty, experience, personality type, or the time, the age in which we live, there are factors that make one person a better fit than another person in a specific situation. Everyone isn’t a perfect fit. If that were so, we could go to the polls blindfolded.
I heard the 7News report on Dr. Manzanero being sidelined, and I heard a caller to the WuB say that Dr. Pitts had been sidelined in much the same way by the previous government. The story is that the sidelining, the demotion or placement at the same level as persons they once gave orders to, was accompanied by a heap of disrespect.
The public service has rules governing the employ of persons paid from the public purse, and I can’t write about that, because I don’t have enough information. All I can say is that these kinds of situations can be difficult, and we should reserve judgment.
I will say that, re: the top positions, I support a government putting whomever they want wherever they want, because up top there isn’t much place for worrying about people’s feelings.
I feel for anyone in a difficult situation, but I tend to save my sweat for the people at the bottom, because down there it’s excruciating. You saw how out of touch former PM Dean Barrow is when he appeared before the Commission of Inquiry. We are a tale of two countries. My, the former PM was peacock proud of himself for taking care of people who have the means.
Let the PUP choose whom they want, because we don’t want to yer no fool from them, because there is no more room for failure in Belize. We exploded the debt by 4 billion dollars between 1998 and 2020, and sure we have some essential infrastructure and some glossy showpieces for people who are into that, but before the Covid-19 pandemic hit us, 40% of us were unemployed or grossly underemployed. Our people were not getting anything from the new progress.
You know why we didn’t have a bloody revolution? I’ve said that one reason was the Guatemala Damocles sword hanging over us, waiting to fall if we had such internal dissension. The other reason was that we have a lee hope, and Dr. Gayle expounded some on that in the book, Like Bush Fire. Hmm, there is the Boledo, but the real hope for those of us in crushing poverty is that someone in our family, with a little luck and a lot of hard work, will get a degree and get a big job in the system, and the rest of us could sponge a little, so we don’t starve, and while we don’t starve we could hope that one of our children could make a break the same way for her/himself.
You shouldn’t get a chance to lead every day, so when a people call upon you to lead, you have to do your best, not for any individual — for the people. The good doctor is a very popular man, and maybe the gentleman at the Customs is too, but what’s happening right now has to do with whether the present leadership sees them as fits at the top. If all a wi fu win, hard decisions have to be made.