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Stabroek News

Building on Olympic success
published: Thursday | August 28, 2008

Thomas Phinemann, Contributor

The Olympic Games in Beijing are over and every Jamaican at home and abroad is proud to be Jamaican because of the historic performance of our athletes. Every Jamaican became a star and proudly beamed with untold pride. The proud moments will never be forgotten.

Could we make it even more unforgettable by twinning our capital city with Beijing? Who knows, this may be mutually beneficial for both Jamaica and China.

One great lesson we will take from the Games is the value of teamwork. Can you imagine what Jamaica would be like if we could all work together like the men's 4x100m relay team? Nothing could stop us from making Jamaica the greatest nation on Earth. Everyone loves a winner.

On Team Jamaica, like every other team, we all win or we all lose. Inner-city victory or rural Jamaica's triumph is a win-win for the entire country. We don't discriminate when we are winning; let us not discriminate when we are losing in the game of life.

As the new school term draws close, parents battle with various anxieties, as they want their investment in their children to translate into successful and profitable jobs. Men have a special role to play. We know that we have to provide financial support in satisfying back-to-school needs, but the most important role we can play is to provide emotional support for our children. They need to understand that they can share their fears, joys, successes and failures with us.

Hard work equals success

Some of our children are unhappy about their Grade Six Achievement Test results. They have been placed in schools that they don't want to attend. Despite the veil of negativity, let them know that with hard work they can succeed in any school and that parents, particularly their fathers, will be there to cheer them on.

We love to boast about our children. Some of us even want to live our dreams through them. We want them to be the lawyer, doctor or successful businessman that we dreamt of becoming. We abandoned our dream for reasons best known to us. Thus we put pressure on our children who already have to deal with peer pressure, so now they have to deal with parent pressure and peer pressure.

Let us share our experiences, so that our boys will know that we remember what it is like to be a schoolboy. There is much truth in the saying, "Men are only boys grown tall; hearts don't change much after all." Sometimes we forget that human beings have the same basic needs and are essentially the same throughout the ages.

We have technological advances which provide us with new ways of doing things, but we have the same emotions that our predecessors had. Against this background, we can guide our children, especially our boys, to win at the game of education. Parents and guardians must remember that this is a relay and the baton must be carefully passed from parent to teacher and teacher back to parent. Neither parent nor teacher can win unless our children are winning.

If we work together, we can 'Bolt' to success. We are champions.

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