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Thursday 19 October 2017
Letters to the Editor

Politics is about service, not self

THE EDITOR: I write to clarify what I believe to be a misconception surrounding politics and service in this country. While politics is about power, the practice of politics is primarily about service to country rather than self.

Here is some advice to those wanting to get into politics and for those who may be involved and would like to advance.

The first thing is to simply try, by giving selfless service. This is many times the difference between success and failure.

Most times, if you see something that you are not happy with, then most likely you will have what it takes to fix it. You don’t need to be great to start but you need to start to be great.

Build a team of people around you who share in your vision for a better country and include them on the journey.

It is said that what makes a man great is his ability to get even greater men than himself around him.

Commit to leaving a situation better than you found it. Conduct your affairs at every level with the same dedication and integrity, bearing in mind that politics requires a “thick skin.”

If the person before you may have stained the position with misdeeds, then you must raise the standard to a higher level.

The best service you can give to your community and country is in the area that you are passionate about. Bring your personality and style to the position because you are the best you can be.

So whether it’s law, culture and the arts, speech writing, event management, business, graphic design, food and nutrition or healthcare, just give of your best.

Never think you are indispensable or that power lasts forever. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley advised his Cabinet members publicly to never get obsessed with public office as they are there to serve and not to be served.

So focus on service and not self. According to the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, “Politics is riddled with the ‘career tombstones’ of people who thought they were indispensable; from internships to high office, stay humble and focused on the task at hand.”

RONALD HUGGINS, St Joseph

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