Small beginnings of magnificent milestones
Editor: On Saturday night (28th December 2019), Rodney SteelPan Boss Small mentioned something that I haven’t yet seen highlighted in the many worthwhile comments and positive feedback on that masterfully executed show that was #SteelExpressions2019. To hopefully fill that void, allow me to add my two cents.
Nearing the culmination of the show (did I mention how awesome it was?) the musical maestro mentioned that #SteelExpressions was an exam. He emotionally repeated, “An exam!” Immediately, I thought of my friend, university classmate and media colleague, Kenton X. Chance, who in similar fashion turned a blog from a 2009 Internet Journalism course into one of the most sort-after news resources in SVG.
For the sake of full transparency, I’m pretty sure even Rodney and Kenton would be the first to admit that not everyone is a fan of theirs. However, whether one is or is not, the fact that they have transformed the humble beginnings of their passions into viable businesses is something to be admired. Whether it is a blog that has become a journalism juggernaut or an exam that exploded into becoming a musical experience par excellence, something is to be said about the small beginnings of magnificent milestones. I continue to congratulate them.
Another thing I very much admired about what Rodney did on Saturday was to pay tribute to the indelible impact that his professor played in his life. Teaching is one of the most selfless and rewarding activities one can participate in. The transferral of knowledge is an investment that pays dividends that cannot be quantified by a simple dollar amount. Whether it is the lasting legacy of a Dr. Michael Mcu Stein (former Professor at Ming Chuan University in Taipei, Taiwan) or the melodious messages of a Michael Ibo Cooper (Lecturer at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingstown, Jamaica), the impact of teachers in and outside of the classroom transcends time and space. I continue to respect them.
Finally, what these two young men continue to remind us all as Vincentians is that we may come from a small country, but our dent on the landscape of human achievement is not to be defined or limited by the geographic space which we occupy and call home. Vincentians can and continue to accomplish anything upon which we set our minds. If you don’t believe this, just ask the members of the United Nations Security Council. This is both a powerful yet frightening realisation when we realise that individually and collectively we can be our own best allies and worse enemies. If we vigorously collaborate, there is no limit to what we can achieve. If we viciously compete, there is no success of which we can unanimously celebrate.
On a personal note, I may not always agree with every decision these and others make, but I will always support the pursuit of pure passions. Once that is done the resultant Grammy, Pulitzer or Peabody would only be another recognition of a success already achieved.