As each year draws to a close, it is customary to reflect, ruminate and evaluate. A recurring question is who or what has made the greatest impact. For the year 2020, undoubtedly the answer will be gauged against responses of individuals and entities to the pandemic. As shocking as this might sound the pandemic is not the only thing that has elicited noteworthy responses in 2020. However, as we get ready to nominate the personality of the year, we need to carefully consider the criteria we use as basis for our decisions; are we judging popularity or impact or are the lines too blurred to make a distinction?
Should Jamaicans be asked to determine the personality of the year some of the names that will readily come to the fore, listed here in no particular order are: Minister of Health, Hon Christopher Tufton; Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-Mckenzie; Buju Banton for donating 3 million dollars to the Sunbeam Children’s Home; teachers for adapting to on-line modality, all front line health workers; Taneka Mckoy Phipps, the teacher who wrote lessons on blackboards in the community for students; Keron King, principal of Little Bay Primary and Infant School in Westmoreland, who used bike taxi to deliver lessons to students in rural communities; Miss Donna Gowe aka Aunty Donna philanthropist, the Prime Minister, and other politicians will no doubt also make the list.
Several other names of individuals and organizations can be added to the list. The pandemic has brought out the creativity, resilience, and willingness of Jamaicans to go above and beyond the call of duty to help others as well as themselves. Despite the challenges, for the most part, Jamaicans have done well in 2020, facing the challenges and seizing opportunities. Within communities, organizations, and families many deserve to be the nominated personality of the year. Their efforts may not be recognized but that does not lessen the impact. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it still make a sound? Yes, it does!