Some time ago, I blogged about traveling.
Well, I’m just back from a fabulous vacation in Bermuda. Bermuda is my top favorite place to visit, the people, the island, the weather, all amazing. I’ve been all over the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and Bermuda is my favorite, no other place comes close. I always stress the importance of traveling to positive young men. It’s an experience that will help you to grow exponentially. Bermuda is the same, it’s always great to me but my experience with relatives and friends is what made this vacation incredibly fulfilling.
My girlfriend and I were allowed to stay at the Premier’s house, they’re relatives, and it was a blast. To arrive at the airport in Bermuda and see my cousin’s face on the wall, “Welcome to Bermuda, Premier Craig Cannonier” was a shock. I smiled so hard with pride my cheeks hurt. Aunt Margo picked me up, looking regal as she always does, it was like the sun came out every time she smiled.
My girlfriend rode with her as I followed behind in my new rented scooter. I had hung out with my cousins before, it’s nothing new, they are simply great people. They’ve always been great people but to see them, the “first family”, in their blessing changed me at my core. I’ve always admired their “light” or “energy”. What I mean is, there are people who act like they are blessed, and there are people who live like they are blessed and it’s a magnetic experience when you are around people who live their blessing. They deserve all they receive and it feels so good to witness God work in their lives. They are positive at all times and I felt like a student to their blessed lifestyle. They have always been a beacon to me but to see them still humble, funny, and normal in their blessing changed me. I’ve not visited Bermuda since Craig won the election in December 2012, but to see them now there and appreciate that there was no difference in who they were then and now. Craig and his wife Antoinette cooked us dinner the night we arrived and it was surreal for my girlfriend to see his face on the wall at the airport in customs and be eating dinner with them a couple of hours later.
During one conversation, Craig shared with us his experience at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, England. To listen to his positive experience on this world stage blew my mind. I was a student all over again being mentored about leadership and protocol. Throughout the discussion, Craig was the same old Craig, humble, funny, wise, insightful, animated and intelligent. Craig and his sister both have a presence about them, it’s almost regal. I shared some of my challenges in my leadership capacity and he shared some of his wisdom. His response made me rethink an email I just sent to my executive board. The email was aggressive and loaded with frustration. To be honest, it was an embarrassing email. It was embarrassing not only because of my aggression but because I know better.
We also met up with a cousin who is now the night manager at a resort on the island. To see her in her blessing was the cherry on top. I remember when she was running a small store in Hamilton and lost the store. To see her after that setback, to see her triumph over disappointment strengthened me in a way I can’t explain. I told her you have this thing nailed down. She has a presence about her that you can’t learn, purchase, or copy. I bet they both get it from their mother. You either have it or you don’t. To witness her humble beginnings and see her maturity in this industry was amazing. I am so happy for her.
My girlfriend and I were welcomed in another household for brunch. Keith and his wife Belynne cooked a turkey pie and cakes for us. I can’t ever forget the crust on the pie…A…MAZING! I had two helpings and I was out cold on the sofa. Everyone was so welcoming and hospitable. The visit was something I wanted my lady to experience so she could understand more about what I appreciate in life. I wanted to share with her, Keith’s view of the ocean from the front door, incredible.
Craig’s example humbled me, it made me rethink my entire approach to challenges. It made me reconsider my blessing and walk in a brighter light. As a man, you are supposed to do what’s right. Do what’s right without embarrassing yourself or misrepresenting yourself, your family, or the organization you represent…in his case the country you represent. All of you with a challenge in front of you, face it with respect, address it intellectually and overcome it with the expectation that God has of you. Craig has been blessed with an opportunity to be an example. As a leader you must remember to encumber the hardships of responsibility and leadership without hesitation. All of you must understand, this is your blessing, this is your task.
Off subject but related: I watched an interview where Oprah Winfrey was talking with Jamie Foxx. Jamie was explaining how Oprah arranged a meeting between Sidney Poitier and Jamie Foxx. During the meeting between the two black men, Sidney said, “I give to you…responsibility”. Jamie said, “I never wanted to do anything I wasn’t proud of”. Jamie went on to say, “That was a trajectory change.”
Look at it here:
To see the trajectory change of my family, and how they have ALWAYS been good to our side of the family will stay with me until the day I die. Their example of love will shape the way I lead my family.
This trip inspired me in ways that will resonate in my being for a long time. I don’t know if I’ll have a trajectory change, but if I do I’ll be prepared for it. For all of you, be ready for that trajectory change and don’t ever do anything that you’re not proud of.
I love Bermuda and I always will.
NEXT BLOG: I will blog on my new years resolutions