Banker urges Jamaicans to push

Dr Ransford Davidson, business relationship and sales manager at JN Bank, is encouraging Jamaicans not to be daunted by the many challenges that the health pandemic has created.

Davidson advised persons to identify the opportunities within the crisis and navigate the various barriers to achieve personal and professional success.

The JN Bank manager was addressing the recent all-island Administrative Professional and Boss of the Year for 2021 to 2022 competition, which was held via Zoom, under the theme: ‘Navigating Beyond Barriers’.

He noted that COVID-19 has created immense challenges for many persons, with some abandoning, or putting their personal and professional priorities on hold because of the instabilities and uncertainties associated with the global crisis.

“Along the journey of life we will always face barriers, but it is for us to navigate them and carry on. It doesn’t matter how many barriers we must navigate; it could be one, two, it could be many. The important thing is that we never stop until we reach where we intended to go,” said Davidson.

Pointing to the story of a St Thomas resident, Calbert Thomas, Davidson encouraged persons not to allow barriers and obstacles of any kind to deter them from achieving their dreams.

He noted that Thomas, who is called Creamy, has crossed many obstacles to be where he is today.

“As you may have guessed, he got the name Creamy, because he sold ice cream from a handcart at the back gate of Seaforth High School, the same school he once attended,” said Davidson as he pointed out that Thomas dreamed of the day he would move from the back gate of the school to the front gate, not to sell ice cream, but to become a teacher.

“When he shared his ambition with his fellow vendors, they laughed him to scorn. The vendors saw in Mr Thomas an ice cream vendor for life, but Mr Thomas saw in himself a high school teacher,” said Davidson.

“Mr Thomas didn’t allow the barriers of criticism and low expectations to cause him to give up on his ambition of improving his station in life. Some persons’ spirits would have been broken by these comments, and they probably would have abandoned their dream, but not Mr Thomas,” added Davidson.

He said after selling ice cream during the day, Thomas would go to evening classes. Having completed his studies, he successfully filled a vacant position for an industrial arts teacher at Seaforth High.

Some years later, not only did Thomas accomplish his dream of becoming a teacher, but after further studies, rose through the ranks to become vice-principal at the school. Today, he is the principal of Seaforth High School.

“If we fail to navigate beyond the barriers in front of us, we will remain at the ‘back gate’ — never truly achieving our potential. Mr Thomas’s story is not about someone who gave up when faced with barriers in his path. His story is about persistence to achieve what he wanted even when the odds were — against him,” Davidson said.

He lauded the many Jamaicans who have been using the opportunities provided by the coronavirus pandemic to further their goals and develop themselves.

“Many people are earning extra money from their side hustles, pursuing studies online or using the time to teach themselves a new skill. These are all ways of navigating the barriers created by an unfortunate situation,” he said.

Davidson urged others to follow in their footsteps.

“There are opportunities online that you can take advantage of, such as furthering your education. Going to a physical class was a challenge for many persons; now you have the convenience of attending classes from home as many universities have transferred their programmes online.

“One of the worst experiences you could have is having feelings of regret knowing that you gave up and missed out on achieving your dream. No matter how gloomy things may look on the horizon, take a leap of faith, seize those opportunities that are awaiting you and…navigate beyond your barriers,” said Davidson.

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