Known as the father of self-help, no one else seemed to espouse such an important inspirational national development concept. From Fancy to Union Island, communities were maximizing their usefulness to their limit. In those days, government provided materials, and technical support, and citizens provided the labour. We worked hand in hand to accomplish what we wanted. Even though resources were limited, we were not in a state of “learned helplessness,” that seem to characterize the apparent current malaise with so many on Public Assistance and unwilling to help themselves or others.
I imagine that Papa Latham would not stop anyone from repairing public roads. He would appreciate any contribution they wish to make and perhaps provide guidance and technical support. Development cannot emanate from a single source. We all should nurture a climate of volunteerism, patriotism, care, and respect for our people, and our physical environment.
Volunteerism can help to stretch our resources to the limit and enable us to accomplish more. It empowers the people and engenders confidence in our future.
Levi Latham, though an ordinary man, having demonstrated the capacity to inspire a nation to extraordinary possibilities and accomplishments, deserves to be a National Hero. He gave us the vision to see what we can give rather than what we can get. Acts 20:35 says, “ In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”