“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” – Colossians 3:16
About six weeks ago, I returned from a trip in the Caribbean to find a message from Joseph “Reds” Perreira asking me to pick up a copy of his book, “Living My Dreams” which was left for me at a local sports bar. My most recent encounter with Reds was a few weeks before that at the “Morning Barbados” studio when our TV interviews followed each other, albeit on two different topics. He was promoting his book and I was also living my dream by promoting Entrepreneurship as a means off creating economic growth, one successful enterprise after another. As we passed each other in the studio he alerted me to the fact that he wanted to get a copy of his book to me.
Reds called to ensure that I got the message and the book. In the book was inscribed “Basil – Hope you enjoy my story. Best wishes – signed Reds Perreira”. I promised to support his gargantuan effort to produce an autobiography, by promoting in it my weekly column.
In my July 12 2010 column, “The Flood Tide”: I observed that “Many persons have gently suggested that I compile the articles into a book. I attempted this once but then the time pressure of my daily projects has not yet allowed this to become a reality. I continually think about it and now especially since Reds Perreira kindly left a copy of his autobiography for me to read on my return to Barbados. I have not yet read it but scanning the first chapters and the testimonials at the end of the book, it certainly seems to be a motivational piece of literature which should be included in the library of those who want to take the flood tide and benefit from the fortunes at the end of the rainbow. The first chapter reminds the reader of Perriera’s roots and the testimonials at the end reflect on the bounty which this tree has borne over the passage of his productive life to date”. This was sufficent for the sub-editor at the Barbados Advocate to adorn my article with a picture of Reds.
Of course, as a sports commentator especially in cricket in the Caribbean, Reds would be known to many more people than he himself would have met. He left Guyana and became resident in Barbados in 1980 and then later moved to St. Lucia. Our paths crossed on several occasions over the years as we traversed the Caribbean to address our various and varied pursuits. I note in his book that he was in England during the sixties, so was I. We may have met then, but I do not recall.
The classical approach to writing an autobiography suggests two options: (1) You can start with a blank sheet of paper or (2) use a fill-in-the-blank format with questions, prompts and other activities to help you go back into your memory banks and pull out “memorable gems” that you have, perhaps, long forgotten about! I am not sure which method Reds followed but he must be congratulated on the product which will undoubtedly inspire many youngsters to attempt to make something of their lives.
John C. Maxwell has written Leadership Promises For Every Day. The August 14 promise reads as follows: “It takes a leader to create momentum. Followers catch it and managers are able to continue it once it has begun. But creating momentum requires someone who can motivate others, not one who needs to be motivated. Just as every sailor knows you cannot steer a ship that is not moving forward, strong leaders understand that to change direction you have to create forward progress. Without momentum, even the simplest tasks can seem insurmountable. But with momentum on your side any kind of change is possible.”
An autobiography is a means of sharing and I would like to congratulate Reds for making the effort to produce this work which I am sure will be a stimulus for those who read it and may be the example that influences change in many lives in these challenging times. In a recent email message from Reds he assures me that he is attempting to ensure that the book is available at bookstores throughout the region and beyond.
As I skimmed through the book, I noted that the chapter on “Reflections” began with: “As I look back on my active life I must recognise how fortunate I was to see some of the very best perform at the highest level and at some of the most celebrated cricket venues in the world…If being more formally educated would have in fact changed the life and career I pursued, I would not choose it.” I think the message that I have received is that we should take advantage of our blessings and convert them into action for the benefit of mankind. I would encourage all to read and be inspired.
Let the Word of Christ – the Message – have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing; sing your hearts out to God!