Former Government Minister Haynesley Benn is certainly not bitter, nor is he asking “Why me?” after being left out of the Cabinet since the last elections.
In fact, this morning Benn told a small gathering of parents, and some class four students at the Half-Moon Fort Primary that things seemed to be turning around for him and he was “counting [his] blessings”.
The former Minister of Agriculture and later Minister of Commerce and Trade as well as Government senator, said a lot of people had been questioning his exclusion after he lost the St. Peter seat in the February 21 general elections to his cousin Owen Arthur. When the Cabinet was announced following elections, Benn was missing from the list of those chosen.
But a smiling Benn who was making a presentation encouraging parents to return to agriculture as a means of lessening their own household bills, said: “We have got to do a better job than what we are doing now. We have got to count our blessings and stop complaining.
“A few weeks ago I had every body calling me, complaining, telling me they ain’t understand why I ain’t get back nuh ministry and why I ain’t back in de Senate and all kinds of things. At first I was a bit confused too, I was a bit annoyed as a matter of fact; I was disappointed.
“But you know I said to myself, Benn, de Bible ain’t teach you that. De Bible ain’t tell you to complain. Apart from telling you to count your blessings, it tells me to take up your bed and walk,” he said as a few parents chuckled.
But he continued: “So last month and the month before, I found that my phone would ring. ‘Mr. Benn, I want you to pass here and do something for me.’ So I passed and I did something. ‘I got a project here that I trying to put together for the bank. Look at it for me and see what can happen.’
“I spent two days putting it together, finished it, took it back and he called back to say, ‘Benn ah get through’. Another fellow call and say, ‘Benn pass and see wha yuh could do wid this t’ing for muh’. I passed and I could tell you now, I ain’t gine boast – but since March ’til now, I believe I have worked for more money doing those jobs than when I was a minister of Government.
“Yuh tek up yuh bed and walk. Stop complaining. Count your blessings,” he said, and while he disclosed to the gathering just how much those jobs had tallied, he asked that it not be reported, telling the crowd that he was seeing the blessings.
He said he had not specified to any of the people who contacted him, that he should be paid for the consultations he had done, but days after they were successful they called him up to pay him, as thanks for the job done.
“The Lord is good. Stop complaining, stop complaining. Start to count yuh blessings, name them one by one. Start growing yuh food,” the former senator, who grew up the son of agricultural workers, advised the parents present. (LB)