By Sandra Mills
TORONTO, Canada -- We can’t help but reflect on what a great year 2012 has been globally. There are countless reasons why 2012 has been one of the best and most prosperous years in the last three decades. Surveys have shown that it has been the most prosperous for lots of businesses in Europe, North America, The Caribbean and parts of Africa. This may sound incredible but it is true!
Jamaica celebrated its 50th birthday and did so in style. Jamaicans dominated the Olympics, with Usain Bolt attaining legendary status. Gabby Douglas made history as the first African American gymnast to win double gold. She was congratulated by President Obama himself for her extraordinary accomplishments. It was also the year Grenadian Kirani James won his country’s first gold medal. Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller collaborated with Canada’s Stephen Harper to promote potential joint ventures between the two countries, Prince Harry visited Jamaica, the Queen celebrated her diamond jubilee and most importantly, President Obama was re-elected to office for another term.
Like it or not, re-election of the first black president to rule America is the strongest indicator that Mr Obama has done a superior job during his first four years. Being the first black president of the USA undoubtedly attracted constant scrutiny; albeit he was re-elected, which means that the people appreciated his work and felt he was the right person for the job. Of course the world anticipated its December 21, 2012, ending which never came... These are but a few of the things that made 2012 a memorable year.
There were other events that were not as widely publicized, albeit equally significant even if it is on a smaller scale. There are millions of people who gave their time, effort and energy to help the advancement of humanity without any expectation of financial or other compensation. One of those good souls is Jamaican-Canadian Paulet Biedermann, dubbed the angel of giving. This woman helped in prisons, shelters, schools, hospitals, and university students’ organizations; to know this woman is to love her. She is warm, kind, caring and most importantly, she is real and down to earth. What you see is what you get!
I once asked her how come she is so kind and caring despite being stung many times over by the people she helped. She said, “My life is not worth much without helping others. Besides, as a young person I asked God to keep me wise, strong and healthy. In return, I said I will always help others as long as I live.” God blessed her, and she kept her word to him. I have heard the story before but coming from her is quite different, as you know you are getting the real deal.
I was also curious about another topic, her physical beauty. She is a very attractive woman and, not to generalize, but a lot of beautiful people are stand-offish. I asked Paulet how come she is so blessed and yet remained humble. This is her response. “Well some people are self centered, egotistical and insecure, manifesting in attention-seeking behaviours. I am not from that school, which is a part of the hypocritical school that some of these people attended and in the end, they are sad, lonely and dejected. This is despite their accomplishments in life. They are plagued by self deception and arrogance. I can’t be arrogant because that is ungodly.”
I asked her about her constant concerns for youths and she said that she is the friend to all mankind and especially the weak and frail because God gave her a job to do and the job is to be the eyes for the blind, the ears for the deaf, and the voice of the mute. “This is my lot in life and I will honour it. From ever since I was a tiny girl, I can remember my dad always told me that God had a plan for me and that I will find out what that is in due time.”
The due time started over 30 years ago, since arriving from Jamaica in 1980.
“My love for humanity is real and will always be that way,” she said.
When asked how she managed to stay so positive in a dog-eat-dog world, her response was, “I am not a dog, so I can’t buy into the dog-eat-dog theory, so that does not apply to me.”
“Yes we live in a world with vicious people, but I am ordained by God almighty and I fear him and not mortal man as they can’t create life. So I fear no man, not now and not ever! Yes, people have tried to hurt me and each and every time it backfired on them. What a lot of them don’t know, is that I know who they are and what they are doing, so why should I be afraid?”
Wow! This is quite interesting. In recognition for her work, Biedermann has been honoured for her contribution to the enhancement of humanity with several awards at regional, provincial and national/international level. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work with the underprivileged. Biedermann is blessed with physical beauty, intelligence, sophistication and most notable, a huge heart. We are very proud of this great role model.
I sincerely hope that some of our young people will follow in the footsteps of this angel of giving.