Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton has launched a book on his political journey thus far and his thoughts on the country’s progress and political landscape.
The book is called State of Mind.
It is dedicated to his mother who passed away 10 years ago and his alma mater, the Manchester High School. The book was launched at the Institute of Jamaica on 10 East Street in downtown Kingston.
So why did he write this book?
“I wanted to put down my own thoughts and ideas but I want to make it clear these are by no means original or exclusive. Indeed, I don’t have any particular expectation of any individual who reads the book except that it will generate conversation, that hopefully will lead to a better path to the progress of us as individuals, as a country and as a people,” said Dr Tufton.
The government minister is also a scholar and entrepreneur and has been hailed as one of the brightest politicians of his generation, having already held three senior ministerial posts.
He added that with a career or with life choices for that matter, it is important to periodically step back and to reflect and take stock of one’s stewardship.
“State of Mind is my own reflection and I felt at the time when I decided to pursue this path it was important for me personally.”— Dr Christopher Tufton
“It is important to examine your successes, your failures and setbacks and determine what lessons you have learnt from those experiences and essentially to recalibrate where you are, and where you need to go. Sometimes that reflection and recalibration may require you to change course. State of Mind is my own reflection and I felt at the time when I decided to pursue this path it was important for me personally.”
Turning his attention to his profession, he declared that politicians have it particularly difficult because of the important role they play and whether non-politicians liked those who are in that field or not, the reality is political decisions and stewardship perhaps provides the most meaningful impact for good or bad on the lives of individuals, communities and countries.
Reflecting on the nature of politics Dr Tufton said: “Political stewardship at work takes a lot of time and when you really engage at the level of providing national leadership, you find yourself reacting to issues as they unfold rather than thinking strategically where you ought to go.”
Dr Tufton lost the battle for the St Elizabeth Southwest seat in the 2012 general election leaving him with plenty of time on his hands to reflect. He then joined Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) and he is grateful that they took a chance on a politician. Having triumphed in the 2016 general election, he is now in front line politics.
His objective in writing this book is to record as succinctly and as simply as possible his journey to this point, in an effort to leave something behind that may provide some guidance to those who come after him.
“I believe as leaders we have a duty to help the generation that is coming up behind us. That involves exposing the downsides as well as the upsides of political leadership.
“I wanted to find answers to how Jamaica can foster a more stable, vibrant democracy, recognising our culture and our political system. I wanted to engage in a process of reflection that would seek and understand who we are as a people and look at the possibilities of what we can become,” declared Dr Tufton.