Sunday, October 21, 2012

J50: Independence and Freedom, Responsibility and Discipline

This must be one of the hardest blog to write because most people believe that a blog about Jamaica’s 50th anniversary should be positive and upbeat. Outlining all of our glories, achievements and greatness before the world and all mankind. A blog where all objectivity should be saved for another day. This blog post started way before Jamaica 50 celebrations but somehow I found it very hard to push the publish button. I have been adding to it a little here and there, so it represents different ideas over time.


I love my country, there is no other country on this planet I love more than Jamaica. I look back on my life and experiences and there are very little I would change. If I could do it over again I would not change much except study a little bit more but for the most part I enjoyed my Jamaican existence on planet earth. I think it prepared me for  life and made me who I am today. Yes life in jamaica was not always easy, at some points in time it was hard but it is that hardness that prepared me for adult life. Even though life growing up was not always easy we were happy, light gone...happy, food shortage ... happy, riots ... happy, hurricane still happy because we were made of sterner stuff, able to roll with the punches, adopt and overcome.  

I love my people, yes they get on my nerve sometimes but they always seem to rope be back in, I am comfortable with my people, I understand them. There are times when they make me proud and happy to be a part of this unique club called Jamaica. One of the things I love doing is to go to my special place in Port Antonio and sit on the hill under the almond tree, drinking a glass of Appleton 21 neat looking out onto the Caribbean sea with the rolling Blue Mountains to the side of me and to feel the cool Caribbean breeze with the wind and sun on my face. I love to smell of fresh sea air and the sound of the sea as it meets the shore. I have tried this in many other countries but it never have the same effects, somehow the sun don't feel right, the Breeze is either too cold or too hot and the smell is off, it does nothing for me.

There are times when you feel for a nice long walk by yourself in Jamaica, some peace and quiet to think about the past, present and future but end up having a good long chat with some stranger you met along the way because that unique Jamaican personality just hold you and draw you in. A simple morning how yu doing and you end up solving the world's problems. Yeh Man, mi love me yard that is why I cannot understand or have any patience for those Use-To-Me-Neva-See-Come-See Jamaicans who does nothing but to find every opportunity to cuss Jamaica like Johncrow out of pure hate not love.

Yeh Man, mi love me yard... but sometimes Jamaica piss me off because the more you love something or someone the easier it is for them to disappoint you. Burning inside me is this deep desire for change that I know we are capable of but I cannot understand why we have not achieved our full potentials. Every morning I open the papers, I expect to see the big headlines that Jamaica overcame, achieved, changed, is heading in the right direction but I still have hope and in the meantime I will still continue to love mi little rock, yeah man a my rock dis... yes there are many rocks like it but this rock is mine.   

Yeh Man, mi love me Country...and will always love it, it is my country right or wrong, my birth right... BUT loving something or someone means you should always be honest, open and want the best for them, a true friend always tell you what you must hear not what you want to hear.


Independence and Freedom means absolutely nothing without a strong sense Responsibility and Discipline. If we are not a responsible people, if we are not a discipline people able to make the right decisions for both ourselves, our families and the future of our country then Independence and Freedom is a wasted achievement and we will never realize our full potentials as a people and a country. The right decision is not always the decision that gives us instant gratification, it might be a decision we have to take that will cause great hardship in the short run but better for the country in the long run, the best decision in the National Interest.

World history books hundreds of years in the future will record that Jamaica was a country with great potential to achieve great things but because of their lack of Discipline and Responsibility their achievements as Nation Builders was just marginal and mediocre. Our indiscipline served us well during Slavery and colonization because then it was seen as our strength, our ability to fight oppression, to achieve Emancipation from Slavery. We achieved Workers’ Rights, Universal Adult Suffrage and finally independence but in order to build a Nation State future generation will be proud of, requires a great sense of Responsibility and Discipline.


It has gotten to the point where I am playing with the idea that Jamaicans are ungovernable in their natural habitat. We have a political class that is afraid to make the hard right decisions, to say and do the right things regardless of its popularity and votes. So long as that condition exist nothing will really change, we will forever be taking 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards. We are a people that pays lip service to doing the right thing, us Jamaicans know exactly what is wrong with Jamaica and we know what we must do to fix it but fixing it means the removal of certain freedom we have gotten accustomed to. The freedom to be indiscipline and irresponsible is a liberating and addictive feeling, that is why yard nice every time. Most other successful countries are not as free as Jamaica and not as nice. For the most part we do what we want, when we want to and how we want to, even when what we are doing is wrong, counter-productive and will do more harm than good.


We have achieved much as a people but we have also let so much go, we have lost the plot and we need to get back to the basic principles and values that are required by Nation Builders. We have become a superficial people with way too much emphasis on material things and we do not have the discipline to control ourselves as these things must be acquired at all cost, even at the expense of our future. Our leaders have also lost the plot because it is they who created and nurtured this state of irresponsibility and indiscipline behavior as a way to achieve power and glory. They do not govern base on right and wrong but on what is popular regardless of Right and Wrong, thus converting Jamaica to a "Jock-it-up Cock-it-up" kind of society. They I believe can no longer see the forest for the trees, they are blind to the damage they have done and are doing or just don't care.

Independence and Freedom coupled with Responsibility and Discipline guarantees that we will always make the right decision, the best decision for the collective good of all the people and the future of Jamaica, decisions must benefits the many above the few.

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