For Jamaica these are exciting times; we are a country posed between a balance of slipping into a social and economic black hole or in the alternative rising from perhaps its lowest ebb to restore its reputation as a glorious jewel of the Caribbean. Jamaicans recognize that there exist the potential for the country to go in either direction. However, with the fight-back against our nemesis underway there is now a battle raging between the forces of good and evil, and being the god-fearing nation that we are, there is currently a national optimism that the forces of good will ultimately prevail.
Indifference and silence are the allies of tardiness and status quo, and status quo is not an option we can live with – literally! It is clear that doing nothing or not doing enough will result in long term damage to Jamaica’s international reputation and inevitable decline in her economic and social fabric. For instance the issue of crime and violence is a scourge which discourages overseas investment, and left unchecked will undoubtedly undermine Jamaica’s image as a safe tourism destination. This bears direct economic consequence for the country.
As a nation of people we face critical challenges at this time in our history. These are challenges we must rise to and overcome. We are resolved for action – more action, work – and further work! Not just working hard, but working smarter and better, by employing more sophisticated and efficient techniques. By head and heart we want to wrestle Jamaica back from any path which will not lead to its enduring prosperity.
Positive community involvement and attentive political leadership are the remedies being prescribed to restore conventional social values to a modern Jamaica.
The Jamaica many diasporians departed from a mere twenty years ago is such a different place today. Who would have ever expected that our idyllic Island could come to be mooted as one of the murder capitals of the world. It is a comment that must cause all well-minded Jamaicans some embarrassment, for who chooses to live, raise children or spend recreation time in a depraved environment.
But as we pause briefly to take a bearing on our current position, there are complex questions to ponder upon; do we as a people amputate our Jamaica as being too bad to cure, and harbour ambitions to emigrate and seek acceptance in foreign lands, or do we make a stand, here and now, to preserve what is ours, and to secure a homeland worth passing to the next generation? And what of the blessed Diaspora…do they maintain the objective to engage in efforts for Jamaica’s enhancement or are their interest purely of a personal nature?
The objective view is that the Disapora are earnestly interested in Jamaica’s development. The Diaspora conference recently held in Jamaica bore evidence to this fact. The conference delegates numbered over 400, representing communities in Canada, England and the USA. The delegates attended the conference mostly at their own expense, spurred only by a common passion and interest in Jamaica’s well-being.
In this little Jamaica we have something worth investing in and holding on to. Sometimes you have to travel to other countries to appreciate the saying “nuh wey nuh better than yard”. But you have to live in Jamaica to understand the saying “Jamaica sweet, only problem is dollars nah run”.
We encourage the Diaspora to continue to support the aim to build a better Jamaica, and in exercising their efforts implore them to buy Jamaican and engage with Jamaica in arrangements to promote its international commerce and trade.
This present generation of Jamaicans situated home and abroad, as was the case with our forefathers, owe a patriotic duty to pass on Jamaica to the next generation of patriots in a better condition than when we received this stewardship of our Island home.
It will not do to blame the ‘younger generation’ or ‘the government’ for the current state of affairs. Our reality is that the younger generation are products of the older generation, and the government is democratically elected by representational politics. Therefore the conclusion must be that every Jamaican who still regards Jamaica as ‘home’ bears some responsibility for its current condition and its future development.
However, we do not mean in anyway to diminish the responsibility of the government to be accountable for Jamaica’s current circumstances; to govern over consecutive years of social decline, allegations of corruption and cronyism, record national debts and a growing trading deficit means that there is absolutely no room for complacency or excuse.
Nonetheless, to give credit where it is due, there is presently a sense of national optimism that things are about to change for the better – perhaps this is because there is a new Prime Minister who carries the hopes of the nation, or perhaps it is because reported crime is spectacularly on the decline. Whatever the reason, there is indeed an undeniable feeling that our Jamaica of old is about to make a new come back!