Can a major disaster revitalize a nation towards a common good for its fellow citizens? Read this month's commentary by Kharl Daley.
Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Hurricane Ivan promotes Social Responsibility

Hurricane Ivan promotes Social Responsibility.

“Teach us true respect for all, Stir response to duty’s call; strengthen us the weak to cherish, Give us wisdom least, We perish,” these are lines taken from The National Anthem of Jamaica and promote a sense of social responsibility among its citizens at home and abroad after the calamities of Hurricane Ivan.

The norm argues that we should help people who need help, whether or not they can or will ever repay our help. This is illustrated by the New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan, who helped a crime victim he did not know and never expected to have to face again and since Jamaicans on a whole are God Loving People whom for the most were spared the wrath of nature, let us now give help to the needy.

The interviews telecast here in Toronto with the average Jamaicans that were affected by Hurricane Ivan highlighted the spirit of a people unconquered still. None seemingly enchained by their suffering, the people’s demeanor beamed radiant rays of defiance against the odds and their resilience, blatant. While there was no way they could deny the hardships they’ll face the people articulated their own survival struggles and did not allow themsleves to become vehicles of depression and permanent grief . The drive of the people is symbolized in Papasan’s song entitled, ” I will Survive,” and the core of their messages were embedded in Jamaica’s National Pledge which is herewith stated:

I Pledge My Heart

I pledge my heart forever
To serve with humble pride
This shining homeland, ever
So long as earth abide

I pledge my heart, this island
As God and faith shall live
My work, my strength, my love, and
My loyalty to give.

O green isle of the Indies,
Jamaica, strong and free,
Our vows and loyal promises,
O heartland, ‘tis to thee.

It is often ironic to know how a major disaster can revitalize a Nation towards a common good for its fellow citizens and despite the dehumanizing situations initiated by the deaths and massive destruction, the people’s will to rise again pack much more strength and power than that of Ivan’s 180 km wind.

We have witness many people walking through empty structures that were once their homes, heard the story of one mother in Portland Cottage whom through eight (8) hours of darkness searched relentlessly for her children, plucked from her arms my the rushing tides inland and as the tales unfold, we wonder helplessly at nature’s fury and how lucky we are.

Let us all be generous and reach out to our African brothers and sisters throughout the Caribbean as Haiti, Cayman Island and Grenada were also severely hit. However small the donation, please give it for as it is said, “One, one coco will full basket.”

About the author

Kharl Daley