I believe that a brighter future is ahead for Jamaica, but as the nation approaches its 49th birthday there are still many ills that need to be addressed. Jamaica’s problem lies in the mindset of the people. Yes we have very talented Jamaicans, and Jamaicans who have excelled tremendously at home and abroad, but still not many Jamaicans believe in their power as individuals. For too long many Jamaicans have stood by and watch the politicians single-handedly bring down Jamaica year after year, and decade after decade.
As Jamaicans, many of us have allowed ourselves to be bought into the deception of the government; we have been taught that there are two classes of people in Jamaica, the rich and the poor, and that there is no space for a middle class, which in essence has been obliterated. We have been taught that there is the Jamaica for people who live uptown and a Jamaica for people who live downtown. We have been taught that there are schools for the elite, and schools for the poor. Where is the ONE LOVE Jamaica, where is the Jamaica for everybody? Is it a façade? The truth is we will never see a brighter day until our mind-set changes.
The youth of the nation must be made to realize that they have the power to make things happen, and that such power is there regardless of race, color or creed. We need to emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery which has captivated the nation over the last several years. As Jamaicans we need to step up and realize that we are not in an “us and them” situation, for we are one. Do not sit by and idly watch the government or other leaders in this nation do as they please; instead provide for a system where we hold the government and others responsible for their actions.
Young men in our nation need to learn that what makes them men are not how many children they have, or how many women they have slept with. It is time for the men in Jamaica to step up and be the men they were created to be; someone who is responsible, and respectful. Having male genitalia does not make you a MAN, it’s your actions, and the choices you make that positively impact those around you, that develops a real man. Consequently, credit must be given to the men in Jamaica that have chosen to break out of the stereotypical mold, and have gone on to be great men of influence in our society, men who stand up for what is right, men who provide for their children the best they can, and men who know how to admit when they are wrong.
Young children need to be guided from an early age in order to make positive and right choices. It is disheartening when the only role models kids in the inner city communities have are dancehall entertainers or community gang leaders. I am not disrespecting our talented Jamaican dancehall entertainers, but one must admit that the lifestyle that some of them portray, and the lyrical content of some of their songs are not uplifting, and are definitely not the moral basis on which to build a solid society based on principles and respect. Teach our children dignity, and pride. Teach them that there are other ways to achieve upward social mobility, aside from being a gun brazing criminal. Teach them that we are one as a people, and not that we should be separated by our political associations.
Let us learn to work together as a people, and not apart. Let us realize that the Jamaica we envision is an island of unity, and the only way that we can achieve that is to put aside our petty differences. Jamaica will only move forward when we learn to think as ONE, only when we return to the ONE LOVE Jamaica that Bob Marley sang about. We are a proud people, and now let us take that and turn it into respect for our fellow citizens. Let us again begin to stand up for justice, brotherhood and peace, to work diligently and creatively, to think generously and honestly, so that Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare of not only our nation, but of the whole human race.
© Dimitri Lyon and dimitrilyon.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dimitri Lyon and dimitrilyon.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.