Posts from — May 2010
On January 12, the 7.0 earthquake brought Haiti to a heap.
On May 17, an earthquake, social in nature was unleashed in Jamaica. The Jamaica security forces launched an attack aimed at the Dudus elements of Tivoli Gardens, but the collateral damage of many innocent lives is just the beginning of the unintended domino effects that may include the head of a prime minister.
The Haiti tragedy is Katrina like, where the scenes of devastation are just overwhelming, while the Jamaican tragedy is like the BP oil spill. The genesis of this tragedy is a relentless gush below the sea surface of the society, with a helpless foreboding of multiple Loch Ness demons being unleashed.
The reaction to both tragedies is also varied. Haiti elicited a torrent of generosity. In contrast, Jamaica has suffered a sheer cliff fall-off in tourist visitors. Currently if you try giving your neighbor a week-end trip to our paradise, what would be their reaction? Chances are you will not get a warm hug, but a punch in the gut from the very aggressive, or a cut eye from the passive.
So where do we go from here? It is been said that “When working towards the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.”We thus set out to seek the wisdom of a constitutional attorney steeped in the history and possibilities of Jamaica. He is Professor David Rowe, a University of Miami adjunct professor with expertise in Jamaican extraditions.
As we recover from the shock and awe of the recent events, let us mourn yes, but let us remember that courage is the parent of success.
We have some heavy lifting ahead of us and strategic courage will be key to restore the land we love .
May 31, 2010 No Comments
It may be hard to fathom now, but very soon, we will be faced with the dawn of a new day from the current nightmare we find in our Island nation.
We are currently heart broken by the devastation and despair. Our frustrations is absorbing our energies as we contemplate the why questions and attempt to exact blame.
We will need to grieve the losses, bind the wounds, and create a sustaining framework to move forward in an affirmative way.
Tapping into the experienced wisdom of our wise elders will be a key ingredient in realizing this possibility.
It was indeed my fortune to meet Mr. Kenneth Jones, a veteran journalist and author, who is committed to allowing us to have access to such wisdom.
His skilled pen has produced several works on Marcus Garvey, such as Justice Delayed, and a biography on Lady Bustamante.
His most recent work is most timely given the eruption in West Kingston.
Ken has penned a most inviting work on Bustamante capturing notes, quotes, and anecdotes.
We had an engaging interview regarding this timely book.
click to hear this interview
History is a wonderful teacher if we care to suckle its nectar. If we are going to create a winning solution for the road ahead in Jamaica, we will need to revisit some of the fundamental principles that was practiced by our founders, and captured in this fine publication.
Let us hold in reserve some energy for the heavy lifting ahead of us.
Let us recommit to our motto.
Let us commit to leverage the wisdom that we have just heard as we chart a new day.
Let us remember one of the many quotes in this fine work.
“No police or military force can bring back the love that existed in Jamaica ;
We have to bring it back ourselves.”
Rt. Hon. Alexander Bustamante (1961)
Now let’s just do it!
May 26, 2010 No Comments
Prayer for Jamaica
May 25, 2010
We know our Father that the hour is desperate.
We come to you with heavy and anxious hearts.
The disturbing images, the frightening sounds, have brought a unease to our thumbing hearts.
Our paradise home is feeling the heat of hell.
We see our loved ones cuddled in fear and they have a fainting hope.
Yes, the multiplying social ills have turned to dangerous cancers that threaten to choke Jamaica’s vitality.
So we lift of heads heaven wards and utter help!
We need courage, and strength, and wisdom, and yes Divine guidance.
Come in the fullness of Your Spirit!
Blow a breeze of peace and calm, and may a miracle occur to lead to the cessation of violence.
Comfort us as we mourn our losses, and supply your healing balm to bind up our wounds.
Let us remember that You are our true fortress of strength, and as we look forward to a new day of possibility.
May Your eternal principles of justice and peace rule our hearts and fire our imagination for what is possible for a rebuilt Jamaica.
We pray this in the strong name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!!!
May 25, 2010 1 Comment
It’s caps and gown time!
It is a time when we celebrate the achievements of our family and friends and get a shot of inspiration.
We take time out recognize the victory over the setbacks, detours, all nighters, and whatever challenge that needed to be conquered.
But look more intently! There is a set of students whose joy seemed strangely muted. Did they not get the memo that it is time to let loose and relish their accomplishments?
Curiosity asked the question of why the morose look. Hundred of these O levels achievers point in unison to a chilling creature, whose look more menacing than the specter of death. This grim reaper has a blood-stained T shirt with the lettering, dream killer, bellowing threats of impossibilities.
Hundreds of kids who have dreams to change Jamaica, who in their heart believe that celebrations should be commencement moments to their next level of development, but they are faced instead with a yawning gap of impossibility as there is no resources to fuel their journey, to run over dream killer and get them to the next milestone of accomplishment.
Well a growing number of families are saying why can’t we do something to eliminate dream killer.
Our conversation today is meeting a family (The Bromfields) who is slaying the dream killer with vision, generosity, and sacrifice. We also get to meet a young lady (Keron Williamson) who is walking across the cleared bridge over the body of the wounded dream killer
Keron’s dream of becoming a doctor practicing in Jamaica will be realized! In four years, some life will be saved, so hurt will be healed, some new life will be celebrated. Yes, the gift will go on because of the courageous action of the Bromfields.
Billy Graham once said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”
Will our courage against impossible be stiffened? Will we consider making an investment in a life outside of our family? How do we take out the family of impossible menacing others? Is there a richer legacy that we can establish?
May 19, 2010 No Comments
Mr. Ian Lyn, who is this guy?
Well, you like me may have seen his viral video on the water crisis in Jamaica.
You should have known he is special as to how he decided to get our attention about this dire situation.
He leveraged several critical tools, video, and expert opinion.
Like a great news person, he took us to the scene of the crime, and made it quite evident that we have a serious problem.
The dam in disrepair, the dry water bed, the smoldering fires, and the bacteria-infested water with the expert environmentalist adding the technical commentary was riveting.
This video has been seen over 55 thousand times in less than a month!
Like a prophet crying in the wilderness, Ian Lyn got us to move beyond the trite, Jamaica no problem mantra to look at ourselves with piercing reflectivity.
Anyone with a sense of Jamaican pride cannot simply click away and forget the message of his video.
Deep down we know that he is addressing a deeper issue than the water crisis. This water situation is just a symbol of a great drought.
It is the withering and absence of the vital spiritual soul that is needed for a dynamic, vibrant nation.
Ian Lyn is the General Manager of the New Line Motors Group of Companies, President of the Jamaica Used Car Dealer Association, and CEO of The Firm Marketing Agency.
His business success as a social entrepreneur clearly is not sufficient to satisfy his deeper yearning which is love for his country and devout belief in people and building up of the nation.
Like a skilled surgeon, the diagnosis needs to be fully rendered before the restoration can begin. He sets out to do this with the outrageous indignation of a prophet.
He spares no quarters in his analysis of our current situation. The history of our response to prophets is that we cannot see beyond their bony fingers pointing out our sins to the weeping that they do on our behalf.
I decided that I did not want to repeat history, but to give a careful listening to this firebrand of a man.
I had the distinct privilege to enter into conversation with Ian to get a fuller understanding of what makes him tick, and what are his plans beyond the video.
The wise would take heed, and give this interview a listen:
So is his diagnosis on target, and how do we move forward to a fruitful future?
May 10, 2010 No Comments
While Bolt and Company was tearing up the Penn Relays, another key Jamaican group was wooing Virginia.
This past April our eyes were on Usain Bolt who brought a fresh bolt of electricity to our national pride.
However, while this was happening, another team of Jamaicans were on a mission of a different kind; this mission did not take 39 seconds, but 30 days of extracting juicy business nectar from business leaders in Virginia.
Their initiative will provide fresh goodwill and business opportunities beyond our dreams.
Team leader Andre Hylton, an Assistant Governor-Elect of Jamaica’s Rotary clubs, led a dynamic team of young Jamaican professionals consisting of Denise Garfield, a Corporate Planner for the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League Limited; Kellie-Ann Styles, a Financial Advisor with Jamaica Money Market Brokers, and Mark Barnett, Area Manager for the National Water Commission.
So how did they get this opportunity to wow Virginia? Well, the vision of Horace and Carlota McCormack, Governor and First lady of Rotary International’s, District 7610 in Virginia was critical. Horace as Governor provides leadership to a District consisting of 53 clubs that spread from Northern to Central Virginia.
This lovely couple, who is also from Jamaica, provided the leadership to enable this pioneering professional exchange to be realized. In the past, similar team exchanges with Brazil, India, the Philippines, and other countries; but Horace just knew a Jamaican team would shine for the country and absorb a wealth of knowledge that would benefit the Island.
This professional exchange allowed the participants to brainstorm Virginia, sharing the culture and value proposition of Jamaica, while getting exposed to new methodologies that will enhance their professional skill banks. They also lived in the homes of various Rotarians where further cultural exchanges and bonds of friendship blossomed. They were able to visit 40 clubs in just one month!
Setting up a program of this magnitude takes lots of on-the-ground logistics and coordination effort. Dr. Lois Wilson (McLean Rotary Club) and Michelle Peters (Bailey’s Cross Roads Rotary Club), headed the dedicated volunteers who made this program a success.
I had the privilege of being invited to the closing function of this grand initiative. The Jamaican team wanted to share the depth of their appreciation to the host families who gave so generously of themselves. They prepared a delicious Jamaican spread with all the favorites included. Yes, ackee and salt fish, jerk chicken and pork, and fried plantain with the usual suspected beverages to wash it down.
At the end of the meal, the team shared their major take-aways of the past month. Sure, the technical exchange and mentoring were important. However, most important was the personal human investments these families made in them. The idea of opening one’s home to strangers, re-decorating rooms and bending over with gracious gesture to ensure their comfort had universal major impression. The wonderful evening ended with the singing of several Jamaican cultural songs.
Rotary International is powered by people who practice the principle of giving generously. Want to attract abundance in your life? Give of yourself even in tough economic times. Look for a follow up in a few months to see how this giving is bearing fruit.
See more at www.rotary7610.org
May 4, 2010 2 Comments