Jamaica is at a monumental crossroads.
This has placed my thinking into overdrive. What makes a nation great? What is the life blood of a country? Who and where are the cultural gatekeepers? What would a cultural counter insurgency look like to reverse the rot? These questions have been ruminating in my mind as I consider this recovery phase of the post Dudus era?
This thinking came into sharp focus by a recent email conversation I had with a few brothers.
It is my privilege to be a part of a real and virtual community of great Jamaican gents who share a friendship and love for our homeland.
We get together to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and any occasion we can use to do some male bonding. We use an email group to stay in touch throughout the week, and use this medium to share jokes and issues gnawing at our souls.
We seem to be coming out of our shell shock of the Tivoli Gardens affair this week. One email recently shared tells a story that encapsulate one of our fundamental thorny issues. Here is the raw expression :
“… di dance free but yet man a jump over the fence and tear dem new pants when dem couldda just walk in free”
The guys had a difficult time wrapping their heads around this behavior and the subsequent reactions provide an excellent sampling of the consternation and honest questioning we Jamaicans are feeling as to where Jamaica is headed.
My optimistic self at times wonder if maybe on the cusp of a cultural maturing. The pin that pricks this hopeful balloon is our human bias to party in self cheer-leading and fail to re-imagine what will make a great Jamaica.
Sure our precarious debt situation and material poverty are a very serious situation, but the direst situation is our spiritual wanting.
If this fundamental pillar is not restored, nothing else will really matter. Please do not also confuse church attendance with moral and ethical maturation.
A great Jamaica will be a place comprising of visionary trust-worthy leadership, honest, hardworking citizens, and compassionate care for those at the margins of life.
Yes, the character of the people is the life blood of the nation!
Every generation need to recommit to the ideas and sentiments that gives us our distinction. We need to recommit to a shared allegiance, moral, and political principles that bind us as one.
Myths, memories, and national symbols provide the aspirations and cement for our national cohesion and unique identity.
I ran across a 100% Jamaican enterprise who is providing a special set of product and services that allow us to embed our national symbols into every aspect of our daily lives.
The company is PCF Jamaica.
I had an opportunity to speak with their CEO, Mr. Patrick Cawley about patriotism.
As we enter into this reconstruction phase, we need to again embrace those touchstone items that will fire our imagination for a revived nation.
Just imagine what will happen when we recapture our hopeful aspirations ,historical greatness and a profound patriotic fervor to provide high octane fuel for the future. Let’s imagine and do!