To the many Jamaicans who held out hope that there is the possibility of a return to the sanity, peace, and tranquility of the 60s and early 70s, it is time to move along.
For others like myself who came of age in the 80s, who lived through the relative peace of that period, it is time for us to move along also.
Sure, I understand the trauma and the sense of loss we feel at the idea that our beloved Jamaica of yesteryear is only now a figment of our imagination.…. blurs of memory, of a time when our innocence was bliss.
It was a time when everyone parented everyone’s kids. Mostly everyone was poor, but it was no big deal, we were all basically the same.
Children played without fear of being kidnapped and murdered, in fact, they had no idea what that was. Young girls lived without fear of being raped. In that Jamaica, friends were actual friends, not gang associates.
There was no internet or cable television to alert us to trappings of modernity we did not need. There was no internet, no cable television, and no smartphones.
It was a simpler time, a time of less greed, less envy. Most of all, with the exception of parts of Kingston, guns were something we only read about.
And so as I snapback from my nostalgic stupor, I remind myself, as I caution you to, do not waste any more of your lives in despair, hoping for a time, which shall never return.
We have to face the fact that the people who made Jamaica what it was then, are with us no more. It was never about how nice the place was, that has never been in question. Sure the water is blue and the sand is white, the land is fertile and the air is cool. Sure we took pride in what we did in school, and we sometimes played the fool, now its time to wake up and wipe away the drool.
There is a new mentality, new leadership, new values, or should I saw a lack thereof? Right is wrong and wrong is right.
It is now a country in which drug lords are revered, celebrated and lionized.
Reggae artistes who are gunrunners and heads of criminal gangs are normalized with national honors.
Our Jamaica is a country which makes it legal for someone to simply build a house on any parcel of land, remain there for a certain period of time and they are automatically the owners of that land.
Some believe that those who make the laws do not understand that allowing that to happen, creates untold problems. But they miss the obvious that they do understand.
They are well-thought-out misappropriation policies, by the criminals in the parliament, to repay their supporters for their votes.
A look around the Kingston Metropolitan area, as well as the city of Montego Bay, or any other municipality for that matter, and the zinc and plyboard communities which have been allowed to develop is a testament to those realities.
The diminished and now non-existent sense of morality and values which once characterized our country, has been replaced with greed, envy, hatred, and lascivious indulgence.
Rather than lift up and celebrate teachers, social workers, police officers and other public servants who toil endlessly to make our country better, the nation’s leaders conspire to elevate the worst elements from within, with the express intent of capitalizing from the cheap returns.
National honors are rendered worthless, squandered and diminished, not worth the material they are made from, by the quality of the individuals on whom they are bestowed.
It sickens me to my stomach to see what Jamaica has come to. How the very people who have been the worst actors, those who should be the very epitome of our scorn and derision are celebrated and elevated.
And still, we wonder why our youth see the gun as a means to power, recognition, respect, and fame.
From what we have seen in the Jamaica of today, the gun is a means to power, recognition, respect, and fame.
Our country has sunken to a new low and for that, we should all hang our heads in shame. Instead, we continue to lie to ourselves that Jamaica nice.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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