There is a certain strain of something which binds the polar opposite economic and social classes in Jamaica.
That something is the protestations of love Jamaicans claim to have for their country. Love of country which causes many to say they would never leave Jamaica to live elsewhere in the world.
Love of country is not something Jamaicans invented. Across the Globe, people are inexorably tied to their places of birth. People lay down their lives for their country.
God, family, Country, you chose your order.
So it’s not out of the ordinary that Jamaicans would be in love with the little bit of rock we affectionally refer to as “Yaad”.
Interestingly, it is a known fact that despite the protestations of the northern tier of the Jamaican social caste you may find only a small percentage who aren’t dual nationals between Jamaica and the United States, Canada, or the UK. Others possess Green cards or visas which allow them to fly out at a moment’s notice.
On the Southern Tier of the spectrum, it is the same for those blessed with the ability to travel. In fact, in 2015 a Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll concluded that more than four out of every 10 Jamaicans harbor a burning desire to get out of Jamaica.
Forty-three per cent of Jamaicans interviewed in the poll conducted by Johnson said that either they or person/s in their immediate families hoped to migrate to another country within the next five years or so.
It’s fair to conclude from that poll that the majority if not all of those polled were people who did not have green cards or visas.
Those with the ability to leave whenever they want to are either gone travels abroad frequently or are between trips.
Having the ability to leave if they chose to is a safety net many will not relinquish freely.
People migrate in search of better economic opportunities and for security reasons.
Between crime and the horrible economic conditions, people are inclined to look elsewhere for their safety and for opportunities to feed their families.
It is the most basic survival instincts of all species. Not convinced, turn your television to the NATGO channel.
Why then are Jamaicans who decide to live at home, whether by choice or lack thereof make it seem that people who live in the diaspora are unpatriotic?
Oh, wait before we delve into the question I must ask how about that barrel which just arrived with the foreign goods?
Hope you got the full amount in Jamaican currency that Uncle John sent from America.
And oh, the computers and things the great group of Patriots sent back for the school, they will be sending more as soon as they can.
Look you are no more a patriot than anyone else because you never left. If anything you may be more parochial, myopic than patriotic, so save us the bull.
Many of you never had a chance to leave, if you did you would have been gone.
Many of you never joined the Police Department or the Military. You complain about police corruption yet you are the one offering the young cop on the beat a bribe after you broke the law.
The Elitists on the northern tier of the spectrum who are above everyone else please do not give that envelope to that senior officer to have his men pass by your business place every 1/.2 hour.
You want to stop corruption volunteer for something. You wanna profile as a patriot stop littering the streets, vote, stop bribing public officials, report crime and give information to the police.
Join the line at the rear, stop at the stop sign/light, not only when there is a cop there.
How about obeying lawful orders given by agents of the state?
Offer a helping hand to someone less fortunate, preserve your communities and infrastructure.
Lawrence W Reid President of the Foundation for Economic Education and the author of the book Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction aptly said ask one citizen after another what patriotism means and with few exceptions, you’ll get a passel of the most self-righteous but superficial and often dead-wrong answers.
I subscribe to a patriotism rooted in ideas that in turn gave birth to a country, but it’s the ideas that I think of when I’m feeling patriotic. I’m a patriotic American because I revere the ideas that motivated the Founders and compelled them, in many instances, to put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line.
People in every country and in all times have expressed feelings of something we flippantly call “patriotism,” but that just begs the question. What is this thing, anyway? Can it be so cheap and meaningless that a few gestures and feelings make you patriotic?
Do what you do, wave your flag, be proud, vote but don’t ever confuse the fact that because you live in Jamaica for whatever reason, it means you are a patriot.
Give me a man/woman who moved away and work to help make life better for all who stayed over some loud mouthed pompous fool who believe patriotism is defined by where they live.