We see it daily in the streets, in the altercations between police officers trying to do their jobs and defiant scofflaws who challenge their authority.
In the ways that motorists ignore the rules of the road and do as they please.
It has been going on for years in the nation’s classrooms as well, students defy and fight teachers because they know their parents will come to school property and assault teachers.
We see it in the way motorists operate on the roadways. In the way, people speak loudly on their cellphones in places where they shouldn’t, as if we all want to hear their conversations.
We see it in the nation’s parliament, the uncouth coarseness which passes for a legislative process.
And sure as night follows day, some will instantaneously argue that our nation’s parliament is tame compared to some other countries.
As if a mountain of wrongs eventually equals right.
We could go on and on and on about the breakdown in our society and at some stage, we have to ask what the hell is going on?
The murders and the rapes, the brutality being inflicted, brother on brother, neighbor on neighbor is incessant. Years ago a famed local psychologist blanket-labeled the entire Island, ‘mad”.
It would be wrong for me to argue with the diagnosis of a trained professional. Nevertheless, it just seemed too simplistic, and maybe even intellectually lazy, to throw up our hands in exasperation, and declare the entire Jamaica, .……mad.
So lets rationally dissect whats going on. Human beings will push the envelope as long as there are no consequences for their actions. We Jamaicans are at the tip of that spear. From time to time I write about crime and the debilitating effect it is having on our country, I argue repeatedly, that crime thrives on the acquiescence of the nation.
When a new addition to the deliberative body, (the senate), is engaged in a crusade to allow more expletives into public spaces, why would anyone wonder why a valedictorian would feel empowered to infuse expletives into his address?
Hype.….Jamaicans thrive on hype, the young politician reads his own press, and he is pumped on the adrenaline that fame brings. To show his street bona fides, he proposes something he ought to know is antithetical to the nation’s wellbeing in the long run, but still, he persists.
Because the hype is far more important to him, than simply being a good example to those coming up after him.
The Valedictorian could have walked away knowing that for as long as he lives he will be remembered as that year’s valedictorian, but the desire to gain a hype was far too strong a pull for him, and so he will be remembered as the valedictorian who brought coarseness to the game.
Decency and decorum have become a thing of the past, those who ought to know better have become willing passengers, on a train destined for derailment. The level of crazy in our society is wearing thin on our professionals.
Politicians fighting with doctors in hospitals. Teacher losing it in her classroom as a result of disrespectful kid. Police officer hanging onto the hood of a car for dear life because motorist knows he will not be held accountable for his actions.
This is lawlessness, and it does not mean that the entire nation is mad. It means that those whose job it is to protect our country has failed dismally.
Our nation cannot claim that there is no template for success, there is.
We admire many nation’s successes, we talk a great deal about them. The question becomes, “how come we cannot just copy what they are doing”?
The truth is that as soon as we get over our admiration, and look at what it takes to get to their level we back away because as a nation we lack discipline.
We lack the discipline to do what’s right. We lack the discipline to suspend our affinity for the sweet sugary rush of cotton candy.
We tell ourselves that the necessary vegan-diet could never work for us in our unique circumstances. (Because of course, we are special), *sarcasm.*
And we continue with the sugar rush. I think we all know where that will eventually take us.
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.
You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge, or subscribe to his Youtube channel @chatt-a-box, for the latest podcast all free to you of course.