I just returned from a brief vacation in Jamaica. I was so blessed to be there. Please see below, the letter that I wrote to the Jamaica Observer. Take some time to give thanks to God for our blessed country!
It has been 20 years since I migrated to Canada from Jamaica. Every year that I have returned on vacation, I continue to feel the love and positive energy in this country and to see more and more progress and development.
In my experience, customer service in business places for the most part, is up to par and impressive. The quality of products and services is world class in most places. Generally speaking, the professionalism and civility that I witness and experience are outstanding. Shows in theatres, museums, cultural and entertainment activities reflect a progressively higher level of sophistication and technical competence. Added to this, the streets are clean and public spaces are a source of pride for all Jamaicans. I have stopped counting the number of Canadians who are repeat visitors to our island and who have nothing but good things to say about our tourism product, the quality of service and the friendliness and efficiency of Jamaicans.
Now I am fully aware that the continuing high levels of crime, poverty and corruption are unacceptable. I agree that as a nation, Jamaica could be in better shape. But I feel compelled to appeal to all Jamaicans to stop the unhealthy obsession with negative things while ignoring the tremendous potential for progress.
As a nation, we need to shift the collective consciousness away from blaming the politicians who we elect towards a consciousness that focuses on the real possibility for prosperity that is built on the foundations of the talent and expertise that currently exist in this nation.
There is compelling evidence that we are quite capable accelerating the rate of development and redressing the blight of crime and poverty here. The young principals of Mile Gully and Troy high schools who were featured on television this week, are fine examples of committed visionaries who will shape the future of this country through education. The discipline, order and excellent performance that we witnessed at Boys’ and Girls’ Champs prove that goals can be attained through discipline and persistent guidance of teachers, coaches and mentors. There is much more that I could say to support my conviction that we have so much more positive with which to work here than the negative factors that dominate public discussions that so often include the use of economic data to measure our progress as a nation.
We are truly a blessed nation. Regardless of the state of the economy and the many social problems that prevail, we have come a very, very long way since 1962.
My parting words are borrowed from Eric Donaldson’s Festival Song “Land of my birth” – “Some people say we are poor, but the progress you make is not always how rich you are!”
Give thanks for Jamaica, land we love!