Proud and Free…Jamaica 53

Posted: August 6, 2015 in Politics/Current affairs, Sports & Entertainment
Tags: , , ,
”I Pledge My Heart:”
I pledge my heart forever
To serve with humble pride
This shining homeland, ever
So long as earth abide.
I pledge my heart, this island
As God and faith shall live
My work, my strength, my love and
My loyalty to give.
O green isle of the Indies,
Jamaica, strong and free,
Our vows and loyal promises
O heartland, ‘tis to Thee.

 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE TO ALL JAMAICANS WHEREVER YOU MAY BE!!!!
As I scrolled through my various social media accounts to see the standard independence days discourse(s) I was inspired to break my blog writing slump. Par for the course on independence day are two sets of reactions that I find troubling i.e. the “over celebration” of the all inclusive parties and the “we are not independent so what are we celebrating” crowd.

 

Not gonna spend too much time on the Negril and Ochi ravers except to say that’s not for me. But the people that really draw mi out are the latter set. “Jamaica is this and Jamaica is that and we don’t have this and we don’t have that so how can we be celebrating independence.” Or even worse ” we depend on other countries for this and that so duh that goes against the meaning of the word independence.” I am honestly so sick of this line of reasoning. let us start by clearing up the semantic disagreement i.e. what we mean when we say we are celebrating “independence.” What we commemorate on August 6 every year as Jamaicans is not the dictionary concept of total autonomy and the freedom to do whatever whenever but simply what is called “internal self government or internal self rule” i.e. we have our own parliamentary and governmental structures  and we pass our own laws and institute our own policies. We commemorate becoming a sovereign nation that collects and spends its own tax money and can enter into its own international relations. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS. And even if we wanted to focus on the dictionary meaning of “independence” show me the truly independent nations in our global community? The first two names that may come to mind are the two largest economies in the world…the USA and China but guess what the relationship that those two countries have with each other and the rest of the world very much shows how much they are dependent in some way shape or form, so even that part of the debate is not as strong as some would have you believe.

 

Now lets get tho the “we suffering and we nuh reach nuh weh so why we celebrating” part. Now don’t get me wrong, I am as disillusioned as anyone with the path that the two “P’s” have taken us on and I also agree that in terms of pure potential, we as a nation have squandered so much and even tho just merely 53, which is probably a teenager in relation to some of our more “developed” counterparts, we really should be farther along the path to “development.” But that reality does not preclude me from celebrating that which is infinitely positive about Jamaica Land We Love. Therefore, i actually don’t have a problem with us talking, harshly even about our national underachievement, but a balance must and can be struck. we must celebrate all the individual and collective positive achievements that Jamaica has sprung forth. We are a strong little island that has punched above its weight in the global community in true “likkle but tallawah” fashion. we have been at the forefront of global movements like the anti-apartheid movement, the push to reintegrate cuba into hemispheric affairs and many others. We have produced some of the greatest academic and cultural/creative minds and athletic bodies, we have lent the world a religion and at least four musical genres. We are a cultural epicentre.

 

But we are equally a disappointment. To borrow from a previous post of mine, Jamaica is my paradoxical paradise where success and failure are next door neighbors that coexist everyday. So what independence day means to me is the balance between acknowledging with great pride all that we have accomplished so far but simultaneously and solemnly contemplating where we have gone wrong and what steps we as a people are going to take to assist in getting us where we want to go.

 

So yes I acknowledge all the folly that inundates my paradoxical paradise but at least for today if I had to choose I would err on the side of celebrating where we have done well and hope that this will inspire us to build upon that legacy. ETERNAL FATHER CONTINUE TO BLESS OUR LAND…AND GIVE US VISION LEST WE PERISH
PS – hold some tune bigging up this land that we love so much.
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