To develop a country, there is the need to begin with its most important resources which is the people. This is achieved through education, training and the establishment of strong moral standards, beginning with respect for life that is, one’s own life and the life of others.
I have listened and seen with dismay the disunity over the plans for celebrating our 50th Anniversary of Independence. There is much talk about who should use the Jamaica 50th logo, as if it can be used again and only some of us have the right to it, that is, those who can afford it.
The activities that have been presented are mostly for pertinent to our culture and to a lesser extent our heritage – not our independence. It is mostly nostalgia about “ole time sumting come back again” and our historical journeys in music, the arts, the gamut and “tapestry” of our culture and peoples that came. Wonder what is left to be unearthed when National Heritage Week comes around? I sincerely hope that it will not be about Black History and Halloween.
No one is talking about what has led us towards independence and how we achieved it. No one is talking about what independence really means for a nation. No one is talking about what we have gained as an independent state, what we have gained since independence; how and where we have positioned Jamaica regionally, and on the world’s stage. No one is talking about what we should give up but rather who we should give up.
We should be celebrating our achievements in many arenas over the past 50 years. Before, we had no place there, except to be a part of the British colony, voided of making decisions for our own well-being. This, to me, is what it means to be an independent nation. Without these achievements being brought to the forefront, we are prodding aimlessly, without vision.
Contributing Author: Ms. Cecelia D. Ferguson