Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Jeremy Chambers | Fake news? No, it’s reality, bredren!

Published:Sunday | March 24, 2019 | 12:18 AM

It was reported in the news recently that fake recruitment information circulating on social media resulted in over 1,500 young people queuing up at the Jamaica Defence Force in Kingston, attired in their best business wear and waiting to be attended to.

I was moved that so many young people in Jamaica still possess that altruistic spirit, willingness to serve, impetus to work, and motivation to make their lives better while contributing to the growth of the nation.

These were persons who were willing to serve their country even if it meant the possibility of losing their life.

This prompted feelings of hurt and sadness that people could be so unscrupulous and callous in such a global economic climate where people are simply trying to survive daily.

CRUEL AND UNKIND

I took umbrage that someone would really take the time to play such a cruel joke on young, unemployed Jamaicans.

How cruel and unkind!

I was disheartened by the seeming lack of adequate opportunities for the young and to think that some of these young men and women may have borrowed money and travelled from far just to seek a better way for their lives.

How dejected they must have felt on realising that they had been tricked!

In my sadness, I came to realise my own shortcomings, biases, and just how intolerant I could be sometimes. Some of these same young men, smartly dressed in a shirt and tie, are the same ones we pass loitering at the end of our avenues and we don’t even say hello. Instead, we denigrate them in our minds … . “Wat a bwoy wutliss. Yuh see all him, him nuh waan no work. Lawd! A wish dem coulda just scrape dem up an’ dash dem someweh!”

How many of us have paused to think that our young men and women are not inherently lazy? Some of them loitering on the side of the road may be quite ambitious but lack the requisite opportunities to excel.

Fake news showed me the reality on the ground – it is a fact that young Jamaicans crave more opportunities to excel. They’re not as indolent as some would suppose.

So the next time you see one of those ‘yutes’, maybe with his pants at his knees, or loitering on the corner, or sitting on a broken block near the gully, don’t be too quick to judge. Instead, ask yourself: how can I provide an opportunity for this gentleman to become gainfully employed?

Walk good. Think right.

- Dr Jeremy Chambers, ADVAN College of Foreign Languages, Japan. Email feedback to jeremy.g.chambers@icloud.com and columns@gleanerjm.com