Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Self-reliance key to lifting Jamaica

Published:Saturday | August 29, 2015 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

If we want education to be relevant to the realities of the 21st century, we have to demand it, and we will have to pay for it.

We will have to sanction those elected so-called leaders, some of whom are otherwise unemployable, who refuse to support the fundamental necessity of the 21st century E D U C A T I O N

We need science, logic, critical thinking, literacy, and numeracy.

Unless we are content to remain forever in debt to the same exploiters who landed here in 1494 and 1655, hewing wood and drawing water to pay for the lifestyle they decided was appropriate for us, we will have to become far more self-sufficient, and that process begins between our ears. We need to learn how to think. This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages.

Rationality and science have given us antibiotics, aircraft, and air conditioning.

Logic got us from the cave to the Moon and back. Let's try it here in Jamaica; divine intervention is a scarce resource.

We need to stop accepting this unrelenting mediocrity and poverty of mind and of pocket. We did it to ourselves, and we have the power to change our situation, starting with a change of thinking.

The politicians are not going to change unless and until we, the people, do. We have to take back the power we give them and find people who will serve us all and not lead us into mediocrity and mendicancy .

The only effective agents of change are the people in the mirror; all of us. We have to be the change.

Finding causes

In deciding who and what we want to be as a society, we first have to look at what went before and what are the causes of the present dysfunctionality and dissatisfaction.

Slavery? It was not invented here. We are not the only country that experienced it. It was a condition. We cannot use it as an excuse for failure.

Colonialism? Same as above. And there are signs of a new colonialism developing, and perhaps, we are too weak to resist.

God's judgement? Punishment for sin? Nonsense! That is medieval thinking at best, mental slavery at worst.

The politicians? So who gave them the power to run our country into the ground? In a democracy, the citizens are responsible for the actions of their Government. The price of freedom is responsibility.

When we were told that we would get bread, money, love, and a rod of correction, we chose to believe all that, and voted accordingly. The consequence of those choices we see around us. They made us promises, they did not keep them, and we voted for them, over and over. We gave the mongoose the keys to the fowl coop, and we are outraged at the consequences. Get real!

One example of mental sluggishness: In this week's press, mention was made of medical tourism. This should have been thoroughly investigated 10 years ago. We had the example of Cuba. Why so late now, when Cuba is about to experience a massive increase in tourism of all types?

What is wrong with our mental faculties? Or do we keep electing to Government people who do not need to prove their competence? Do we intend to continue doing the same thing over and over, and then wonder why we are stuck in a pothole spinning our futile wheels?

One last issue: Reggae and dancehall are not enough. Where is the Jamaican symphony? Why do we not have a definitive and distinctly Jamaican history in a musical form? We have musicians, singers, composers, performers. Is the School of Music attempting to encourage the composition of our symphony? Surely, here and among our fabled diaspora, we have the talent.

QUACO SHUTT