Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Don't be slaves to victimhood

Published:Tuesday | October 13, 2015 | 10:01 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It would seem that we have allowed British Prime Minister David Cameron to occupy centre stage of our lives because of his insensitivity to the criminal and historical reality of slavery and the question of reparation.

While all reasonable and well-informed persons should readily agree to advocate for reparation, I wonder if we should dedicate so much energy to beating a dead horse with a wet noodle. The horse will not budge!

Yes, let the reparation demands continue, but at the level of the Caribbean governments - inclusive of the African collusion in this matter. The Caribbean proposal is more comprehensive to growth in the region.

What I am most concerned about is that we Jamaicans are so excessively preoccupied with the reparation issue (usually erroneously focusing only on money) that we become distracted from major issues that face the nation, issues that are constantly being ignored: crippling crime, extortion and violence; deplorable health facilities; lack of housing for the lower-income group; land distribution; slow parliamentary attention to electoral reform matters put forth by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica since 2013; water and energy, etc. Our public servants should be much more efficient in delivering on such crucial matters of life and death.

heal ourselves

As long as we preoccupy ourselves with the now 'unreachable dream' of reparation and the insensitivity of colonial masters, we will never take hold of our own destiny to heal ourselves - if you please, with the help of God's grace, for we are indeed graced - and to concentrate on the NOW doable in order to make something great of this nation.

A distracting victim mentality with the subsequent sense of entitlement becomes more entrenched in our wounded psyche with no possibility of moving forward. We are perpetually mesmerised with the 'poor me' syndrome because of others who couldn't care less!

Yes, we look back, learn from the past heinous crimes of slavery and indentured servitude, which have forged us into the resilient people that we are, but rear-view driving alone gets us nowhere.

Let us dare to dream dreams of greatness, and manage our destiny as a proud people. Reparation or no reparation, let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, embrace discipline and unselfish non-tribal dedicated service, and do what is in our best interest for our families and our country.

DONALD J. REECE

Archbishop Emeritus of

Kingston

Acting Pastor, St Richard's