Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Letter of the day | In need of new vision

Published:Friday | November 11, 2016 | 11:00 AM

"Have no fear for atomic energy, none of them can't stop the time"

I quoted this line of the Bob Marley song to my class of bewildered millennials this morning in class at UWI. We were studying leadership and we tried to understand the kind of leadership that Mr Trump would provide. Many were shell-shocked and feeling despondent, and we discussed those who might be jubilant at this time. We tried to understand how the charismatic president-elect might appeal to those white Americans who thought that America was no longer great. We know of the backlash to Obama, which is not unexpected in America's racist heartland.

We discussed the challenge to the third democratic term and the idea of Hillary Clinton. America likes to believe that it is the greatest country in the world. It might well be, but it consists of human beings who are just like other human beings in the world. We saw democracy under pressure, racism, disrespect of women and a flagrant disregard for diversity. We realise that nations and organisations need inspired leaders with a vision who can help people to surmount obstacles and achieve goals.

 

Political system is useless

 

We realise that most of the young people in the class have opted out of our political process in the Caribbean; did not intend to vote and have dismissed politics and politicians as corrupt and self-serving without any sustaining vision. They seem to believe that they have to organise their lives on their own as the political system is useless. Sadly, my own youthful enthusiasm and faith in our leaders has hit an all-time low, although I try to suggest to the young people that they have to become transformational leaders themselves.

Our own situation is very dire and I hope that more than the 30 per cent who voted in the last local government elections will come out on November 28. We are desperately in need of a new vision for Jamaica, and on a day like today we realise how important it is for us to fix our country so that we are not begging the USA, Canada and England to take us in. It is time for us to sing redemption songs.

Hilary Robertson-Hickling

hilary.hickling@gmail.com