Real solutions : Bishop Marchillion Jarrett on how to make Jamaica a better place
St Ann's Bay, St Ann:
On the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the United Deliverance Church of God in St Ann's Bay, overseer, Bishop Marchillion Jarrett, took time out to speak to Family and Religion to share his views on how to make Jamaica a better place.
His ideas suggest that the solutions are right here, only waiting for a courageous government to do what is necessary.
"Government needs to put teeth in the laws that they have legislated for the country," Jarrett pointed out.
"We can't take away, for example, we say we take corporal punishment out of schools, we say parents are not to beat their children - I'm not talking about abuse here, there should be no abuse - but the Bible teaches us that the bit is made for the horse's mouth and the rod for the fool's back, and sometimes in order to get what you want, there has to be tough love. So when we take away from the parents, from the teachers, that ability to guide the children and sometimes be stern, I think it's a big mistake."
The bishop believes there are still people in Jamaica who can make the country a beautiful place, but it calls for integrity.
"I'm still of the opinion that if all our security men, our security officers will be totally honest and straightforward, that they have the training and all that it takes to bring the crime and violence in Jamaica down. But if you have somebody who is not for, but working against the organisation that you are employed to, you're going to still have problems.
"It doesn't matter how many more hundred or thousand persons they put in the security forces, unless we can say let integrity and uprightness preserve us as a nation, you know, we'll still be going down because when one set is building over here, another set is pulling down over there."
"As a people, we need to love each other," he reminded.
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"Next thing that will really help Jamaica is, we've got to stop the trend of laziness that is in the country. I think that the politicians - the members of parliament, the councillors - instead of giving a young man a money to buy a beer or two, organise something and let him go to work, let him go in the field."
Bishop Jarrett recalls growing up in Watt Town, St Ann when there was strict discipline, and young people, at a certain age, would either be going on to learn a trade or going on to college to get a profession.
"Today, it's pure idlers you see when you go around, and hundreds of acres of land are just lying down wasting.
"Organise something, get the idle hands to work, and when you do that, you just need to get market. Some of the things we are importing, we don't have to import them because we produce good yam, sweet potato, corn."
Lamenting that Jamaica "imports everything," Bishop Jarrett said this is what is making the country "backward."
A lot of pressure is being put on a small amount of people, while the majority,"just sits down as idlers, wait for a barrel to come from America, or wait on a politician to give a handout or wait to learn the technology so they can scam somebody."
"Unless, we have the guts in government to not think about the next election, but think about cleaning up the country because once you're looking at the next election, you won't take the remedial step that you're supposed to take."