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LETTER OF THE DAY - A defining moment for all of us

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

THERE IS nothing more inspiring than seeing the response of people, particularly Jamaicans, to a crisis situation, especially when someone is in desperate need. Whether it is the aftermath of a hurricane, or Jamaicans responding to the Shaggy and Friends Make a Difference Foundation concert, our display of brotherly love is second to none. There is a kind and caring spirit about us that allows us to rally to the cause of others, irrespective of our own situation. In the words of renowned author Max Lucado, "the burden of bridge-building falls on the strong one, not on the weak one".

Sense neighbourliness

It is this spirit of kindness that every now and again soars above the stories of crime and corruption in our society, and reminds us of the reasons we are proud to be Jamaicans. This bridge of friendship knows no boundaries and turns our attention to our Haitian neighbours in their recovery efforts after the earthquake last week. There is something about seeing someone else in a state of need that allows us forget our own problems and extend a helping hand. Kudos to individuals and organisations who have and are now making special efforts to help in this recovery cause.

From Jamaica's economic standpoint, a similar sense neighbourliness is being called for as we navigate 2010, one which Prime Minister Golding asserts would be a defining year. Like the children on the ward of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, or the Haitians who are left to pick up the pieces, the Jamaican economy also needs cooperation from all of us. Still suffering the aftershock of the financial turmoil of 2009, all stakeholders are now being called upon to pitch in in a selflessness approach to rescue Jamaica.

More engaging discussions

Surely, there is hardly time for anymore errors, bungling and political spin as we engage in Jamaica's economic recovery. Likewise, the tone of the dialogue between Government and Parlia-mentary Opposition needs to be more engaging and characterised by less of the customary blame-game politics. It sets the tone for the rest of the country to follow and offers a lifeline of confidence that will be critical for the economy to bounce back.

This is, indeed, a defining time for us all as we re-examine our practices, both individually and from a national perspective. In the same way in which we are willing to give to a needy cause, may we be able to see that Jamaica really needs us now. So no matter how hard it is to look at the income-tax deduction on our payslip, or the increased GCT on our bills, or the reduced interest rates on our investment, the ultimate feeling is to have a sense of satisfaction knowing that we're playing our part when our economy need us most.

I am, etc.,

Devon Spaulding

POET_N_I@yahoo.com

Spanish Town, St Catherine