HELLO MI neighbour! With momentum building, black, green and gold decorations everywhere, office parties, independence gifts and all, it certainly feels like Jamaica is having an early visitation of the Christmas Spirit - a black, green and gold one. Excitement!
This jubilee Independence celebration is reminiscent of August 1962.
There were celebrations everywhere. The Union Jack was replaced by the brilliant black, green and gold flag signalling the end of British rule here. For the first time, we sang our own anthem, recited our National Pledge and National Motto! Can still feel goose pimples!
To speak of our achievements since 1962 could take another 50 years. To speak of our failures could take a while, but, as they say, "let sleeping dogs lie". Speaking of the negatives at this time could 'stir up anger' and you know how we are when we become angry:
Politicians hurl insults at one another in style.
Co-workers fight and lose their jobs or lives.
We hurt one another indiscriminately.
Husbands walk out leaving poor mothers to care for the children, etc.
Why do you think that a young neighbour from central Jamaica is on the streets begging food for her children today? Her husband became angry and walked out. The children are hungry and may not return to school in September, but it doesn't matter to him ... . The instigator of the anger must be punished. Can you see through that?
That's why I am saying that we should be careful about the things we say or do to one another because, even at 50, we still cannot manage anger. And we have advanced in many areas. Tertiary education is no longer for the 'cream of the crop', but also for what the 'cream' considers to be the 'scum'. Our music is penetrating the world; the world is rushing to Jamaica to experience its rich culture, sunshine, beaches, pristine waterfalls and mouth-watering dishes.
Despite all of this, 'if yu mash a man corn', you may not live to say sorry. Propelled by anger, he becomes a raging bull who will not stop until someone is mortally wounded. What a way to live?
My wish for Jamaica as we celebrate 50 years of Independence is that we seek freedom from 'anger rule'. Think of the millions of dollars that anger is costing us as a nation. Yes, just think. I need not tell you that we have a serious anger problem in this country. Neither do I need to say what will happen if this problem is not fixed.
If this article impacts 10 persons positively, I would have made my contribution to Jamaica 50. What's your contribution? The best gift you can offer your fellow Jamaican at this time is to do what the good book says, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". There is no better anger management tool. See opportunities below to use this tool. Happy 50th Jamaica!
Opportunities to help
Lerris, needs school bags and shoes for seven and four-year-old.
Ms Faye, Clarendon: lost everything to fire; needs household items.
Elaine, St Andrew: unemployed; needs a two burner gas stove.
Germaine, Manchester: had a heart attack in May 2012. Needs $625,000 for surgery.
Neighbour: caring for six grandchildren, ages eight to 12. In need of household items and clothing.
Neighbour, St Andrew: tertiary student; back is against the wall; needs to clear $50,000.
Rose, Manchester: unemployed; needs a wheelchair and food.
Melvina, Trelawny: 84 years old; asking for a stove with an oven to bake for a living.
To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for helping
1. Ms Allen, St Andrew, for offering to assist Priscilla with back to school.
2. Mr Bailey, St Andrew, for offering a mattress to a neighbour.
3. Neighbour, Canada, for offering assistance to grandmother of seven whose parents died.
4. Annakay, St Ann, for uniform blouses to needy student.
5. Evelyn, St Andrew, for donating khaki uniforms to 12 and 14-year-old boys.