THE EDITOR, Sir:
A recent trek to Meadowrest cemetery reminded me why some years ago, I vowed never to return there. Yesterday, however, I was coerced into making yet another visit because of the passing of a close relative.
The cemetery is a mudhole where all that seems to matter to the proprietors is making money. The access road leading to the burial ground is an exercise in daredevil driving, and once you arrive at what could be such a beautiful place to put your loved ones at their final rest, you find that you have to negotiate a field of red mud to get to the spot.
It is not uncommon to have three or four burials occurring adjacent to each other at the same time, with the ensuing confusion as each group performs its own ceremony. I won't even mention the open ganja smoking that is in evidence all around by visitors of other funerals. Where is the dignity?
One visits other countries, and cemeteries are places of beauty, serenity and reverence. But I guess in a society such as ours in which human life has so little value, it is too much to expect respect for the dead.
Our largest and probably oldest place of final rest, May Pen Cemetery, is a filthy wasteland harbouring criminals of all types ready to pounce on anyone visiting to merely pay respect to one he/she loves.
As a country, we MUST do better. All of the above is merely a few manifestations of a general lack of order in the society. Everything we seem to do is approached in a chaotic fashion. The way we allow our towns and cities and communities to grow and descend into states of decay and disrepair. The way we allow our people, despite anti-litter laws, to throw filth into the streets without prosecution. The way we allow politics to dictate where and when vending takes place across the country.
No place for disorder
Any cursory glance across the globe will show that there is not one single country that you can brand as successful in which disorder, indiscipline and chaos are the order of the day.
At a broader level, I've always felt that Government had a great opportunity to facilitate the creation of a model community when Portmore was conceived. Unfortunately, they missed the boat. The result is this hodgepodge community which is not far removed from any other inner-city ghetto.
I am appealing to our leaders to arrive at some sort of social contract to save this country from itself.