By George Davis
This is an open letter to Jamaicans under 35.
Our country needs us. These are dark days in the history of our wonderful land. Crime, poverty, debt and death have combined with devastating effect to gangrene Jamaica's metaphorical legs.
The onset of this gangrenous condition was prompted by the large helpings of debt Jamaica has been consuming over time. This debt, which we were told would improve education, health care, national security and infrastructure, while boosting economic growth, has given our country diabetes and, in the process, destroyed its pancreas.
Jamaica, flabby, bloated and sick, still has open sores inflicted by the deeply partisan nature of our politics as practised by the two major parties. It's through these still-festering wounds that gangrene has attacked our country's feet, gnawing through skin and flesh like a chainsaw cutting through Styrofoam.
Jamaica, once the envy of the Caribbean for more than just sports, has long been the laughing stock of our neighbours - islands to our east and south. They sneer at how mighty we were economically and how far we've fallen over time. These Caribbean neighbours marvel at our talent for self-destruction while snickering at our penurious state, almost disbelieving that a nation so resource rich can be so destitute. And broken.
Thank God for our athletes and musicians, almost all of whom attract state attention and assistance only after they've beaten the world. If not for them, what would Jamaica be but a has-been state where even greater numbers of its citizens would lament the move to independence, more than 50 years after the British agreed we should literally mind our own business?
As young Jamaicans, we've done a massive disservice to the hard-toiling taxpayers who've contributed to entities such as the Students' Loan Bureau in order for us to access higher education and training.
Given such sacrifice, why then do we idle with the gifts we've been given? Why do we spend so much time and energy cavorting or thinking of cavorting, as our country crumbles around us? Why use our youth purely for hedonistic pursuits with a seeming emphasis on engaging in the kind of debauchery that would make a career porn star blush?
We poison our minds with what we read and know everything about Kanye and Kim, Rihanna and Chris, yet have no interest in Government's plan to raise the primary surplus to 7.5 per cent of GDP up to the year 2020.
So many of us fervently supported Obama's two elections to the United States presidency, arguing passionately and zealously about why he's the best choice for Americans. Yet we duck any talk about politics in our own country, often waving the lazy argument that it's too corrupt to warrant discussion. Shameful!
Colleagues, fellow citizens under 35, our time is now. Let's break up our fallow ground. Let's cut out the foolishness. Let's infiltrate the politics of our land. No longer should we sit idly by and allow the criminal, the dunce or the incompetent to fill political spaces made vacant by the apathy of people like you, like me.
BE NATION BUILDERS
Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, think about nation building. Think about how your effort and endeavour will help this great nation re-establish itself as the gold standard in the Caribbean region. Think, my colleagues. And then do.
Let's prevent our politics from being further hijacked by those who the masses find unattractive and unworthy of their vote and support. Let's get off our asses, out of our comfort zones, and start staking a claim for leadership roles within this country. Let's no longer lament the failings of our limited leaders, but step forward and give our people strong and quality leadership.
Since we all love Obama so much, let's strive to have the impact he has had on Americans and people around the world. Obama is me. Obama is you. Jamaica needs us to be inspirational, transformational and wise.
It's time we lead a movement that will, over time, disprove the statement made by the great Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, when he remarked that youth is wasted on the young. Mek wi dweet! Right now.
George Davis is a journalist. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.