Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Will we reach 2030 destination?

Published:Friday | August 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM


No matter how careful, fast or long we head in the wrong direction, we will never reach our intended destination!

A vision guides us to a desirable destination. Are we still holding on to our main Vision 2030 (to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, do business and raise families), which is a little over a decade away?

Before deciding where we want to go, we should first appreciate or understand where we are coming from and know where we are. Sometimes people set out on a long journey, searching for a place, only to realise it was right where they had initially set out. This can prove a frustrating, but also enlightening experience.

"Nothing beats experience," we often say. I do agree, but not wholeheartedly. There is something more valuable than experience, and it is the evaluation of that experience, which is enlightenment. When we are mindful of the lessons learnt and apply ourselves to avoid past mistakes and improve our situation, we are living wisely.

Wisdom is the practical and useful application of knowledge, making good decisions. How wise have we been? How well have we been evaluating our experiences and why have we been repeating so many tragic mistakes?

Why is there a mindset that solutions to our socio-economic challenges should ideally come from foreign experts and investors, whether it is reforming education, health and the constabulary force or reducing the high crime rate, implementing the best fiscal and monetary policies and generally how to govern ourselves? We often embark in search for answers (from foreign experts) to questions we can easily answer. Is this Independence, Jamaican style?

As a nation, it is most commendable that since Independence, we have made recognisable and significant progress in many spheres (increased life expectancy, reduced infant mortality, improved labour laws and literacy, etc), and there have been many individual bright sparks and icons in academia, music and sports. But, we have also regressed socially with a very high crime rate and insignificant economic growth.

Given we have had 55 long and laborious years on a journey towards the (now seemingly elusive) dream of peace, stability and prosperity, the pertinent question is: Are we drifting off course or have we been heading in the wrong direction?