Today's Jamaica Observer has an excellent piece by Michael Burke – looking back at the political history of Jamaica, today's over-dependence upon government and what Norman Manley called "Fixity of Purpose".
For us in Barbados, and for others throughout the Caribbean Community, Burke's article provides a good read and much cane for the mental mill.
You can read the entire article at the Jamaican Observer (link). Here are a few selected quotes…
About Relying Upon Government…
"We all know that it is the government that is supposed to fix things. But sensible people do not wait for a fire brigade before attempting to douse a fire just because one has been summoned and it is the role of the fire brigade to douse fires. So should it be with flood damage prevention.
In 1990, many were on fire with zeal about protecting the environment. But it was only a nine-day wonder. So we continue illegal sand mining, which also causes flooding. Even worse, the wire used for river training is being stolen.
Yes, we live in a disordered society. But knowing that alone does not solve the problem. We cannot afford to let up on training the children in proper ways of living, which includes environmental awareness. Older people are already set in their ways so our only hope is in training the next generation."
A Bit Of Political History…
"…We lack what Norman Manley called "fixity of purpose". Indeed, our national heroes are the few people who were able to carry through their goal to the end, including Norman Washington Manley. This is why he had great success as a schoolboy, athlete, lawyer and public servant. Manley's greatest frustration was when he was not in power and therefore could not carry out his ideas.
This is not to say that the hero was not without his faults; everyone has some. For example, whenever Norman Manley had a view it was difficult for him to change it. The very name of his party, People's National Party, is a case in point.
In 1938, it was a very radical thing to refer to anything as "Jamaican". We were British colonial citizens residing in Jamaica. Any product manufactured in Jamaica was really a British product that came from one of its colonies. So even the name "Jamaica Welfare" which Manley founded was quite radical…"
"We must emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, because while others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind."