A Jamaican documentary titled The Cost of Corruption recently aired in South Florida, and its subject matter delved deep into the origins of the nefarious activities of Jamaica’s government from the 1960s through to just a few short years ago. The politicians’ objectionable activities included robbing the country of internationally contributed funds meant for educational expansion, resulting in what is now billions in debt to the International Monetary Fund. They include protection of a ponzi schemer who contributed millions of US dollars to both major political parties on the island. These activities even include collusion with notorious drug lords. This is the seedy, faithless, dark side of our country – Jamaica, land we love.
We make what should be the prestigious institution of national government seem more like the mafia lineup in a gangster flick. But I won’t add to the ravings of those who complain of things they are unwilling to change. I’d rather speculate on how to make them better.
I’ve recently become obsessed with power-thinking audio. You can find tons of it on YouTube. These motivational speakers talk to us about harnessing the power within, and the thing that remains constant from them all is that the future we create for ourselves starts wfirst in our mind. Our minds are shaped by outside influences during our formative years and way into adulthood, usually toward doom and gloom thought patterns. These are impressed upon us by our elders, our parents, our teachers and the people we look up to. Now think about a small country led by a corrupt few who guide the nation’s moral compass. For us, change will need to come from strong, thoughtful, well-meaning leadership. Few good people are willing to step up because we believe that roles in government are for the corrupt, but if we don’t step in we doom ourselves to this ongoing distressing fate. Who knows where the leadership we need will come from, but as long as there are fresh minds that dare to impress upon themselves the audacity of hope, we must continue to believe that change is possible.
Calibe Thompson is a television producer, author, public speaker and a board member for the Jamaica Diaspora Legacy Foundation. Learn more about the foundation at www.jamaicalegacyfoundation.com.