What is the Jamaican dream you might ask. What is it that most Jamaicans want from this land of wood and water? For some it is very simple and for others complicated to the nth degree. Some dream of money, cars, fame, girls while others simply want to retire early and live far away from work in all forms. Yes, it may be all of those and more but for each and every one no matter how close our dreams may be to another Jamaicans we all have different variations. NO matter where you go people express big dreams from owning their home, driving the biggest car to retiring on a beach with not a care. These dreams though to be reached have to have a start and different levels to go through to reach that ultimate dream. You have those who are serious about their dream and work diligently to reach it. You have the other set that just talk and talk and, well you get the drift and never really do anything to attain what their mind keeps screaming at them to reach towards.
No matter how long you know someone and are even involved in some aspect of making their Jamaican dream come true you still will never know their dream unless they share it in detail. I’ll share mine later on.
In Jamaica there are many obstacles though (which after spending 35 years on the island minus vacation may cause this statement to be biased) to reaching those goals. I’m sure you are internally screaming in your head that this is true if you have started your trek toward your dream. I’ll only point out two. One is the ever present bad mind aka covetousness aka crab inna barrel mentality which cripples us at every turn as a people. Have you never wondered why we haven’t reached any further as a nation when we are so talented? Other than some of us being lazy the rest who choose to work will go out of their way to make sure that the people around us never go past a certain level be it financially or socially for fear we’ll be left behind. So instead of encouraging we feed them with negative comments, pointing out why their plans won’t work and they should just be satisfied with the way life is. I’ll stop there cause this is a never ending subject which can be approached from every angle of society from politicians to fishermen.
The next barrier in our way is connected to covetousness but stands by itself (maybe Siamese twins) is greed. This is another word that can exhaust all gigabytes of space on my laptop so i’ll try to hit it on the head. When the need for more for yourself and only you becomes priority and the rest of the people around you in your country fade into existence it has gone too far. If you forget that the company you are stealing from has had you on their payroll for years with lots of benefits but the need to drive a car bigger than your salary overcomes common sense, then we have a problem. And a big problem it is. One more example (cause dis one a bun me) is when you get a sweet govt contract to fix roads and instead of buying the needed material you throw marl in the hole so you can “fat” up your bank account and who cares if all the people who are tax payers suffer, that my friend is greed.
But alas I have gone off course a bit. I was talking about dreams right? Well let me share (before this blog gets too long) what I see for myself and have always wanted as long as I can remember. My dream happens to be on the simple side and may have to do more with my basic rights as a citizen of this great nation. The nation called Jamaica that from the time I can remember singing the national school song , “I pledge my heart forever to serve with humble pride” would bring tears to my eyes even as a child. The nation so blessed with enough resources to give everybody a shot at being a millionaire (for the ones who actually want to work) and could easily be a first world nation.
My dream is to be able to travel this beautiful island from corner to corner without the fear of being killed by my own brother who for some unexplained reason feels I will be better off dead. To be able to sit on the beach with friends till hours laughing about our day and enjoying the sounds and sights unique to our shores without having to depend on security of any sort. I want to be able to build my house without having to imprison myself behind bars, a place where I can leave my kids in the yard without having to watch them like a hawk. My dream for my life here is one where I don’t have to worry if my wife will make it home from work for fear they kidnapped for a ransom. I want to be able to operate my business (which is my passion) without having to be looking over my shoulder for extortionists and other people who don’t think farming, fishing or masonry is a viable way to get money and is beneath them but instead feel I’m obligated to suffer so they can “eat a food” .Plain and simple I want to build Jamaica. That is my dream.
But on the other side of dreaming is a little thing called reality. A reality where the obstacles I mentioned seem to be stronger than the dream. My reality is a place where I have been burnt numerous times by the people who smile with me but take advantage of me the minute I turn my back. A reality which has forced closed profitable endeavours for not only myself but so many loyal, hardworking Jamaicans who want nothing more than to live and strive in peace. That reality is what makes me keep my mouth shut and not shout as I once did, “making it in Jamaica means I can make it anywhere”. That reality though, is a whole other blog post.