Our eyes often land on imperfections, even when there’s much better around. When I visited some sights in downtown Kingston, I found it hard to not be taken aback by some small, random things I noticed. We were standing in Heroes Park, looking at the cadets in their guard houses. The first thing I noticed was that the inside had bare board where the paint had peeled.
The pomp and ceremony of the guards change over couldn’t knock out of my head the thought that our prime site to honour some of our dead heroes was like a beaten fowl coop. I clicked my phone camera, and wondered how I would think of Jamaica if I were a foreign visitor.
The rain came down heavily and our group headed off to the museum at the Institute of Jamaica. I had hardly had time to think about the challenge we had overcome to dodge getting soaked and to be standing looking at Taino artefacts. Then, I heard the dripping of rain coming down near my feet.
The staff slowly came behind our group with armfuls of The Gleaner (ironically, their building is just a short walk away) and began laying them down at strategic points. I looked up at the ceiling and saw the many cracks above. It doesn’t rain all the time, but when it does, it’s often very heavy. I wondered how close these exhibits were to being destroyed because no repairs had been done to the roof/ceiling.
I remember an estate agent telling me once to always visit a prospective home during bad weather: that way, many faults would show up.
Who to blame for such little regard? Do those who deal with this daily have no way to improve their lot? Powerlessness can really be crippling. I looked back to the fact that while the guard was in his shack a team of men were weeding and moving plants and trees to make the park more beautiful.
Public funds may be tight but are the uses of those scarce dollars right? Maybe, next time I go to see these sights a tin will be there to take my contributions.