Another National Leadership Prayer Breakfast. Another exercise in shifting blame. If Jamaicans have shown a capacity for doing certain things well, other than sprinting, making some forms of music, cooking some of the tastiest food ever, and being downright crooked, it’s looking to a divine being to clear up their mess.
I’m all for spiritual enrichment, but I’ve learned some hard lessons in life. If I make trouble for myself, then better to fess up quickly and start setting things right. God may guide me but I have to do the real heavy lifting.
It’s unfortunate that after calling for divine intervention, national security minister Peter Bunting sees major decline in a range of crimes. No matter how strong my faith, I’m not running with the idea that those inclined to murder, maim and maul their fellow citizens had their arms and fingers restrained by some invisible hand. If I do go to believe that I have to ask what was ‘The One’ doing when children were abducted and found butchered in bushes? What was he doing in general when the 1000-odd people were still victims? Taking time off? Give me a break!
When I drove through Swansea, Clarendon, a few Sundays ago and saw a mangled minibus in a ditch, and heard that several people had died, what was I to think about divine intervention? That it had been withheld because Jamaicans had been naughty? We can go into a long debate about what kind of God is looking over us. I’ll give my view. Others will have theirs.
We have the unedifying experience of having a debt burden way in excess of what our country earns or can produce. Sure, we need divine intervention. To find out what happened to all the money we generated, all the money we borrowed, all the money given as grants/gifts, yet all of that over decades has barely improved the lives of most of our citizens.
I took a young girl to her new lodging in Papine a few days ago. I have never lived in anything so squalid. Nor had she. But, part of her reward for making good personal progress in education and getting a place at university, she gets to stay in a room about 8 feet square. It has a bed, a table, and a dresser. She told me she had to walk to the bathroom. It’s outside. No problem. I grew up like that, as did many of my and earlier generations. But, it means she has no personal access to water. Not just to wash hands but just to boil water for tea.
We don’t need divine intervention. We need officials who do the job they hold. The police standing on the roadside checking their phones are not in need of spiritual enlightenment. The people who let small cracks become small holes become huge potholes don’t need a divine flash of light. I guess when a car goes careening over Jacks Hill as its driver tries to navigate another series of deep holes, we will have dome national tears for those whose lives are lost. Then, back as you were.
I’m absolutely thrilled that the JDF will have new uniforms.
I drive past enough people who’d live to have the castoffs. In England, I often saw army surplus stores: the worn out uniforms were popular. The man sticking his hand into my car on Washington Boulevard, with his calloused feet, grimy face, and gnarled hands would look just dapper dressed in any little piece of a once-worn set of fatigues. But, that’d take some thought.
Where will divine intervention take us when public officials decide that they don’t like the direction of media questions? I should check the transcript or video. Maybe, someone yelled “Lord, help us!”
The real deal with calling for divine intervention is that it gets us off the hook. That’s the root of most problems: that unwillingness to grapple with anything.
Cooeee! Look how well they’ve done. God smiled on them. No! They got up off their hands and made things happen.
Please don’t hesitate to set me straight.