All we do is talk, talk and talk!


July 15, 2016

Every day in Jamaica we get up and we curse about crime.

We blame the police. We blame the Government. We blame everybody but ourselves. We never take responsibility for anything. All we do is pray. We pray for peace. We pray that somehow the prayers will force criminals to put their guns down and suddenly become Christians. I am here to tell you that that is never going to happen.

Also, every single time the country and the world reaches a crisis point, people start to declare that these are the end of times. People have been heralding the end of times for about a thousand years now and we are still waiting. Our grandchildren will still be waiting and their grandchildren, too.

Well, then again maybe not. Why? Because nobody wants to get up and do a damn thing about the circumstances that affect our daily lives. All we do is talk, talk and talk.

I swear Jamaicans must have some kind of world record for talking. Every day we call talk shows to talk about the problems affecting us. The hosts of these shows love to hear themselves, too, so they encourage the chatter so they can try and convince the world that they are eloquent and smart. So talk begets more talk and all the while Rome burns.

Criminals walk the streets shooting people with impunity, but when things like that happen, we don't talk. What it boils down to is that we like to talk so long as there is no consequence to the things we say. There are people out there who have information that can take down criminals and the people who fund them.

If you ask them why they don't say anything, they ask you if you're mad. "You wan't people come kill me?" they ask. "You wan't people come kill me family?"

The reality is, whether you talk or not, you're dead anyway, so why not make it count. We have really lost our backbone.

People like Alexander Bustamante, Sam Sharpe, George William Gordon, those we consider national heroes, would be disappointed if they were to ever come back and see what we have become. We stand up for nothing that will make our lives and that of our children better. We live for now and now only.

What we tend to forget is that all those 'nows' add up to years and the years to decades and before you know it, we would have wasted generations doing nothing just because we were afraid to say things that really matter; things that mobilise people to action. We are afraid of saying things that inspire people to be better than those who came before.

That is why Sam Sharpe, Nanny, Paul Bogle, and George William Gordon died. They died so that Jamaica could be free and prosperous. They died to set an example of what it means to be brave.

Somehow in the decades since these heroes gave us a platform to build on, we have forgotten why we are here today. We can run fast, we can sing and dance, and we can make scientific breakthroughs, but our collective backbone has been ripped out because we have not used it for such a long time. What we have become good at is talking about what we would like to achieve but have no intention of doing anything else.

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