This is an open letter to Jamaicans. Our beloved homeland and its bedraggled people are in need of many things at this moment in our long and tortuous history. And whilst our list is long … money and jobs are in short supply. Even rain and food are increasingly scarce. But like the Blue Lagoon of Portland, the spirit and resiliency of our people is reputed unfathomable in its depths. Yet missing from, but sorely needed in the land is leadership.
The nation cries out for leadership; not the caricature and masquerade that is paraded all around us as leaders of this or that, but real and authentic leadership, that can galvanize a nation and people especially when at its lowest ebb. I call to mind Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela. What characterizes these leaders are their abilities to fuse the disparate threads of competing ideologies, world views, social class , ethnic and political divisions; to dispense with all that conspire to divide and squander a people’s efforts and make them one of purpose.
In the history of a people many are the times wherein success can only be garnered if they become one; a unity in diversity … such are the present times. With a worldwide recession, climate change, the hemorrhaging of jobs and the interminable and untenable violence in Jamaica sapping our creative energies the hour is now.
I call on the slumbering authentic leaders, in all their respective spheres and influences, at home and abroad, in business as in politics, denominational and secular, young and old, men and women, to arise and take your positions at the head of our people as to answer the clarion call of our time, that started out as a quiet whisper, now a deafening crescendo. In the words of the Hon. Robert Nestor Marley “there is a natural mystic blowing in the air, if you listen carefully you will hear.”
Answer the call of our people and man your positions and speak your instructions to an expectant people. They are expecting you, neigh even demanding you and they will respond. A people in crisis always answer the call of authentic leadership. It is primal, it is natural; it is existential; it is human all too human.
And with you securely ensconced in your rightful places, your work and deeds will be printed in the books of the next generation as much as it will be etched in the minds and heart of this present one.