Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Transforming Jamaica

In a past post in this blog I mentioned that we Jamaicans often display a lack of reflection that I found curious.

I now think that many of our society's ills can be traced to actions taken by a majority that are, sometimes comically, completely disconnected from the wider problems that we as a people face.

For example, there are in too many spots in many spots piles of plastic and garbage that is quite non-biodegradable.

Frequently, I see Jamaicans dropping garbage on the roads adds to these trouble-spots. Yet, I know that I were to ask my country-men in an open discussion, they would complain about "how much garbage there is lying around the place."

What is missing is an understanding of the connection between personal cause and public effect.

And that may be where the ordinary Jamaican is empowered to make a difference. In other words, it might be a simple matter to connect the dots for a large enough number of people between individual actions and country-wide consequences.

On average, I don't think that the average Jamaican behaves very differently than the average American. However, the slight difference on an individual basis adds up to a tremendous difference when taken on a national level. This is hopeful, because if it is true, then it might not take much of a behaviour change for each person to make a big overall difference.

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At 8/14/2007 12:19 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

Great post. This is one of the big things that needs to be changed, especially in the prison system in Jamaica. When a criminal commits a crime, he is punished for it in a way that does not make him realize the ill that he has caused with the crime. This disconnect often makes him believe that his punishment is unjust, which just makes him more angry.

We are trying to introduce a system of restorative justice where the inmates' punishment and rehabilitation will relate directly to helping out the victim's family. I think if we make more people take ownership of their problems like this, people will eventually make better connections about the effects of their actions.


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