Jamaica Of Our Nostalgia Is Only That.….

To the many Jamaicans who held out hope that there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a return to the san­i­ty, peace, and tran­quil­i­ty of the 60s and ear­ly 70s, it is time to move along.
For oth­ers like myself who came of age in the 80s, who lived through the rel­a­tive peace of that peri­od, it is time for us to move along also.
Sure, I under­stand the trau­ma and the sense of loss we feel at the idea that our beloved Jamaica of yes­ter­year is only now a fig­ment of our imag­i­na­tion.…. blurs of mem­o­ry, of a time when our inno­cence was bliss.

It was a time when every­one par­ent­ed every­one’s kids. Mostly every­one was poor, but it was no big deal, we were all basi­cal­ly the same.
Children played with­out fear of being kid­napped and mur­dered, in fact, they had no idea what that was. Young girls lived with­out fear of being raped. In that Jamaica, friends were actu­al friends, not gang asso­ciates.
There was no inter­net or cable tele­vi­sion to alert us to trap­pings of moder­ni­ty we did not need. There was no inter­net, no cable tele­vi­sion, and no smart­phones.
It was a sim­pler time, a time of less greed, less envy. Most of all, with the excep­tion of parts of Kingston, guns were some­thing we only read about.
And so as I snap­back from my nos­tal­gic stu­por, I remind myself, as I cau­tion you to, do not waste any more of your lives in despair, hop­ing for a time, which shall nev­er return.

We have to face the fact that the peo­ple who made Jamaica what it was then, are with us no more. It was nev­er about how nice the place was, that has nev­er been in ques­tion. Sure the water is blue and the sand is white, the land is fer­tile and the air is cool. Sure we took pride in what we did in school, and we some­times played the fool, now its time to wake up and wipe away the drool.
There is a new men­tal­i­ty, new lead­er­ship, new val­ues, or should I saw a lack there­of? Right is wrong and wrong is right.
It is now a coun­try in which drug lords are revered, cel­e­brat­ed and lion­ized.
Reggae artistes who are gun­run­ners and heads of crim­i­nal gangs are nor­mal­ized with nation­al hon­ors.
Our Jamaica is a coun­try which makes it legal for some­one to sim­ply build a house on any par­cel of land, remain there for a cer­tain peri­od of time and they are auto­mat­i­cal­ly the own­ers of that land.
Some believe that those who make the laws do not under­stand that allow­ing that to hap­pen, cre­ates untold prob­lems. But they miss the obvi­ous that they do under­stand.
They are well-thought-out mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion poli­cies, by the crim­i­nals in the par­lia­ment, to repay their sup­port­ers for their votes.
A look around the Kingston Metropolitan area, as well as the city of Montego Bay, or any oth­er munic­i­pal­i­ty for that mat­ter, and the zinc and ply­board com­mu­ni­ties which have been allowed to devel­op is a tes­ta­ment to those real­i­ties.
The dimin­ished and now non-exis­tent sense of moral­i­ty and val­ues which once char­ac­ter­ized our coun­try, has been replaced with greed, envy, hatred, and las­civ­i­ous indul­gence.
Rather than lift up and cel­e­brate teach­ers, social work­ers, police offi­cers and oth­er pub­lic ser­vants who toil end­less­ly to make our coun­try bet­ter, the nation’s lead­ers con­spire to ele­vate the worst ele­ments from with­in, with the express intent of cap­i­tal­iz­ing from the cheap returns.
National hon­ors are ren­dered worth­less, squan­dered and dimin­ished, not worth the mate­r­i­al they are made from, by the qual­i­ty of the indi­vid­u­als on whom they are bestowed.
It sick­ens me to my stom­ach to see what Jamaica has come to. How the very peo­ple who have been the worst actors, those who should be the very epit­o­me of our scorn and deri­sion are cel­e­brat­ed and ele­vat­ed.
And still, we won­der why our youth see the gun as a means to pow­er, recog­ni­tion, respect, and fame.
From what we have seen in the Jamaica of today, the gun is a means to pow­er, recog­ni­tion, respect, and fame.
Our coun­try has sunken to a new low and for that, we should all hang our heads in shame. Instead, we con­tin­ue to lie to our­selves that Jamaica nice.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.