Columns

Emancipation

James Moss-Solomon

Sunday, July 29, 2012    

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Well folks, I'm sorry that I am still on a positive holiday, as I notice that the politicians have really had a field day of utterances, scandals, unbecoming behaviour, arrests, and possible house seizure. Yes, I am still awake, but will be like Mary the Mother of Jesus and "ponder these things in my heart" until August 12.

To all readers and the whole of Jamaica, a happy Emancipation Day to all who no longer live under the brutal heel of slavery as formerly practised in the then British West Indies. The day will find most of our extremely talented sports persons gathered in London for the Olympics, and this is a bit of cruel irony, as the British Parliament was pivotal in first supporting and then abolishing this human bondage. Then it was a long period of colonial controls that did little but inhibit our situation with regard to suitable and successful governance.

The alienation of positive views of self-reliance still seems to dominate our actions, and our colonial dependency has been cleverly passed on to and manipulated by the two political parties. Dominance and limited rewards are the symbols of our legacy, just perpetuated by different faces. Emancipation Day should allow us to make a positive statement of our own through our athletes, and by our individual resolve.

Well, I was motivated by the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen contestants, all of whom exhibited clear and proper diction, excellent cultural awareness, good performances, and really gave us some hope that the best is yet to come.

These young ladies really represented their respective parishes with dignity and poise. The planners of the event really need to be commended, and at the same time challenged to design something that will bring out the best in our young men.

The policy of no admission charges to major events allowed so many people to attend who might otherwise have found it difficult. This "inclusion of the people" really makes me feel happy as I am on record as promoting the feeling that the celebration of the events of our 50th is an occasion for all the people of Jamaica, at home and abroad. So I applaud the committee and the SDC and the Ministry of Youth and Culture for getting this right.

By the time you read this the Olympics will be underway and Jamaica will be glued to the TV screen and this time not only for athletics, but also for swimming and the equestrian competition. In addition we will be in the shot put and discus events, certainly showing that we are growing in scope.

I love the silly side of our life in Jamaica where we laugh at ourselves but learn. Hop, step, and jump (triple jump) is in full training when crossing roads after a shower of rain. With our bumper mango season, many are honing their skills for the javelin, and behind the walls of our correctional centres, many are studying the pole vault. We are not ready for the hammer throw as it still has a strong resistance forged in the flames of domestic violence.

Our expectations for successful Olympic performances are at an all-time high and if our wishes come true, then we will have a lot to smile about. I hope that the glow of success will linger long enough to boost our own initiative to be resourceful and self-reliant as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of our first National Hero, Marcus Garvey on August 17. What wonderful presents those could be for a nation that has not been totally successful over the past 50 years.

So reset your clocks to alarm early in the mornings and afternoons during the Games, and go to bed early. I guess early to bed, early to rise, will make us all healthy, wealthy and wise (and see the Games). Perhaps some companies will have to make special arrangements in order to avoid losing productivity during the live events and also make their staff members satisfied.

Wow. Think of 4:00 am - 6:30 am with breakfast and 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm lunch, work until 6:00 pm, then straight home to bed. So, however you do it, enjoy the Games and celebrate in the true Jamaican tradition. Let us work together to enjoy without dislocating our production however you are able to schedule your hours, and share your TV.

"Teach us true respect for all; stir response to duty's call."

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