I leave the country of my birth to live in another land. I take with me my skills, talents, knowledge and experiences as I prepare to expand and use them in the land for which I am bound. Why am I leaving?
Jamaica needs hope; hope that seems to be on the brink of extinction. Hope that surely will not be forthcoming from our leaders -- certainly not this generation anyway.
The leadership in the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party will potentially be up for grabs, and should it change to the contender, I don't know if that would make any positive difference. You may ask if the political system in my new-found land is perfect? No. Are there societal flaws too? Of course. But, at this point in my life, somehow those seem more bearable.
Then there's more. Jamaica does not appreciate its pupils as it ought, and it's a crying shame that students leaving secondary schools with 10 distinctions get stuck because they come from poor families. And, for those who do go further, they are unable to get jobs and they cannot acquire capital to create new businesses; all while looking over their shoulders to see if the Students' Loan Bureau will publish them in the islandwide wall of shame. Then they watch while we import workers from Asia, Europe and everywhere not named Jamaica, left to twiddle their thumbs while other countries cater to their own first. In my new home, the scope for opportunity promises to be much larger.
Jamaica can be oppressive; in a sense the stage seems to be set to fail, especially for the poor. The rich get richer and the poor continue to struggle and look to an uncaring Government for help and handouts. Nobody's voice is heard, unless there's blocking of roads or an anomaly occurs that draws media attention.
I go to a society where you can literally "tun yuh han' and mek fashion", where you can work in sanitation and custodial services and hold your head high and be proud of your honest living and still be comfortable enough, as opposed to being in Jamaica where upturned nostrils and empty pockets are a common sight. I go to a society where, though imperfect, the justice system works, and quickly at that. A society where corrupt persons are prosecuted daily and there are support systems in education. A society where, save for the occasional instance where skin colour matters, there is truly equal opportunity for all.
I go to improve myself and make a better life, but I will not forget my sweet Jamaica. No matter the trials and tribulations, "nuh weh no betta dan yaad". I won't turn my back on my home. I'll keep tabs on my island in the sun. Who knows? Maybe like in the movie Terminator, "I'll be back".