LIKE every other country, Jamaica has had successes and problems. And, like every nation throughout history, Jamaica has not achieved everything it wanted or aspired to accomplish. Life is never perfect; it is always a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Charles Dickens begins the Tale of Two Cities with the now immortal lines: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us."
The 50th anniversary of our Independence is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. As we individually and as a nation think on these things, let us take as a starting point that there is much to be thankful for, because we have considerable achievements. We also must not indulge in the comfort of naiveté by overlooking or underestimating the problems that bedevil our homeland.
Our approach must be to focus on the positives as that will embolden us with the confidence that because we have accomplished great things in the past we can do it again.
We seek not to be hortatory, but to be inspirational when we declare that Jamaicans have achieved so much that we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
This reinforcement of our pride, fellowship and self-confidence creates the kind of positive mindset that is the foundation for achieving our goals. We have to first believe it is possible to achieve our goals. We also have to realise that our dreams are not only ego-focused, but be aware of how we as a nation can progress towards a better future.
Let us not be discouraged by the problems but let us, as Prime Minister Simpson Miller exhorts us, aim for where we as a nation want to be.
To contemplate only the problems and the difficulties is a prescription for demoralisation and that can immobilise us. Jamaicans have always been fighters, we survive whatever the conditions, we change our circumstances and we thrive regardless of the obstacles. This is our culture, our history and our future.
At this time of our 50th anniversary of Independence, let us not hear discouraging and demoralising words. We must not complain about what Jamaica has not done for us, but what we can do for Jamaica. We Jamaicans have a special and unique blessing -- that of being Jamaican.
Let mindset be the search for the solutions. Let us, as a people, commit ourselves to nation-building.