As we approach our 50th anniversary as an independent nation, I hope that we remember how far we have come. You know the old saying: If you fail to remember your past mistakes you are bound to repeat them. Well, in the spirit of this historic celebration, the opportunity has been extended to us to start anew, and I hope that we take full advantage. There are discussions and quarrels about the song that should be the flagship for our Independence celebration. Well, my two cents' worth of opinion is that it should be This is the land of my birth by Eric Donaldson. Just to quote a few words from the song "And our people they are strong and we going to get along... Let us stop for a minute, count our blessings one by one."
I know the many problems we have appear insurmountable. But let us keep in mind that we are only as good as our people, so let's hold each other accountable in love that we could help to create a nation that we could all be proud of. Many tourists have visited Jamaica and have remained here because they have seen the potential that you and I who were born here have failed to see. Many years ago I met someone in New York who vacations regularly in Jamaica and if you heard the way he spoke about Jamaica with such joy and enthusiasm you would have seriously questioned the extent of your patriotism.
There are many of us who are master complainers and nothing else. It is fine to complain, if you intend to do something about it, otherwise, as the saying goes: you are nothing more than an empty barrel that makes the most noise. Inaction gets us nowhere, so we must all do our part - regardless of how small we may think it is - to create a better society. I have learnt over the years that the best cure for unhappiness is to be proactive. So let's make a deal with ourselves in commemorating this 50th anniversary, that we will quit complaining and start doing something!