Letters to the Editor

Freaks of integrity

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Dear Editor,

We, as Jamaicans, don't seem to appreciate how challenging it is to build and maintain integrity both on the individual and collective levels. It will take nothing short of a summoning up of our deepest reserves of support and strength.

Some of the negative reactions to Usain Bolt's lower than expected performances in the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in London demonstrate this.

I was taken aback when one of my fellow countrymen said that he would rather that Bolt fake an injury than to allow the Americans to beat him after his third-place finish in the 100-metre final. I asked him if he also wanted him to take performance-enhancing drugs.

Bruce Golding, as prime minister, hosted an official lunch with the governor general and Daimah Brooks in recognition of her finding and returning a bag containing a million dollars, which armed courier personnel had mistakenly left in a Portmore automated teller machine in December 2008. In Jamaica, a “you would do the same” mindset puts Brooks in the class of a freak. I wished for her to be seen as a heroine, and so I regretted that she wasn't given a medal of honour, order of merit, or even of distinction.

In Tokyo, Japan, you are almost certain to recover whatever you have lost, once it's found, regardless of its value, from an umbrella to a briefcase full of money.

Brooks had put her decision down to how her mother brought her up; my mom did the same. However, as I have come to realise, even with my own mom, when there is a conflict between loyalty and integrity, loyalty is insisted upon by the one who “feeds” and “loves” you. In addition to the negative peer pressure which was alluded to earlier, this conflict between loyalty and integrity is a stray wrench in the wheels of what Dr Trevor Munroe et al are working towards with respect to our state of integrity.

We might either have to learn how the Japanese do it and forcefully adopt it, or do what Jesus said, for us to have one eye, through which we allow one light, and do away with all loyalties such as to spouse, sibling, child and parent, and replace them with His; but remember, they crucified Him.

Andre O Sheppy

Norwood, St James





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