SO My Kingston — Luke Phillips

Business analyst, Musson Jamaica

Sunday, August 06, 2017

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What are your earliest memories of Kingston?

My earliest memories of Kingston are of early-morning drives out the Palisadoes with my father to watch the sunrise. I would then enjoy the drive back home as we watched a quiet city awaken, the downtown offices open and the market stalls stir to life.

What's the most memorable meal that you have enjoyed in Kingston?

Lunch at Sweetwood Jerk Centre with my younger brother Jacob and cousin Randy to celebrate the former's birthday. We ate jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk sausages, festival, roast breadfruit, all washed down with some coconut water and ice-cold Red Stripe beers.

What would you do if you were mayor of Kingston for a day?

Try to clean up downtown Kingston.

What would be your recommendations to a first-time visitor to Kingston?

Explore it all: the pretty and the ugly! There is an adventure down every alley.

Is the traditional model of family businesses seeing their final days on the Jamaica landscape?

No, I don't think so... family businesses will be a part of Jamaican communities for the foreseeable future. In every developed society from Asia to America, traditional family businesses still exist and are an essential part of preserving a community's culture and providing a barometer for economic stability and growth. Many of these countries are far older than Jamaica, so I believe that our Jamaican family businesses will be around for years to come.

How does the current political climate overseas make you grateful for what we have at home?

Well, at the moment we as Jamaicans enjoy a fair bit of stability here. Our ancestors did most of the fighting to ensure that we became the free, independent and democratic society that we are today. So our political climate right now is not a battle for national identity like the United Kingdom, nor do we have to deal with the aftermath of an attempted revolution. So, I would say I'm very grateful for the current political situation in Jamaica.

Which type of pressures are more challenging to bear — the ones that are self-generated or those externally applied?

Self-generated pressures are heavier to bear, in my opinion. The standards we set for ourselves are based on the image we keep of the ideal person and therefore differs from person to person. Therefore, what someone else might feel is important will not necessarily be considered important by me, and what I would like to achieve. Letting someone down by not doing something you never thought of as important, i.e not succumbing to external pressure, will never disappoint you as much as not achieving a self-assigned goal or deviating from your own moral code.

Who is more important: those whom the spotlight pursues or those behind the scenes who keep the lights on?

Those whom the spotlight pursues are more important because they set the standard and become the builders of society in whatever area they are involved.

Which of your role models or influencers would people see as an unexpected choice and why?

Stanley Milgram, because he showed that people will not always want to see the truth if the truth is in direct conflict with what they think of themselves. He unsettled an entire generation and never apologised for it no matter how he was criticised. Most people don't expect this choice because he is somewhat of a controversial figure in the realm of science and psychology.

What does real progress look like in a socio-economic context?

Real progress would look like the opening of small businesses all over the island, coupled with a reduction in crime. The increased number of businesses would drive competition, which would in turn create more jobs and jump-start innovation locally. More people would be on the payroll earning decent wages and so the need for crime should subside. To tie it in to one of my previous answers: the number of small business around and their ability to grow are indications of the socio-economic status of the nation.




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