Removing the planks from our eyes
In the words of Marcus Garvey, "The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be a slave of the other man who uses his mind."

Dear Editor,

Far too often propositions are presented and decisions are made by the Government and most of the population is clueless or close to clueless about what it means and the implications it would have on their lives.

Frequently, people opt to blindly follow the traditions passed down from grandparents in support of a party without making a sound decision for themselves. In the words of Marcus Garvey, "The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be a slave of the other man who uses his mind." Let us not be good little dogs to which they pull the leash and we follow.

The people of Jamaica need to wise up and understand that education is the key to unlocking potential and freedom. It was Bob Marley who said, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery," this illustrates part of what we, as a people, need to do. We must understand the actions of the Government, the policies that are put in place, and the duties and responsibilities of Members of Parliament and councillors, so we — the people they serve — can hold them accountable.

Often, we hear protests from residents with a call for the prime minister to act, when the responsibility lies with the parish council. Learning about our rights and responsibilities, how our taxes are allocated, how public sector workers are paid, are just basic knowledge I believe every Jamaican should have and know.

A country's people are its most critical resource. They are the ones that elect prime ministers and take them down. It is full time that the people understand their power. Jamaican people need to truly acknowledge that knowledge is power, and unity is strength. Now it is time for people to understand that $10,000 and bun and cheese will not suffice. Can you imagine the magnitude of change that would stimulate? We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our country.

Our people need to maintain their integrity and not be shaken by follies. I believe that this will, undoubtedly, cause some change within the nation. The attitude and mindset would inspire leaders to do better and shake out the ones who are not there for the people, but themselves. I believe that it would ignite passion in the leaders, which is what we really need in our country — A party in which people passionately labour for the people.

I, however, do not imagine change without its implications. There's much mess to clean up, and to achieve this we must have full citizen participation and, as a Christian country, we should lead with Philippians 4:16. A few inconveniences now for a bigger, brighter future is better than a few minutes of enjoyment to still wallow in our mess.

But are we willing to take this leap of faith?

Sarahlee Hewitt

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy