Yesterday I watched the film Invictus, and despite my spate of cynicism in recent weeks I Ieft the cinema with a sense that with inspired political leadership it may still be possible to realize my nation's potential in my lifetime. Naive idealism? Perhaps.
Jamaicans need to be inspired to the greatness the world has come to expect of us. On my recent sojourns in Nicaragua and France everyone I introduced myself as Jamaican to burst into a smile and offered the name Usain Bolt and Bob Marley. One Frenchman even mentioned Merlene Ottey, and we nodded in mutual understanding of the greatness for which Jamaica is prodigious.
South Africa today is the only country in the Global South whose constitution enshrines the full equality GLBT people. Post-apartheid leaders fully understood what prejudice and oppression felt like, and were dedicated to removing the scourge of discrimination from their nation. The majority of South Africa’s people were not in agreement, but the leaders boldly pressed on with the reforms that were necessary to create the nation that they envisioned.
"In November 2006, the South African Parliament voted 230:41 for a bill allowing same-sex civil marriage, as well as civil unions for unmarried opposite-sex and same-sex couples."
From my studies of history it seems apparent that insightful and revolutionary political leadership is critical to motivate a people to maximize their human potential. It also appears that great leaders typically emerge after periods of great challenge and unimaginable suffering. The Jamaican people are waiting.
I have the good fortune of being from a country that people recognize all over the world. It is time we use this comparative advantage to secure the prosperity of the next generation of Jamaicans.