Unity: Jamaica At 50

Douglas Graham, managing director, Palace Amusement Company (1921) Limited

As Jamaicans we are bound by our diversity and it is perhaps this reality, Out of Many One People, that makes us a nation which stops the world in its tracks, for better and unfortunately at times, for worse.

Jamaica 50 gives us the opportunity to reflect and project. There is much to celebrate, but we cannot afford to be blinded by euphoria. As a people we must decide whether we will stand united on issues of individual and collective responsibility, ethical conduct and upholding law and order, or fall divided to mediocrity, moral and social decay and organised crime.

The world is watching us and we know it. It is time to turn the microscope inward – government, private and public sectors and citizenry, we are all accountable. A nation divided cannot stand.

Paul Issa, chairman, Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts, and deputy chairman, Couples Resorts

I’ve noticed of late an increase in all kinds of divisiveness in Jamaican society. Perhaps because people now have more avenues of expression, through the birth of the social media and increased platforms within traditional media.

I think the divisiveness has always been there – less expressed – holding us back from our full potential as a nation.

We are fixated on our differences (black/brown/white; orange/green; rich/poor/middle-class), not on the attributes that bind us together as Jamaicans.

Progress will result from the understanding that we really are all in the same boat.

Diversity is something to celebrate, and we should salute and applaud it in each other – not grumble and mutter about it. We must work together for a country in which as Jamaicans we are all equal, and all united. But definitely not all the same.

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