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Jamaica, Land We Love?

May 31, 2010

I saw a full page advertisement in the Sunday Gleaner on May 30 for communications company, LIME. They weren’t trying to entice customers with promotional gimmicks or pictures of the latest BlackBerry. On the contrary, the ad was a positive message reminding Jamaicans of “our treasures, our talents, our gifts and our triumphs”, complete with a line from our National Pledge and a witty description of “the true Jamaica” – a list of four values that just so happened to spell out LIME.

For what it’s worth, I’d like to applaud LIME for their efforts. What really appealed to me was the line from the National Pledge. I haven’t heard or read it in ages, but it reminded me of the days of tediously reciting it in assembly as a youngster at St. Theresa Prep. I had no idea what the words meant, but I learned them and said them when I was told; because to do otherwise would mean big trouble (I was quite the goody goody in those days).

Before God and all mankind,

I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart,

The wisdom and courage of my mind,

The strength and vigour of my body.

In the service of my fellow citizens,

I promise to stand up for justice, brotherhood and peace,

To work diligently and creatively,

To think genourously and honestly,

So that Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty,

Fellowship and prosperity

And play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

I actually just said those words in the same monotone that children tend to do when given something to recite. Those words were said so often that I could have typed that without copying and pasting. Those words are powerful. As a small child, I didn’t understand what I was saying. I couldn’t quite grasp that what I was saying was a solemn promise, a verbal indication of my patriotism. Imagine the Utopia our country would be if every single one of us lived by these words every single day. If we all stood up for justice, brotherhood and peace, our country would have no choice but to increase in beauty. Imagine the economic growth that would take place if we all worked diligently and creatively.

I urge you not to take these words lightly the next time you happen to put your arm cross your heart to say them. It’s a big deal! You’re saying these words before God and all mankind after all.

The list of persons that bring our country into disrepute is a motley crew of people from all walks of life – men and women in expensively tailored suits as well as men and women dressed in rags. I’m sure you must have said the Pledge at one point in your life. I sincerely hope, for all our sakes that they weren’t just empty words to you.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 31, 2010 11:07 am

    I didn’t see the sense for the LIME full page ad.

    Instead it should have been targeted to the politicians they have brought this problem on Jamaica.

  2. June 1, 2010 7:28 am

    I think the point of it was to bring a sense of hope to the general public; it certainly had an effect on me.
    Besides, the politicians are getting their fair share of criticisms from other sources.

  3. June 1, 2010 7:38 am

    You really think the politicians are getting their fair share of criticisms? Not until more resign. I think there should be protests demanding that some of the long serving politicians resign in the interest of the country. Just like how they force police officers to resign.

  4. June 1, 2010 8:33 am

    Well, I must agree with you (and the rest of the country) in regards to the performance of our politicians. I was referring to them when I said “men and women in expensively tailored suits”. However, the current situation is extremely depressing and I just think we needed to be reminded that all hope is not completely lost.

  5. Kimberly permalink
    June 1, 2010 10:45 am

    It’s obvious that our politicians have been a huge disappointment. Let’s get over it and try to move on…

  6. Ryan Mattis permalink
    June 1, 2010 2:17 pm

    Sadly, not everyone knows the pledge and I am not even sure if it is still being recited in primary/preparatory schools. If you cant fix the adults how do you expect to fix the children?

    Kimberly is right, Its best we try to move on….

  7. Audiokane permalink
    June 1, 2010 7:14 pm

    Absolutely and blissfully beautiful piece. People have discarded their patriotism it seems..

  8. June 12, 2010 7:10 am

    This is a well constructed blob I must admit. Few of us acknowledge and value the words in our pledge and the minute populus that do are severly critisized and neglected. We can always play the blame game as to where our pride and valor for our country lies but it won’t change unless we blass ourselves and adjust our mentality accordingly

  9. June 12, 2010 7:17 am

    This is a well constructed blob I must admit. Few of us acknowledge and value the words in our pledge and the minute populous that do are severely criticized and neglected. We can always play the blame game as to where our pride and valor for our country lies but it won’t change unless we blame ourselves and adjust our mentality accordingly

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