Of Accountability, Discipline and Exemplary Leadership

For the quality of everyday Jamaicans’ lives to improve, we must improve on our discipline. While much of the tenets of discipline are self-taught and a few others innate, most, and quite often the most important, are learnt by example. These examples are generally from our “first touch” experiences; our parents, our teachers, our elders etc.
As we grow and forge our way in the world, we pick up more examples from people whom we would deem “role models”, a varied bunch such as Musicians, Bosses, Lecturers and even the Captain of the Football/Netball team. In this set is a group which we are conditioned by School, Parents and Society to look up to and even emulate, our Societal and Political Leaders.
These Leaders, in our case, have been honed by an adversarial system that has, for a long time, pitted them one against the other for power and its spoils and which has seen them at times go at it like debaters from a podium, eloquent or feisty; at other times like heavyweight boxers in a ring, standing toe to toe exchanging punches; but, more recently, like rabid dogs fighting for scraps of meat.
As their behaviour has worsened, so too has the behaviour of the society at large, with the end result being the chaos, disrespect and downright anarchy permeating all levels of our culture, from our Parliament to the streets, and from our classrooms to the Music Studios.
Whilst every man is to be held accountable for his actions, Psychology has proven that we are all part and parcel of our environment, subjected to the same pleasures and pressures of everyday life. These, thrown into the mix with the where, how and by whom we were brought up, gives us this concatenated sodality we live in today. Out of many, One People.
                             Though there is a current disturbing trend where we are being ‘led from the back’ so to speak (a la the adage ‘when back wheel tun front wheel is a helluva thing’), where our fashion and phrasery is heavily influenced by the Poorer Class, and even the very way we go about our daily lives, acceding to the anarchic behaviour of our taxi men and street side vendors, for us as a society to move towards ‘firstworld‘ standards, our cues should be coming from our ‘best and brightest’, amongst which many of our Leaders are.
As it seems they are incapable of or unwilling to raise their own levels (a byproduct of their adherence to party loyalty over nation building), and of realizing their own potential, the Media, the new ‘Conscience of the Nation’ (as the Church is proving its ineptitude at realising the role it should be playing in engaging the population in raising its morality gauge), needs to play its part in keeping them on the straight and narrow by highlighting their bad behaviour and suggesting the way forward, reminding them to adhere to campaign promises made and the Political Code of Conduct. They, above any other segment of society, MUST be held accountable for their actions.
After all, they must have been aware BEFORE they decided to take up the mantle of public office of our old Jamaican adages, ‘The higher monkey climb, the more him expose’ and ‘Monkey see, Monkey do’ (and please, I’m in no way calling or associating them with our supposed ancestors, just quoting the proverbs).
It is time for inspirational speeches to be replaced by inspirational actions thus prompting our populace towards positivity in outlook and deeds.
It is time to end the divisiveness of our local politics, thus ending the divisiveness of our populace.
It is time to end this stagnation that leaves our people depressed, suppressed and oppressed.
It is time for us all to be disciplined, to be accountable, to be respectful to and mindful of others.
It is time for those who know better to do better.
It is time for exemplary and visionary leadership.

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