Independence brings to mind the freedom and ability to do whatever one wants to do. One should also consider that with freedom come responsibilities regarding our choices. Independence for me has more questions than answers.
1. Are we independent or indifferent?
Having gained independence from 300+ years of British rule granted us our own constitution. In deed we are now self-governed, but in truth most of us are indifferent to the nature of the governing body.
2. Do the freedoms granted by a constitution give a country autonomy?
That only works when the governing body takes decisive action in regard to the extent of external influence allowed vs. internal influence preserved and shared. By right our freedom should give us sovereignty, through the right to decide what and how outside factors affect us, balanced with consistent committed effort to develop what is innately our Jamaican culture.
3. Can ‘Interdependence Celebrations’ help create balance?
Independence takes on a whole new meaning when the focus shifts to becoming better at acknowledging our interdependence and creating better relationships. As a country, Jamaica at 53 should strive towards fostering more mutually beneficial relationships, while Jamaicans of whatever age should endeavor to be better parents, relatives, friends, neighbours and citizens. What better way to celebrate our interdependence than by being our best selves.