A voice from the Diaspora: A culture of entitlement – Jamaica Observer

Posted By on October 12, 2022

Last week a video emerged on social media of a woman, who appeared to be in Jamaica, berating those of the Diaspora for sending small amounts of money through remittance services.

The woman accused Jamaicans abroad of a lack of sense or conscience for sending US$100 or less because those amounts, in her estimation, were too small and Jamaicans at home were going to start refusing those sums.

Whatever happened to the notion that it is the thought that counts?

Most Jamaicans who live outside the island are very interested in what happens in the land of their birth. We pay close attention to the conventional media platforms and even more so to social media posts, depending on their particular interests.

When we call up ah foreign and tell unu we problem, do not disrespect we like dat. Do not do that, she said, We call unu up deh and tell unu say we rent want pay, we light bill ah go cut off, we nah no food and wee pickney dem nuh want go a school. Who unu think unu is?

The social media post may well have been made in jest but there is nothing funny about it to many Jamaicans who suffer adverse economic, social and political conditions in order to stay afloat in the lands they now live far away from their island home.

Her rant speaks to the undeniable reality that Jamaica has sewn the fruit and replanted the seeds of the culture of entitlement that now plagues us. There are some Jamaicans who are well educated in the profession of mendicancy. For decades we have allowed this cancer to spread among the citizenry without attempting to mitigate the disease and treat it into a state of mildness.

Social programmes are a must in any society which has a conscience and, while life does not include handouts, we must assist those among us who are facing difficulties. However we must adopt measures that reward the virtues of hard work, dedication and ambition.

Many years ago while covering crime for the Jamaica Observer, a hurricane devastated sections of Jamaica. The system destroyed a building that housed dozens of computers set up by a church in the community to act as a homework centre for the schoolchildren in the impoverished community of Arnett Gardens.

Before the water settled and the wind calmed, the centre was broken into and the computers, acquired for the church for the empowerment of the community, were all stolen. Were the thieves aware that while they had taken desktop computers for their own pleasure that they were actually robbing themselves and the children of the community of a chance to grow out of the poverty and despair that befell them?

In the same breath there are some Jamaicans who tell tales of hunger and desperation to their relatives and friends abroad only to use the hard earned funds they gleefully collect to floss at dances and for other purposes than those stated when they were so much in need.

Many Jamaicans who live abroad have improved their lot in life by hard work. Some have paid rent for years and, if not rent, then mortgage. Yet the expectation exists, according to the womans rant, for them to also pay rent for one or more people in Jamaica.

In many cities across the United States, to rent a three bedroom apartment in a middle income community may range between US$2,500 and US$3,500. It sometimes takes the combined efforts of all family members to cover that cost. In Florida, energy rates may cost an average of US$175 monthly and apart from an occasional cookout, free food is not available here.

Food, shelter, clothing and transportation may be easily accessible and less expensive than it is in Jamaica, but it is by no means cheap.

Yet these same Jamaicans are expected to answer every beck and call from everyone in need back at home and, if that call is not answered satisfactorily, then sentiments similar to those expressed in that womans social media post will come flying and unfiltered.

Another video surfaced a few days after featuring a woman boasting a Jamaican accent who claimed to be a nurse who works overseas. The woman told of the harshness she faced during her tenure in the profession and was clearly upset. She described snippets of a nurses perils on the job, describing how they had to clean the fecal matter of some patients, who would sometimes spit at them or attempt to douse them with bodily fluids.

Whether you like it or not you have to take it, the woman, who also advised the complainant to instead earn money from the worlds oldest profession if she was displeased with the amount of money being sent, said.

Many Jamaicans who spent decades toiling in sleet, snow and sun while tightening their belts with the dream of retiring in a nice home back on the island, end up as murder victims, most times at the hands of relatives or close associates who they have worked hard and taken care of for decades.

The stories of Jamaicans in the Diaspora being bamboozled by relatives, friends and perceived lovers abound yet remittances remain in the top three of Jamaicas foreign exchange earners.

This cycle of entitlement and mendicancy must end. It is the reason why some of our brightest minds have resorted to scamming and other illegal activities and refuse to choose the path of hard work. They are used to getting things too easy and have failed to comprehend the value of being rewarded for hard work.

Be careful of those social media posts. Your relatives and friends sometimes fail to tell you everything they endure while living abroad Jamaica.

Karyl Walker is a veteran journalist who served as the Jamaica Observer's Crime/Court and Online News Editor. He now resides in Florida, USA.

See the article here:

A voice from the Diaspora: A culture of entitlement - Jamaica Observer

Related Posts


Comments are closed.

matomo tracker