Letters to the Editor

Without core values, no growth

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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Dear Editor,

There are contrasting but related stories/headlines that make the daily news. On one hand, there is talk about economic growth, which is captured in the cliché of the Andrew Holness Administration — “five in four.” As Prime Minister Andrew Holness and members of the Economic Growth Council traverse the physical Jamaican landscape opening up multimillion-dollar roadways and businesses, they hail these investments, rightly so, as pertinent to economic growth. On the other hand, the media justifiably reminds us of the social ills destructively plaguing our society — crime, violence, road accidents, corruption, among others.

My premise is that economic growth minus core values equals non-sustainability.

Jamaica's Vision 2030 document reminds us that, “Deliberate steps must be taken to change the mindset of our nation and address traits that are likely to inhibit progress towards our development. Core values such as respect, honesty and truthfulness, forgiveness, tolerance, trust, honour, discipline, responsibility, cooperation, good work ethic and punctuality are essential for transitioning this society to a prosperous one.” These core values are the crucial pillars upon which true development occurs.

The fundamental problem with our governance is that core values are not promoted, explained, enshrined, and enforced at every level within Jamaica's public sphere. On one level, there is an absence of vital widespread public campaign to promote and enforce these core values in a similar successful manner to that of the “Breast is Best” campaign in the 1970s, or the manner in which democratic socialism was in our proverbial face. There is a clear absence of a modus operandi that ensures every minister of government, government agencies, and the private sector personnel manage and lead their respective sectors grounded in these core values.

If core values such as discipline and responsibility were being enforced, then there would have been serious consequences when government agencies fail to present annual financial reports and when the Public Accounts Committee is negligent in their responsibilities of the nation's business.

Let us follow the lead of Archbishop Kenneth Richards, speaking at a tree planting ceremony at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Friday, September 21, 2017, who stated, “As we continue to debate and explore the core values that will augur well for nation building and advancement, I would like to propose the following values: respect for self, respect for others, and loyalty to country.” Let those who have ears to hear listen carefully that economic growth minus the enforcement of the core values of Vision 2030 equal non-sustainability.

 

Rev Fr Donald Chambers

Pastor

Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church

thekeysandsword@gmail.com

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