The married couple that restored my faith in Jamaicans
A few nights ago I had the pleasure of having a long conversation with a friend I’ve known form prep school and her husband. The conversation started out innocently enough with me joking about her ‘riches’ and she telling me if only it were so. But by the end of the conversation I left with a renewed faith in Jamaicans.
The couple that walked away from Milk and Honey
So a bit of background on the couple. They’ve both been living in the USA for quite a while. Both are very well educated, both had what most people would consider pretty good jobs earning a decent salary and they lived in a nice home by most people’s standards. All in all they were living the life that most people dream about living. In fact most people work two jobs, overtime and hustle all to afford the lifestyle they were apparently living. But yet….
They walked away from it all
Yes, you read right. They walked away from it all. Instead of staying in ‘the land of milk and honey’ and living the american dream. They decided to come back to their home country and try to make it here. Yes, they both left what most would consider to be good jobs, to come to Jamaica to try and build something here.
I would move back to Jamaica, but
I’ve heard SO many people say that they want to move back to Jamaica, that they WOULD move back to Jamaica, and as soon as they utter those words, its followed by a ‘but’
- The crime
- I have so much debt over here (i.e in the US
- I’d have to find a new job
- I don’t have any links, and Jamaica works on links
- There are just more opportunities in the US
- As soon as I have $XXXXXX.XX dollars saved!
At the end of the day, in my opinion, these are all excuses. If you really wanted to come back home, you would. I know as a lot of people read this they’ll probably already be fuming and thinking up all sorts of reasons why I’m wrong. That’s fine. You may find I actually AGREE with a lot of your reasoning. But it’s all still just excuses. Every country has its set of problems. In the US, you’re a second class citizen, you’re black, you’re asian, you went to a third world school, you’re Jamaican, there’s crime, kidnappings, credit traps and a whole host of other problems.
More often than not most people move to the US and work twice as hard as they would in Jamaica. They work two jobs, do overtime, do weekends and barely go out. Had they been in Jamaica, if a little rain fell they would consider staying in bed an calling in sick. In my observation when people move to the US they have no CHOICE but to work hard, so they do it. How many people do YOU know who work two jobs every week and on weekends in Jamaica? If they were to move back home and put in that same effort and be patient, I honestly feel like the life they could make for themselves out here would be of a much higher quality than in the US. Sure they might have to save a few more years to afford a home, but at the end of the day they would GET IT.
Back to the couple
So these two young people have decided they want to come to Jamaica and try to make it. To my knowledge they’re not exceptionally wealthy, they don’t have parents that are in those ‘elite’ circles that can make things happen with a phone call, and they certainly don’t seem to be involved with any illicit people who can ‘invest’ in any and all their ideas. So doing what they plan to do is going to take time, hard work and a hell of a lot of patience. But the mere fact that they’ve decided that it’s worth it to move back to Jamaica and try is what has restored my faith.
Based on the conversation I had with them, they both see the immense potential in Jamaica. They both have visions of the things they’d like to do not only to make money but to actually bring new things to the island. To hear two people who had quite a bit in the US express to me that they felt Jamaica was full of potential was very refreshing! Especially given that most people who move to the US and live there for an extended period, usually bash Jamaica and Jamaicans every chance they get. (You know the people I’m talking about, “Jamaica jus full of corruption” “Jamaica will never move move forward” and things along those lines). Not to mention the Jamaicans who see their country as nothing more than a ‘party & vacation spot”.
I’ll admit I have no clue if both of them will stick to their visions and tough it out. I hope they do, both they and the country we live in will be much better off if they do.
The final note
So to Kimberley, you and your husband have single handedly restored my faith that there are Jamaicans that have migrated that still love their country (as more than a place to party). You’ve proven to me that there still are people out there that see the potential of this island and are willing to do the hard work to make it out here. I really hope that anything and everything you guys aim to do works out exactly as you want it to!