Politics Aside, Let’s Talk Some Truth

Politics aside for a moment, let’s talk some truth. Forget about the general election. (Wishful thinking? Or is it mission impossible?)

Development is a concept that manifests itself differently through different eyes. Still, can we have a dispassionate conversation about it? Whether you regard the results as having been good, bad, both, or neither, let’s take a step back together so we can move forward constructively. 

Maybe we can agree that there are certain universal truths about development: it’s hard, it’s often painful, it’s a lengthy process. But the most consequential truth to be aware of is that — inna real life — there is no way to actively determine one’s own destiny other than through trial and error and grit. That is the core nature of development. That’s the one thing we must all figure out about it: 

Success begins during failure.


Failure teaches us important details we didn’t know and could not have known but really needed to know in order to consistently make better decisions. And that’s what development requires — consistently making better decisions. Luck is not enough. Whether we win the lotto or strike gold, eventually, it won’t matter how good our luck may have been at a particular point in time. Sooner or later, all that will matter is what we’ve learnt and how well we’ve made use of what we’ve learnt. 

The hardest work in a democracy begins when an election ends. I completely understand why the majority of Jamaicans are utterly dissatisfied with the quality of governance we’ve produced over the years across changing administrations. But giving up is not an option. We all have a stake in what happens here. More importantly, if we are grateful, we have a duty to the unborn to learn from our failures so that the sacrifices made by our foreparents/ancestors would not have been wasted. Are you grateful? Are you? Gratitude implies duty. 

So, what have we learnt? What have you learnt? 

Regardless of one’s political persuasion or lack thereof, we should all have essentially the same plan now. We must take active steps to salvage whatever knowledge we can from the past to date, as we seek to reduce the number of necessary failures remaining between the present and our noblest vision of development.

Get up. Stand up. Do more. Fear less. It’s not failure that makes a leader redundant, it is his or her refusal to rigorously contend with it. 

By Anika Kiddoe

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