How one coun­try so lucky/blessed?

Jamaica Gleaner - - KELLY’S WORLD / LAWS OF EVE - Daviot Kelly Staff Re­porter

WELL, MATTHEW turned out to be like one of those men who talk a good talk but can’t mash ants.

Hur­ri­cane Matthew was sup­posed to bring death and de­struc­tion to Ja­maica, par­tic­u­larly St Mary, St Thomas, and Port­land. Now, while he did give us some pre­cip­i­ta­tion and breeze, for the most part, he kept us free of death and de­struc­tion. And for that we are grate­ful. To be hon­est, we re­ally couldn’t take a di­rect beat­ing from the goodly Matthew. But the point is, whether it be the hands of a supreme be­ing or just dumb luck (whichever the­ory you sub­scribe to) Ja­maica has been spared, again!

I’m be­gin­ning to won­der just why we’ve been able to dodge so many of th­ese ma­jor hur­ri­canes over the past few years. I know that Ivan and Dean did dam­age, and the peo­ple who lost ev­ery­thing or al­most ev­ery­thing would surely dis­agree. But com­pared to the wide­spread dam­age that oc­curred after Hur­ri­cane Gil­bert, Ja­maica has re­ally been spared more than a few times since then. Now, the op­ti­mistic side of me looks at the sit­u­a­tion and says “no weh nuh betta dan yaad”. And it re­minds me of why I’m not in a rush to run to for­eign coun­tries to die of hy­pother­mia and frost­bite. You ever hear about the mon­soon rains in Asian coun­tries? Whe rain a go? No sah, Ja­maica to di world!

But at the same time, the pes­simistic side of me (which is ad­mit­tedly the greater part) is just won­der­ing how many more times we’re go­ing to dodge bul­lets (or hur­ri­canes) be­fore we lit­er­ally clean up our act. On Sun­day, the outer bands of Matthew (he was a big old boy) lashed the Cor­po­rate Area with steady rain for about 30 min­utes or less. Did you see the amount of wa­ter along sec­tions of Ha­gley Park Road? Bet­ter yet, be­fore we even heard of Matthew, rains turned Marcus Garvey Drive into the Rio Co­bre. My point is, our drainage in­fra­struc­ture and garbage dump­ing need vast im­prove­ment.

THE STAR news­pa­per head­line last Tues­day (when it was pretty cer­tain by then that Matthew re­ally never out fi bodda wid we) was that ‘Prayer turned Matthew away’. The sub­head­line said pleas for mercy kept us from the might of Matthew. That’s prob­a­bly true, but here’s the is­sue with that the­ory – How many times di Good Lord gwine ansa our call so? If there’s the be­lief that we’re an evil peo­ple (lotto scam­ming, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, be­ing un­kind to each other, etc) and that nat­u­ral dis­as­ters are one way we’re pun­ished, just how much more grace do we ex­pect the Big Man Up­stairs to have for us?

Per­haps if we spent more time try­ing to be bet­ter cit­i­zens (car­ing for each other, not sup­port­ing crim­i­nals and crim­i­nal­ity, tak­ing care of our en­vi­ron­ment, etc), maybe we wouldn’t have to be fret­ting ev­ery time a weather sys­tem look our way. But then, some Ja­maicans are lazy so maybe that’s the eas­ier thing to do. Sigh, dem lucky. Till di next time.


Peo­ple stand on the coast watch­ing the surf pro­duced by Hur­ri­cane Matthew on the out­skirts of Kingston, Ja­maica, last Monday.

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