I did not choose Jamaica, Jamaica chose me! I will not forget my first trip to Jamaica, while driving from the airport – I told my friends that if I do not fall in love with a man there, I will fall in love with this island! That is precisely what happened! I fell in love with the island, it can do no wrong! Well, about a year and a half now into this journey, I stand corrected. It is a lot wrong. Sadly all of it has to do with the people and the mindsets.
Rest assured, Jamaica was no random decision…perhaps a mid-life crisis but then again, I have taken many adventures in my life time. Plus this is not really the place to land and build, because they are racist and classicist. Sometimes instead of fighting the enemy, its best to join them in hopes for some form of kindness because after all we are all humans.
Struggles cannot really be defined, they are subjective, how one interprets their experience can make the difference and that is very evident in a third-world country, like Jamaica. Nonetheless, Jamaicans know the struggle. Their lives most likely begin in crisis mode, survival mode – the major characteristic of a third-world country. Not all peoples apply, though to this generality. There are plenty of wealthy getting rich off the poor, just like in America.
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But survival and crises are not all the Jamaican people have to overcome, it is also mindsets. The mindset I will call a “poverty” mentality. It is not only common to Jamaicans but to all humans. Just my observations of living among a different people group. I believe you can live in poverty without maintaining a poverty mindset.
One thing is certain though, Jamaicans know how to hustle. I have met many folks who despite the circumstances and at times hostile environment. And it seems even with the grind, they can not quite get free from falling prey to the poverty mentality.
Of course, as an experienced architect, I make connections to experiences. Every day, every human exists to learn.
I am reminded there is nothing new under the sun.
For now, my time here in Jamaica continues to be a time of growing self-awareness, emotional and physical healing, and rest.
What say you?