I just arrived back home from vacation. Once a year I try to ‘get away’ as they say; because a battery drained is no use unless it is charged, this charges the batteries.
While visiting the country of Jamaica, two things truly stick out in my mind. One was speaking to/with the hierarchy of where I was staying as their ‘brand’ is located throughout the Caribbean and might be able to play a valuable role in our (the Diabetes Disaster Relief Coalition) efforts in helping people with diabetes during hurricane season (okay, so I don’t ‘turn off’ completely) in the many islands that seem to get hit the most…..we will see if these conversations become fruitful, time will tell.
The second thing that truly stuck with me were the people of Jamaica. What they lack in size, they make up with pride. As one travels the country, it is quite clear that money is not plentiful, possessions are not plentiful, and many parts of the country have much less than others. Workers, every-day people, supervisors, drivers, elected officials; what is clear is that, despite the lack of what many of US would call ‘our rights of possession’, these people do not need and hold dearly their right to LOVE their country. It’s no wonder their Country’s motto is so well accepted, Out of Many, One People.
I had the wonderful opportunity to hear from so many who call Jamaica their home. One woman shared that she was not in favor of the political power now in control of the government of Jamaica. “There are three, really two, political parties in my country. I did not vote for this one.” When I shared the political divide in our country she continued, “…yes, of this we are aware. But in my country, so rich and full of so many things, no one person could ever take away how I feel for my country.”
No one person could ever take away how I feel for my country…..let that sink in a bit.
It struck me that, even in our diabetes community, we sometimes forget how much we do, actually, have. We surely do complain at the drop of a hat on something being unfair, and that is within our rights. But when we look upon landscape of all things diabetes, and for that matter in our country, have we forgotten how blessed we are? Does one person, or one entity, control us that much that we forget what we DO HAVE? Does one person or one entity stand that strongly that they hold us to stay focused on only what is bad and what divides us; whether it be the cost of our medicine or the system of politics in which we disagree.
One transportation driver shared with me that he was not so sure why we allowed the bitterness to even exist. “In my country, mon, we do not understand why Americans are so angry when they have so much blessing. Why does one thing, one event, or even one person, get all the attention. With this, we do not do here. Life is a celebration, mon.”
I could write on and on. But my question is a simple one; which one of these control us; our anger or our love for all that we DO have? Do we remember our own country’s motto which we have all heard for years and years……E Pluribus Unum? Do you know the translation of Out of Many, One.
Seems our friends of the sun drenched tourist destination of Jamaica, small and poor as they are, understand it a bit better than we do. Perhaps we should follow their lead on knowing out of many, we truly are one……..or should try harder, at least, to be so.
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