Countries that have been (so far) fortunate enough to escape the catastrophe that has befallen Haiti and Japan must feel lucky. But with luck should come awareness of the strategies/measures that must be put in place to ensure that, should the elements of nature decide to pour their solid, liquid or gaseous wrath in our direction, they will be in a position to still escape catastrophe through forethought and proper planning and preparation.
must replace the luck mentality. And I see no place where a strong
belief in luck or an unwavering testament to people’s faith in God’s
providence is more evident than in Jamaica - the nation with the most
churches per square mile.
year, around hurricane season, the piousness and religious zeal of
Jamaican people increases thousandfold, as they cross fingers, toes,
hands and feet, blot their house doors with the cross and pray for the
providence of God to help them through another rough, potentially
devastating season. The problem with that approach is - many of them
survive the season relatively unscathed, and as a result, their belief
in their luck's never-ending supply gets bolstered, even as the folly
of their unpreparedness and refusal to prepare remains veiled to them.
At the end of it, they
throw up their hands, utter a “Tenky Jesus” and carry on until the next
hurricane season, and the next season of their mixture of fear, faith
I have no problem with
God or religion. And I certainly have no grouse with Jamaicans being a
people of faith. But let’s make this biblical: Faith without works -
sensible, WISE works - is dead. Their failure to see that ‘luck’,
‘providence’, or whatever they call it, can run out, whereas good sense,
proper planning and detailed preparation will always prevail, is what
We could easily move
from the ‘maybe I’ll make it this year’ feeling of uncertainty to the
confident statement of, ‘yes, I am prepared’. Damages could be minimised
and it would cost this country less if we would stop living on luck,
and starting living out emergency disaster preparedness, until it is
ingrained in our culture, like it was in Japan’s.
we should take instruction from the fact that despite their superior
levels of preparation, Japan still endured more than they were able to
bear. What about us - who are not prepared at all??