OFTEN I have said money is the end of our modern Jamaica and our world. It is no longer the search for truth or the good of humanity. I have met some of the most beautiful and honourable people in our island, mostly of the older generation, who are not wealthy but have maintained dignity, honour and respect for all people, and who would not disgrace themselves for money.
Too much pride, praise and popularity, too much money, too much fame have been given to Usain Bolt with the usual Jamaican attitude, ‘boys will be boys’. Racing around in a BMW, twice Bolt has had serious accidents with this expensive ‘toy.’
We say we must excuse him, he is just a kid having fun. We want to protect him, no matter what. He is so talented. He is so unusual. But what of chastisement, strong counselling and prudent advice? If he is a kid, why isn’t he being formed and shaped and guided by the coach, by counsellors, and even the press?
Spoiling Bolt is part of the national psyche which would never have been in the past, but today, all that glitters is gold, rather than the opposite.
Some day Bolt’s records will be broken. Already he has been beaten before the nation in the 100m and the 200m. The attitude is that he is just warming up for the Olympics. This seems unacceptable to me; if you are running before your entire nation, you provide your best. It’s a way of honouring people, the roots from which we all came.
The matter of being a legend and proclaiming oneself as being a legend is very much lacking humility, and creates false values in our nation. Muhammad Ali is perhaps the greatest of boxers ever, and today he can hardly articulate a sentence of proper English. Whitney Houston is now dead; she had the most beautiful of voices. Same for Princess Diana, a mother and a woman of great beauty, dead in a crash early in the morning with an extraordinarily rich man, after wining and dining.
Mr. Bolt would not be chastised by us, much like the way we treat our own children; we love them and spoil them to death. We give them all they want, especially whatever they want materially. We kill them with kindness. We forget that: “God chastiseth those whom He loves.”
M.r Bolt is a great athlete, but he is not yet a great man. When he works hard and practises over many years under sage adults, when he realises and acknowledges that all he has comes from God, and that he should not proclaim himself a legend, then one day he would begin to attain wisdom. Bolt was accustomed to giving thanks to God for his victories. I pray that he continues to do so.
After all, wisdom is attained at 50 years, not at 25, and the most valuable gift a man can have is that he has sacrificed himself in service of God and his people.
As for Mr Yohan Blake. Why call yourself a beast? Read the Book of Revelation. I wish you both success in the upcoming Olympics. By Richard Ho Lung
Father Richard Ho Lung is founder and superior general of Missionaries of the poor