Change: we just don’t get it do we? Like the gears in a motor vehicle we have become complacent with automatic transmissions, and we scarcely remember the manual transmission and the use of the gearstick and clutch. Few if any, will recall a non-synchromesh gearbox that required the double-clutch technique that was required in the really tough old Land Rovers with 4-wheel drive of yester-year (now classic collectors’ items).

Regrettably, when applied to societal changes, the automatic transmission is of little significance to the modern trends. Things happen quickly and the modern speed of communication moves too fast to be able to zero in on the real-time target to be effective. It is like aiming far too high and expecting the bullet to stop as it nears the target. That is called a miss.

Change requires a meshing mechanism to engage practically (like the teeth in a gearbox), and allow the speed of the conjoint unit to accelerate or apply compression and slow. Thus today, some influencers march steadily towards their goal while most of their opposition sleeps or at best, make noises in the Ethernet realm where short term protests are born and die in nanoseconds.

However there are several current international examples unfolding as we speak that belie that paradigm and the best known for durability this year have been Hong Kong; Climate Change; and the Cockpit Country here at home. However they were started, they seem to have engaged a physical protest that manifests itself in sustainable action.

There are causes that only one side is prepared to take physical action and yet the other side expects protection from government and the undefinable public opinion. In these scenarios, the side that does not confront loses every time.

Take the issue of the use of the publicly owned Convention Facility in Montego Bay and the controversy and legal recourses taken against the statements made by His Worship Mayor Homer Davis. These sentiments were seemingly supported by many of the Faith-based groups and churches in the area, but to no avail, for when they stood by idly in the face of those who did not subscribe to their moral compasses, they lost the battle (never to be regained).

Secondly, the issue raised by some Alumni of my own Jamaica College about not wanting Ruel Reid back at the College smacks of another failure to engage the issue in the physical sense, rather than the endless electronic protests. During my seven short years at Jamaica College we had two major protests led by students. One removed a Headmaster, while the other forced an acceptance of the qualities required to be a worthy Prefect. I cringe at the current lack of conviction.

In the two scenarios persons are appealing to the Government to engage in decision-making that may or may not lead to their desired outcomes. The Government however, is duty-bound to respect laws and legal processes that tend to avoid anarchy and chaos. No democratic government can change its processes without the mandate of the people it represents.

 If you really feel motivated to challenge or change the direction of a process, then realize that you may have to mobilize in order to engage the gears of reality (which is a nice way of saying you may actually need to get off your backsides and march for what you want).

Other than that keep your grumbling at low decibels lest you be prosecuted for night noises.

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