JAMAICANS need consensus on what is right and what is wrong in order to progress as a nation, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said Thursday, as he sought help from the Rotary clubs to reboot the failed national values and attitudes campaign.
Commending the Rotarians for their spirit of caring and sharing, the prime minister asked them to find ways of spreading their altruistic lifestyle throughout the country.
“If we can’t change how we relate to each other, if we can’t change our concept of right and wrong so that we all find consensus about what is right and share the same indignation about what is wrong, then all the efforts in the world will not bring the development and prosperity that we seek,” Golding told Rotarians gathered for the 36th annual conference of Rotary International District 7020 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
Golding, whose government has faced its fair share of moral dilemmas in recent times, called on the Rotarians to propagate their philosophy of working together.
Speaking before the audience of 750 delegates and their guests, including 170 from earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Golding illustrated the importance of giving.
He related a story of how as a coffee farmer 25 years ago, he was forced to spray not only his crop to halt a deadly disease, but also the lands of his poorer neighbours at great cost to prevent re-infection of his farm.
“I learned in that peculiar way that helping others is not just charity, it was an investment in own interest,” Golding said.