Jamaica, a land of breathtaking beauty and a wonderful Christian heritage, has been named the land of music and murder. The country’s national pledge promises, ‘before God and all mankind: to stand up for justice brotherhood and peace,’ yet injustice corruption, political tribalism, and violence have become chronic.
This dissertation focuses on Jamaica’s National Pledge to identify and bring to national attention the values contained in it, with the intent that the articulation and practice of such values will precipitate national transformation. An Appreciative Inquiry exercise is undertaken to inspire hope and awaken dreams of a preferred future with the belief that humans have a heliotropic tendency to grow in the direction of their imaginations. A group was engaged in a process of discovery, identifying the life giving core of what is; on to a dream of what could be; then to a design of the imagined future, into a picture of their destiny.
Sensing the aspirations generated among participants, recommendations were made for the replication of similar exercises in communities across the nation. The implementation of these recommendations will involve a partnership between Church and state, the government providing the structures through which the ethos of the pledge would be ingrained in the national consciousness. The Church’s role would be the embodiment of the pledge’s ideals, an expression of the Church’s faith, as the values contained in the pledge are commanded in the scriptures. The business community also has a major role to play as their place in the fabric of society presents the opportunity for doing business not only for profit but for the common good, in the spirit of the Jamaican pledge, so that: ‘Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play our part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.’