The streets of Kingston erupted in patches of chaos as the countdown neared zero, theÂ crescendoÂ of bottle rockets, revving motor bike engines, and dancehall music from street parties reaching a rather lustful climax around midnight. The dancing and drinking, sweating and loving and fighting surely proceeded through the dawn, but contentment for me was in the solitude of my spacious apartment here in Kingston 8, consuming media and embracing rest.
As individuals make their New Year Resolutions, pundits and politicians, journalists and commentators struggle to carve out a fleeting moment of media presence as they evaluate the past year and make predictions on the one to come. Optimism and predictions of doom seem to go hand in hand this year – I guess we, the public, get to choose which one we want to buy, like so many cereals in the grocery store. A worst case scenario, in my mind, mediocrity, seems to be all too acceptable by too many people who, I suppose, figure it could be much worse.
The first weeks of this new year, however, present me a rather unambiguous challenge: to overcome the often frustrating restrictions imposed by a broken collarbone.
One month after my dramatic motorbike crash, medical evacuation, and subsequent return to this island to work at the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica, I am still frustrated by the expenditure of so much energy on the healing process, energy that would otherwise prove quite useful in facing the demands of a normal day and energy needed to go above and beyond those demands.
For indeed, this new year, like the last, presents those kinds of opportunities nearly every instance, an opportunity to not only meet challenges head on but to do it in a new way, to turn the challenge inside out and create something whose impact reaches beyond.
So, for 2011:
Heal broken bones
Conquer the world
In that order.