Nation e-Edition

ALTAR CALL - Be careful what you hear

By Cheryl Harewood | Mon, June 07, 2010 - 12:00 AM

IT WAS NOT YOUR USUAL CHURCH SETTING, but the Biblical lessons taught to over 200 students of the Garrison Secondary School could be billed a sermon, as students were encouraged to replace the many negative voices, which often speak to them through various forms, with helpful and positive voices, especially those that were God-based.

The third and fourth form students of the school gathered at Grand Barbados Hotel recently as part of a seminar hosted by Operation Marriage Restore and eXcess Singles.

The subject was Thoughts, Voices And Mindsets, and the speakers were Apostles Bernhard and Destiny Cadogan.

Abstinence was promoted during the event, as the safest sexual practice for single people.

The day was filled with an abundance of interaction among the students as they acknowledged the prevalence of deviant lifestyles. Some also took the opportunity to openly express their fears and concerns, while others wept openly.

Through a thought-provoking depiction of the theme via a classroom skit that echoed some of their thoughts, students came face to face with reality.

Using various songs that promote violence, drugs and sexuality, the skit dramatised how music as a voice develops into a thought that eventually becomes a mindset that is lived out as a result.

The students' response to the songs gave credence to the reality of the ingesting of voices that helped to shape behaviour patterns.

"There are various voices around us which shape the way we live. They first enter our lives innocently but then after much mental or visual repetition, become ingested by us as thoughts and consequently, are cemented in our minds as a belief system," stressed Apostle Destiny.

"Our mindsets as human beings are formed as a result of what we believe.

"As such, every behaviour that we portray originates from some 'voice' whether visual or oral, which we have adopted as a mindset.

"This helps to determine who you are and who you will be. Hence, it is very important for you to be able to judge what is good and wholesome because it is detrimental to your lives," she said.

She told the attentive students: "I am sure you have heard someone say times before that a person 'would never amount to anything good' or that 'you just like your father or your mother'.

" Or perhaps you've heard it said that 'nobody will marry you'. These are voices which become real thoughts to people and which over a period of time become mindsets which are destructive and hurtful, not only to the person who hears these words but also to others who must come into contact with him or her," she said.

She added: "There are voices in the dub, R&B and various other genres of music" to which, either willingly or unwillingly, young people are exposed.

"On the minivans and at schools, children are 'run down' by voices from popular music like Virginity from Vybz Kartel; I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It by Katie Perry, Styles P's I Get High and other artistes such as Mavado.

"These songs are played almost every day on the radio and during school on the cellphones of secondary schoolchildren.

"Therefore, there is an abundant opportunity for these negative voices which glorify drugs, sex before marriage, and violence, to be repeated often enough so that they become a belief system and eventually a mindset," Apostle Destiny added.

She said children eventually thought that it was an acceptable way of life or in some cases the only way of life which they could live, without realising there were consequences to their actions.

"We often don't like the result of actions that follow what is in our heads. We don't like being arrested by the police, going to jail, or being pregnant and not knowing who the father is.

"If we don't like those results, we should look at what caused the result, which would be our thoughts, and what we believed we should do," she advised.

At the students' request, the day's session concluded long after the scheduled time, as many of them wanted to discuss things which they thought were beneficial to them.

The students were accompanied by several teachers who also expressed their approval of the content of the day's event and its effectiveness.

This special programme is being planned for other schools.

cherylharewood@nationnews.com

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