EDITORIAL: We must pull back our society
MINISTER MICHAEL LASHLEY, as Acting Attorney General, urged criminals to find other ways of making a living. He was delivering remarks during a National Heroes Day tribute to local national hero Sir Garfield Sobers at the Police Sports Club at Weymouth.
The occasion was a fitting tribute to a man born with exceptional talent, which he used for wholesome and productive purposes. A lot of our younger people would do well to follow his example.
Alas, while celebrating our national hero’s exemplary contribution to the uplifting aspects of our nation, the minister was forced to remind us of recent incidents of robbery, attempted robbery and house breaking, in some of which the alleged use of firearms was reported.
We agree with the minister’s advice to the perpetrators of crimes to use their creative minds to find more positive ways to make a living in these trying economic times rather than embarking on what often turns out to be self-defeating behaviour.
Lashley’s comments were direct. He challenged the youngsters to do better since, as he saw it, they would get no benefits from criminal activities as the Royal Barbados Police Force will be even more vigilant of suspicious activities. As he declared, “Crime does not pay, but criminals ultimately will”.
It seems that cultural penetration has had an adverse impact on our society, and it has had a free ride too, because, at the same time as the assault from outside, we abandoned those internal Barbadian habits and mores that previously conditioned our habits.
Regrettably, some of these deviant and antisocial behaviours have taken an increasingly firm grip on certain aspects of our way of life and every effort must now be made to pull our society back within the old landmarks of lives lived in the straight and narrow path.
The police were reminded of the importance of doing their part by enforcing the laws while building strong links with the community and helping in rebuilding the social bonds necessary to assist the community in arresting the problem.
While the minister was right on that occasion to focus on the ways in which the police officers can further assist in grappling with the breakdown in the society; and while we fully applaud his sentiments, we are unalterably of the view that proper and wholesome parenting in which parents take the primary responsibility for instilling in their children of proper social and personal behaviour, is an urgent necessity.
We cannot hope to build a proper society if many parents cannot scold their children since the parent has by example or otherwise “taught” the deviance to the child.
Too many parents have an attitude that their children are always blameless; and, as a result, the village has lost its capacity to raise the child, because, consciously or not, many parents are constantly tearing away at the building blocks of every protective aspect of our society.
It is a sad reflection of our times that failure of proper parenting in the home and by extension in the community has led to increasing occupation of our penal institutions. We must replace the old landmarks.