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TONI THORNE: No time for bullying


TONI THORNE

TONI THORNE: No time for bullying

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WE HAVE HIT an all-time low when Barbadians take pleasure in going on social media to upload a picture of a three-year-old toddler to ridicule her for her career day costume. Apparently, her nursery held a career showcase to highlight the various careers the children interact with. What a cute and exciting thing to do!

I logged on to social media and saw a picture of a very cute little girl in a Chefette uniform with the following caption: “Who’s she parents? Sent to school career day in a Chefette uniform. What a goal to set . . . I dying!”

Firstly, nobody should upload a picture of a minor without the consent of the child’s parent or accompanying guardian. Secondly, don’t we have enough issues locally and globally to lament or discuss for us to be fussing about such folly?

Allow me to explain what the folly is. I read quite a few people state that the entire issue of those of us who thought the actions of this adult was mean, was a “non-issue”.

Little Miss Chefette as she is now affectionately referred to is three years old. She identifies with the establishment as a place where she perhaps gets nuggets and ice cream – similar to other fast-food outlets like Burger King and KFC. Children love fast food and playgrounds. According to many people, she “does not know what working at Chefette may mean”.

This last statement brings me to my next point. Although some may disagree, it is my opinion that all honest work is good work. There is no job on Earth that one should be ashamed to do, once it is not conflicting with your religious and moral beliefs, and once it is legal. Many people are slaves to this notion of “looking rich” and “living the life” that they will do any and everything to maintain this image.

Thus, there are some occupations that will get much disdain. I saw many people say they do not know anybody that would aspire to be a cashier or a garbage collector. Allow me to say this for those of us living in bubbles; there are people living below the poverty line who will aspire to an occupation even if it is an honest means to an end. There should never be any shame in that. 

This column would also be doing a disservice if I did not highlight the fact that we as a society need to stop feeding this notion that one must be a professional to achieve some level of financial success. Had the three-year- old been dressed in scrubs or a suit, this entire fiasco would never have occurred. Take a look at the Forbes list and tell me if you see any professionals on it. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Mr Haloute start out in a two-by-four on Fontabelle before his establishment became what it is today?

In life you have to start somewhere. No two people walk the same path. Sure, many of you parents have high hopes for your children – rightfully so. However, let the children be children and stop force-feeding them your archaic notions of success whilst they can simply enjoy life without having to worry about exams or career choices. Also, when the time comes and they share their dreams with you, you have all right to be protective. Being protective is a result of your love. 

To the parents of toddlers, be a bit more open-minded like Justin Carter (the father of Little Miss Chefette) when or if your baby has a career showcase. Don’t do like some parents who claimed that they “woulda had it wid de nursery” because “dem wanna push certain career choices at my chile”.

In short, support your children’s dreams, teach them that all honest work is good work, and for goodness sake, don’t encourage cyberbullying.

Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and former World Economic Forum Global Shaper and JCI Outstanding Young Person Of The World. She loves a great debate and the wonders of island life. Email [email protected]

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