When a young man gets to the point of picking up a gun and shooting another human being without remorse, that person has gone past the point of civility. It is so easy to pass judgement on such a person, express anger at their inhumanity, blame their race, their colour, their parents, their political association, and their religion. But do we ever take time to realize that we are simply reaping that which we have sowed.
When parents pamper and make excuses for their children lack of interest in school, their nonparticipation in sports and social activities that can improve their social skills, and offer a home of comfort for illicit activities, what do one expect from that child later in life? Can an uneducated child, an unskilled child, a child that lacks manners, a child with little or no regard for spirituality evolve into a person who earns a liveable income and become a good parent and a positive contributor to society?
It is sad and insane that we have allowed our children to reach such a state of despair that they see the gun and gang activity as a viable alternative to what is generally considered to be a normal crime free life. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a San Juan Secondary School, I was saddened to see the abandoned trade area where it was once possible to learn a variety of trades. I can just imagine that this must be common throughout what was the many trade classrooms that existed at one time in our education system.
The young men that gather at our traffic intersections to sell water, and clean windscreens for mere cents are not bandits. In fact, most are very polite. They should be apprentices in construction sites, in mechanic shops, in agricultural fields and many other activities that can offer a viable alternative to a life of crime. The more men that one gun down, more come. The solution must be structured, compassionate and realistic.
With structure, concern, proper planning, adequate financing, and a sincere desire to deal proactively with the crime situation, government in tandem with the private sector can turn things around. My experience with a local football club indicated that with a minor investment that allowed for a monthly salary, a clubhouse where they could have a decent meal at least once a day and with appropriate training, many of our youths would move away from gang activity to club activities.
These young man and women can be our next generation of pan tuners, our plumbers, our masons, our carpenters, our song writers, our poets, our musicians, our painters, our food producers, our rum producers, our tourist guides, our mechanics, and our heavy equipment operators.
For that to become a reality, the old talk and excuses must be replaced with the political, social, and economic commitment to transform our youths into model citizens of the future. Alternatively, we will continue to see an increase in despair and criminal activities.
God Bless Our Nation.