|Facing the crime scourge – Jun 15|
Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of Our Society
By Vernon Khelawan
When church leaders and others gathered for a three-day symposium on trying to find solutions to the crime wave now the scourge of our country, no one thought it was going to be an easy task. This is manifested, perhaps, by the time it took to come up with a final communique, which now needs to be taken seriously.
There is no one simple solution to the present problem. Leaders – church, political, the higher-ups in civil society, and citizens in general – keep looking around to find somebody to blame. If one looks deep enough, one would realise that the rot began with the introduction of the shift system in our schools. Today we are reaping the whirlwind that was sown then.
What the shift system did was to have one set of children roaming all over the place unsupervised in the morning, and another set let loose in the afternoon. That situation created the environment for drug use and abuse, promiscuity and the introduction of the gang culture.
At about that same time there arose a loss of respect in the home, then in the neighbourhood and finally for law and order, resulting today in a generation or two of lawless people interacting by force, while the law-abiding try to maintain an acceptable level of societal mores.
Today, the shift system is no more, but we have more parents with cars and private school transport who see nothing wrong with running a red light, creating a “bad drive” or going the wrong way on a one-way street. The seven-year-old in the back seat observes the wrongs but is told, “We’re late” – implying that it is alright to break the law because of the tardiness of the parent. Exactly what has this child learnt from such an example?
The breakdown in our society has to be attacked on several fronts at the same time if we are to even begin to scratch the surface of “Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of Our Society.” The task may seem daunting but is not impossible if there is the will to tackle the job, with urgency.