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What will 2018 bring?

by Juliana Valdez

With the advent of each new year, new hope, dreams and aspirations are stated in the form of resolutions. So serious are some about making these resolutions that they make every effort to be ‘in church’ on Old Year’s night even though the tradition of midnight Mass is not really kept in many of our churches.

For various reasons, the Mass is celebrated at an earlier hour, in some churches as early as 6 p.m., and although it is no longer a standing-room-only crowd as in times past, there is still the faithful who attend, looking forward to beginning the New Year in a sacred space, seeking the spiritual guidance and motivation to make and keep these resolutions.

It is therefore very painful to view the news broadcasts which are reporting the number of crimes which have already occurred in the country in these eight days (at the time this article was being written) of 2018. One is left to wonder if this is the resolution of the perpetrators of these heinous acts.

As I viewed the footage of one of the crimes, an attempted kidnapping, I questioned the hearts of the kidnappers, wondering if while they are planning to commit the crime, they spared a thought for the far-reaching effects of their actions: how it will impact on the families of those whom the crime is being committed against.

Another aspect of the footage which completely had me confused was the location of the crime, a busy roadway, and the fact that as the vehicles passed to and fro, no-one stopped to enquire or assist, even though the struggle going on was very obvious.

I know the mantra of many citizens is “self- preservation is the name of the game” because it is believed that “every shadow walks with a gun!”. So for many, they are not even attempting to get involved.

As the Minister of National Security was being interviewed last week, I listened to his remarks about the challenges he is facing as he tries to execute his duties in trying to deal with the crime situation. I listened also to the Prime Minister as he addressed the nation, begging the citizenry not to give up hope in spite of the negativity which seems to be overshadowing the nation, urging the population do all in our power to play a part in assisting in the ongoing efforts to curb the crime situation.

Many are asking the questions, what will 2018 bring? Will the incidents of crime be lessened? Will the National Security agencies come up with strategies to combat crime? Will the government enact legislation which will serve to deter crime? Will the efforts be supported by the Opposition? Will citizens play their part in the quest to make this country the paradise we wish it to be?

Yes, there seems to be more questions than answers, but in pondering the questions, it is hoped that the reality of our duty as citizens to play our part in ensuring what should be done is done, will impact on us the necessity of playing an active, positive role in the situation.

We can begin in our homes, impressing upon our children the spiritual, moral and social values needed to ensure that they recognise and acknowledge their role as citizens of this country.

The schools and churches also need to play their part by developing and implementing programmes which will facilitate right thinking, patriotism, care and consideration for others and the desire to make our country a better place.

May God bless our nation!