Strength­en­ing of fam­i­lies and good old val­ues key to solv­ing our so­cial prob­lems

Fiji Sun - - COMMENT - NE­MANI DE­LAIBATIKI Feed­back: ne­­laibatiki@fi­

The Of­fice of the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (ODPP) has re­leased statis­tics for non-sex­ual of­fences. They re­late to se­ri­ous crimes and among the al­leged of­fend­ers were Po­lice of­fi­cers.

The statis­tics tell the same story as the fig­ures on sex­ual of­fences like rape and sex­ual as­saults. These crimes are a scourge on our com­mu­ni­ties.

We can­not sit back and re­lax while these crimes are be­ing per­pe­trated against in­no­cent peo­ple. The hu­man toll is im­mea­sur­able and is cost­ing our na­tion a lot in terms of peo­ple who can be con­tribut­ing pos­i­tively.

All these anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties need ur­gent at­ten­tion. We must se­ri­ously look at ad­dress­ing these so­cial prob­lems from their roots. Ev­ery of­fender comes from a fam­ily. It’s time we go back to the fam­ily and strengthen this in­sti­tu­tion. The fam­ily should take re­spon­si­bil­ity for its mem­bers. It should know their where­abouts and ac­tiv­i­ties.

This is where parental re­spon­si­bil­ity is ab­so­lutely im­por­tant. Maybe it’s use­ful to hold train­ing work­shop for par­ents and em­power them to take own­er­ship of their fam­i­lies. It is be­ing said so many times and it’s worth re­peat­ing – the home is the first class­room. This is where good val­ues and prin­ci­ples are taught. Stud­ies have shown that chil­dren who are well grounded with whole­some up­bring­ing at home tend to achieve and suc­ceed in life. They tend to be law abid­ing and pro­duc­tive, even un­der dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances and ex­treme hard­ship.

Many of them hold dear their cul­tural and re­li­gious val­ues be­cause they take pride in con­tin­u­ing a legacy of hard work, hon­esty and sac­ri­fice. They learn and trea­sure the bi­b­li­cal teach­ing that faith with­out work is dead. Noth­ing comes free and easy in in this world. Some of them come from hum­ble back­grounds, but they have man­aged to achieve through these val­ues and prin­ci­ples that have stood the test of time.

Crime is of­ten in­flu­enced by the urge for in­stant self­grat­i­fi­ca­tion. It ful­fils a de­sire that does not take into con­sid­er­a­tion the dam­age, the phys­i­cal pain and emo­tional trauma that it in­flicts on in­no­cent vic­tims. We need to teach our peo­ple to work for their liv­ing. We can­not keep blam­ing Gov­ern­ment or oth­ers for the chal­lenges we go through.

COVID-19 has opened our eyes to what we can do to sur­vive this cri­sis. It has ex­posed the re­source­ful­ness of our peo­ple. Those who were laid off have re­sorted to al­ter­na­tive sources of liveli­hood.

There is no doubt they have grown stronger in char­ac­ter from this ex­pe­ri­ence.

It is the bet­ter and right op­tion than look­ing for an easy way out to sur­vive by break­ing the law and hurt­ing peo­ple. Breach­ing the jaw is not worth it. That’s what we need to teach our chil­dren and the best place to do it is at home.

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