‘We have aban­doned com­mon de­cency’

The Star (Jamaica) - - COMMENTS THE WEEKEND STAR -

What kind of na­tion are we? We chop chil­dren to death; we rape and kill girls just en­ter­ing their teens. We wan­tonly kill women who want to leave abu­sive re­la­tion­ships. In ad­di­tion, as if that was not bad enough, we turn around and blame gov­ern­ments.

Did the Govern­ment make you lose con­trol when your woman de­cide that she wanted to leave? Did the Govern­ment put the ma­chete in your hand and com­pel you to chop off her head? Was it the Govern­ment that made you abduct, rape and kill a 13-year-old girl who just wanted to go home to a nice, warm din­ner and the love of her fam­ily af­ter a tough day at school?

Was it the Govern­ment that made you chop and kill an eight-year-old child just be­cause you were in the mid­dle of a do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion? Why is it that we seem so in­ca­pable of re­solv­ing our dif­fer­ences with­out sac­ri­fic­ing some­one’s life?

None of these things is the fault of any­one but our­selves.

We are the ones trapped in a past where all things ended vi­o­lently. We are sup­posed to be be­yond the think­ing of an eye for an eye. We should be evolved enough to un­der­stand that life is not per­fect, life is not an ideal. Liv­ing our best lives does not about nec­es­sar­ily mean mak­ing it big and show­ing off our ma­te­rial wealth on our less-for­tu­nate ‘friends’.

Life should be about liv­ing well with our neigh­bours and not cov- et­ing them for the things they own. Life should be about help­ing where we can and be­ing hon­est as best we can. Life is about be­ing as hu­man as we can be, ac­knowl­edg­ing our mis­takes and try­ing to learn from them.

We seem to have for­got­ten how to live like this. We have aban­doned com­mon de­cency. We have left be­hind the things that made Ja­maica a won­der­ful place to visit and a great place to live.

Yes, many of us were dis­en­fran­chised by po­lit­i­cal sys­tems, but that was only be­cause we al­lowed our­selves to be led by peo­ple who ap­pealed to our ba­sic wants, our propen­sity to be swayed by shiny things.

Nev­er­the­less, we are bet­ter than this. If each us takes the time to take a closer look at our­selves and make the de­ci­sions to shed the things that we know are not good, and em­brace the char­ac­ter­is­tics that make us bet­ter, we will fi­nally be able to move for­ward as a na­tion.

Send com­ments to levyl1@hot­mail.com

The Silent Gar­dens mon­u­ment in down­town Kingston was es­tab­lished in me­mory of chil­dren killed un­der tragic cir­cum­stances.

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