Ed­i­tor's Let­ter

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Kayra Wil­liams

Who in the world wishes evil upon a child? I mean, I know there are some sickos out there but have we re­ally got­ten to the point here in Saint Lu­cia where a par­ent or guardian would say to a young boy no older than six that she wishes, just for the sake of him stay­ing out a lit­tle past sun­set, that a sex­ual preda­tor would kid­nap and sodom­ize him so he'd learn a les­son? Well, I'm putting it very lightly here. Nev­er­the­less, my mind was blown when I heard a woman say­ing those words in more graphic de­tail to a young boy this week. He was walk­ing with a friend who looked about his age on a brightly lit basketball court filled with other kids. Chil­dren were play­ing and run­ning about, a basketball match was about to be­gin, when out of nowhere comes this woman who ap­peared to be his mother or some other guardian scream­ing ex­ple­tives and mak­ing threats. She didn't seem the least bit con­cerned about who was around her, let alone the im­pact her words could have on the child.

As I walked past, I heard a teenaged boy say to his group of friends, “How that woman can talk to a child so?” Still, no one wanted to in­ter­vene and face the woman's ap­par­ent wrath. What tran­spired proved yet again there re­ally is a thin line be­tween dis­ci­pline and ver­bal abuse. Even fur­ther, in re­lated sit­u­a­tions of do­mes­tic abuse where peo­ple rarely step in be­cause “that's the peo­ple pri­vate busi­ness”.

But back to the mat­ter at hand. It's hard for me to wrap my head around any par­ent let­ting a child that young play out on the streets alone, but we know that's just the way things go here. To think that a guardian would say some­thing that un­think­able to a child, what­ever the rea­son, is down­right dis­gust­ing. Rape is not un­com­mon here. Sex­ual as­sault against mi­nors is in the news nearly ev­ery day. Young boys and girls are as­saulted, if not by strangers then by their own fam­ily mem­bers. These kids are of­ten left scarred for life. The last thing any of us needs to be do­ing is plant­ing that seed in any of their heads that they de­serve some­thing like that to hap­pen to them, and that if it does, it's all their fault.

Some of us need to watch what we say, or re­frain from in­ter­act­ing with chil­dren. I would go fur­ther to say that some peo­ple re­ally need to think twice about hav­ing chil­dren in the first place if they don't have the pa­tience, or are other­wise un­fit to be par­ents. It's no se­cret that chil­dren are shaped by their en­vi­ron­ment. We're all prod­ucts of the way our par­ents raised us, just as much as our chil­dren, for those of us who are for­tu­nate enough to have them, are in some ways re­flec­tions of us. The youth will for­ever be our fu­ture, and the best we can do for them is feed them words that are up­lift­ing, sup­port them, and re­di­rect them when they go off track in ways that will not do more harm than good.

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