Development of self through service

WITH all the talk surrounding the increasing levels of crime and violence in this country, a closer look must be taken at not being reactive, but proactive in combating the issues before they become such.

Persons have pointed fingers at the breakdown in the family structure, the church, the education system, and the com-munity as a whole as the reasons why so many youth are going astray.

While each of these structures have contributed, society must also consider that this phenomena is growing because there are also many young people out there who simply do not know who they are, what they can achieve or what their place in the community is.

Those of us past the stage of adolescence know that that time is a very difficult one, not only biologically but emotionally as well. Contributing to this factor is information coming from various forms, whether it be friends, family members, teachers, the media, music and the list goes on.

Some youth can easily separate fact from fiction, while others’ thoughts and behaviours become muddied in the plethora of truths and lies.

At this time, structure and discipline may be key in giving aid to a time where there are many paths to take.

Many schools offer extra-curricular activities to encourage skills and talents in various areas, but it may be advisable at this time to build upon the Barbados Youth Service programme, which has been shown over the years to make a considerable difference to those young people who are struggling with deviant behaviour.

Why not make this programme mandatory for all students in secondary schools across the island to put all young people on a positive path from the earliest point? It is not hard to think of what a difference this would make in giving students another group in which to belong and one that is focused on building a sense of self and awareness and in developing the community.

There are several countries over the world that push such programmes towards their youth and make it compulsory that they have to serve some time developing discipline before being thrust into the world.

For those who are worried about the military aspect, other countries have introduced similar projects to build society-mindedness. For example, it has been shown that some schools in Japan have no custodians or maids as their students have the responsibility of cleaning the floors, walls, bathrooms and other areas as a way of teaching them not only the value of cleanliness, but of working for the betterment of their community. Imagine how many Barbadians would be less inclined to litter if such a positive attitude to keeping their surroundings clean was developed from young.

Many persons, not only youth, are living in this country not understanding their own importance in making contributions beyond that of taxes. Let us take a deeper look into the issue and make the necessary steps to change this attitude.

Barbados Advocate

Mailing Address:
Advocate Publishers (2000) Inc
Fontabelle, St. Michael, Barbados

Phone: (246) 467-2000
Fax: (246) 434-2020 / (246) 434-1000