EDITORIAL - Set better examples for youth
It is well past time for Barbadians to change their attitude and behaviour to be more positive and morally upright members of society.
Every day we hear people in public forums – ministers, reverends, teachers, counsellors, coaches… – all with the same cry, “Barbadians need to…”. The mere frequency with which these calls for change are being made might cause one to question the state of the society in which we live, or at the very least the validity of such statements.
Yet, based on the many reports of crime and misconduct also in the media, one could safely agree that there is a definite need for change.
The underlying question then becomes ‘What is wrong?’ Why, after so many years of showing the way to a better society, are we still hearing the same messages and the same
complaints? Is it a case of ‘Do as I say and not as I do’ for the adults amongst us, whereby this country’s youth are copying what they see demonstrated by parents and guardians?
This could very well be the case if we take as example the similarity of lewd behaviour seen at fetes and at Crop Over events by adults, compared to “extra-curricular” activities performed by some students on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), for instance. Also, the inappropriate use of cellular phones and appalling bad language that can be attributed to some youngsters could also be traced back to adults who should know better.
Yes, lack of proper role models may very well be the cause of some of the negatives in our society. Therefore, adults are urged to take their roles as mentors to youngsters seriously. The root of the problem seems to be a lack of discipline; when you practise what you preach, it is easier for others to follow your teachings. Therefore, adults should do the right thing always, not just when children are present.
Part of doing the right thing is keeping the right company. Bad company can corrupt. Even for those strong enough to withstand corruption, the very association with negative influences can cause problems in your life. You may not be involved in any wrongdoing, but when you are close to those that are, you often end up getting some of what is coming to them. And everyone from all social classes can attest to this. This is a lesson that children should be taught from young. A strong spiritual foundation utilising the efforts of the Church would be beneficial in this regard.
In general then, all Barbadians should seek to improve their moral standing and set good examples that others may follow. Life is not black and white. There are no instructions on how to live. Yet, there are rules for living a wholesome life. Chief amongst these are the ten commandments. The golden rule is another guideline that should be adhered to. There are others and we would all do well to listen and learn.