EDITORIAL - Return to basic spiritual values
Even though we in Barbados often boast that we are a close-knit society – mainly due to the country’s size – occasionally we still encounter challenges dealing with each other. However, it is comforting that at the end of it all, in the time of crisis and/or sadness, we come together and there is always a sense of brotherhood that we must embrace and encourage even when life is ‘good’.
During the past few weeks Barbadians witnessed incidents that are happening now too regularly in Barbados’ culture, and many have complained again about the importation of the negative aspects of other cultures into this island and the increase in violence and crime as a result. One of the most sad and disturbing incidents occurred when an elderly woman was robbed and beaten in her home in the early hours of the morning last week. Another man was shot in both feet as he too was robbed in a separate incident. However, while these complaints have merit, what is needed more than ever is an island-wide return to basic spiritual values.
There have been ongoing improvements in technology and hence the standard of living, but with these improvements the threat of “increased secularism” is seeping into our midst. Several officials over the years have also noted the trend toward a “modern and multi-cultural society”, but encouraged citizens to try to always maintain respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that we need now more than ever.
This advice is particularly relevant to Barbadian society at this time. We have made many strides in our economic, technological and social development, but the traditional spirituality that governed the actions of previous generations is less evident than it was in decades past. In fact, there are children who are not knowledgeable about basic manners and respect toward their fellow man. These values gave the necessary guidance to their forefathers. Many believe that these emerging negative behaviours are due in part to the reduced exposure to religious knowledge in schools and in some communities and homes.
Appearances before the courts for escalating acts of aggression and senseless behaviour are challenges that the country has to deal with, and even though Barbados does not have the volume of offences that are apparent in other countries in the region and around the world, there is still a dire need for some solutions to these problems here, and soon. We must get back to the basics.
It is disturbing that some of us focus more on the personal business of others and use social media to pull others down daily, while neglecting to offer a helping hand to those that we can. Even though for some, intentions are good, as far as we have been taught, our compassion and capacity to love fall short because the spirituality that has been the backbone of this country’s success has now been put on the back burner by those who do not understand, or have decided that this value is not of consequence.
We need to see what is happening around us and respond with compassion and show that we can come together in a crisis. Let camaraderie and sense of community be always present if we want to see an improvement in our country.