I would not want to say that Barbadians are disrespectful, that would cause a noise. But I think it must be said that more and more people living in Barbados seem to have no respect for anything.
We can start with God.
More and more people do their own thing and there is no time for God. We have gone so far as to say there is no God — all in an effort to fulfill our own agendas. We seem more comfortable dismissing the presence of God and to conform and live respectful lives.
We cheat on husbands and wives not simply because there are unfulfilled sexual desires or other expectations; we cheat on husbands and wives because we are disrespectful and have little regard for that person. There comes a point when that other person is lowered from their position of prominence and replaced by another.
Children are abused not because they failed to do what was said or expected of them; they are abused as a result of disrespect. When there is little or no regard for them as human beings.
We shoot and chop up each other because of disrespect. We mask it with turf war, revenge and even what happens when you don’t pay up; but it is simply disrespect. We care nothing about our brothers or sisters and are ready to snuff out their lives like a candle we no longer need because the electricity is back on.
The thing is, this behaviour is fostered from very young. We pass on to others that they are better than those who come from a particular area, those who attended a particular school, those who can’t afford a particular brand of shoe or bag.
It is way more than ‘I am better than you are’. ‘I’ is translated into you are not as good as I am and I will treat you in a manner that says that; and that is just another way of saying, disrespect.
The irony is we talk about our brother’s keeper and we look back on where we have come from because that is very important if we are to be sure about where we are going. But the reality is that for many people their past is their present and will be their future.
We are now the slave masters, our own slave masters despite the refrain “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery”.
We are now the Klu Klux Klan distinguished by blue or red bandanas, Gaza or Gully and we now execute our own lynching. The fields are not desks, kitchens, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels and the lashes are small salaries and high prices.
It seems as if our forefathers fought for freedom from their oppressive situations and demanded equal rights and respect so that our own brothers and sisters could be the ones disrespecting us.
Disrespect is the reason for a wide gamut of ills in our society ranging from bullying in schools to mistreatment of the elderly.
We have a society built of certain principles, to disregard those principles of which respect is very high, is to throw away our society.