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Our duty to act

Between now and next Thursday night when the results of voting are known, it is hardly likely that much else will interest Barbadians like the words and actions of our politicians.

And that’s reasonable, given that what is being said now could have a significant impact on how electors vote on February 21 — and how we vote then will certainly determine in a major way the course the country takes for the next five year.

So Barbadians have every reason and right to be immersed in the affairs of politics right now. Unfortunately though, as the clich√ goes, life goes on and what it deals us is not always wine and roses.

For a considerable time now the high command of the Royal Barbados Police Force has been complaining about the trade in second hand metals, including precious metals — the theft of which was creating a major headache for innocent persons as well as the police.

Government responded with the rather swift passage of legislation that makes provision for the imposition of hefty fines and/or prison sentences on persons who are found to be involved in illegal practices relating to this trade. The aim is to stamp out the illegal traders, in the process cutting off the avenues available to thieves for disposal.

In a society as literate as ours, and in an environment where penetration by the various sections of the media is so pervasive, it is hardly likely that persons who steal and sell scrap metal and jewellery, as well as the persons who receive the stolen property, have not heard of the passage of the new law and the penalties it contains.

Yet, two weeks ago, when the signatures on the new law could hardly have dried, brazen thieves found their way on to the roof of one of the new cottages at the Nightengale Children’s Home complex at Black Rock, from which they removed the solar water heaters, obviously to get their hand on the copper and other metals contained therein.

In the first place, it would take the lowest of characters to steal the water heater from a children’s home. Not that we would approve the theft from the home of one of our millionaire citizens, but we can’t help but wonder what thoughts would enter the mind of a thief when he knows the inconvenience he will bring to persons who could hardly be classified as anything but the most vulnerable in our community?

We may appear a little irrational here, but how could anything but a sentence of life in prison be seen as the just reward for the actions of such an unconscionable person? Our point is that by now it should be clear to all that we have to be the eyes and ears of our community because the passage of laws alone, important as that is, is of little value if the perpetrators are not caught.

Unless those who see these acts being committed, and those who know by virtue of association who the culprits are, decide to act in the interest of the larger society, all over Barbados we will continue to sit in our living rooms and lose television signal because someone stole the antenna. We will continue to pick up our telephones and get no dial tone because someone climbed the pole and stole the cable. Our cars will drop into ditches because someone stole the grills.

We cannot depend on solutions that are based entirely on the parliamentarians passing laws and police being everywhere at the same time to capture the culprits. We have a duty to look, see and act.

2 Responses to Our duty to act

  1. Tony Webster February 16, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Touche, Mr. Editor… please go to the front of the class, and stay there! Essentially, we have a dynamic society, vulnerable to having its corners eroded to the point where it loses its form and function, and equally capable of elevating itself to meet those global challenges relentlessly threatening our children’s future, both social and economically. It’s as if some of us, have never heard of the Ananci stories; never had parents; have forgotten all wisdom offered in school; and now have a vacuum where a sense of social and moral values reside in all others. However, don’t expect these folks to “fix” the problem: we have to do this. We doesn’t mean those people, while I watch. WE means ME, starting and ending with MY contribution. Come to think of it, it really means that I had a part in starting the rot; keeping silent and allowing it to continue; and to grow into that elephant now sitting at MY chair at the dinner-table. Heck: It’s all MY FAULT. And that’s the root of the phrase “MY COUNTRY” . Tip of the hat to you, Sir!

  2. Freeagent February 16, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Many of the problems in our society today stem from the fact that there are NO fathers in homes. Most of the households that have troubled youths are single parent, mother led, homes. This has also come about as a result of divorce.
    God instituted marriage so that couples could raise their children in a good, stable environment. Years ago there was the extended family where grandparents, uncles and aunts lived together or nearby. Today children are left to fend for themselves if there is no father around and the mother has to go out to work. A child cannot raise itself: a child can only think like a child.
    Those of us in the community who can assist with directing these children in a positive way should not hesitate to do so.


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