All hands on deck, T&T
Over his years as a High Court judge, President Anthony Carmona will have absorbed details of cases that led, as he said, to "our jails (housing) a disproportionate percentage of young males from depressed communities".
As non-executive President, he will, of course, lack resources and the capacity to address policies and programmes to the extent of dealing with violent crime that his inaugural address eloquently deplored.
"The man child is in crisis," he memorably declared on Monday at his inauguration ceremony. "And we cannot and must not trivialise the sanctity of human life by indifferently dismissing the deaths of these young persons as 'gang-related'."
Clearly, however, the new President is not without the prestige and trust that make for influence and social clout.
All eyes will be on the head of state to show more leadership in promoting action toward rectifying social and other ills besetting the "man child", than is possible through his use of the bully pulpit to make pronouncements, however relevant and well-meaning.
President Carmona hinted of being in the forefront "to re-discover our destiny of creating hope for a world in turmoil" when he said: "For many, many years the ship called the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has left its safe moorings of integrity, accountability, responsibility, transparency and inclusiveness. We are good at sound bites and labelling. We can be excellent wordsmiths. But if we are to establish a better, more progressive, more humane society, real change must be invoked."
And the President offered real-life examples that clearly show all is not lost and there is a way to turn around what many currently view as a hopeless situation when it comes to crime, listing the Bail Boys Project; the Drug Treatment Court; and Rose Hill RC Primary School in Laventille.
Each initiative has its shining examples of success that should encourage fellow-participants and exemplars and also stir some consciousness amongst those merely looking on from the sidelines, John and Jane Public, who can offer some measure of assistance in their own small way, and also the corporate sector which can provide much-needed funds and employment for those graduating from these programmes.
Our President cannot do it on his own, no matter how many inspiring words he chooses. It is only as a closely knit community, striving with one common purpose, that we can invoke this "real change".
"No one has ever suggested that change is easy," he said. "Indeed, even the most sought-after changes are generally attended by doubts and fears."
There is no denying that there is a glaring lack of inspirational leadership in T&T today, at every level of society, but we should take heart from our new President, who could be a shining light to lead us out of our current malaise.
It will however take a concerted, committed and consistent effort on the part of every single citizen, both young and old, as we aspire to improve "our shared humanity" in Trinidad and Tobago.