The vandalising of the paintings on the Queen's Park Oval walls recently is the catalyst for this letter for it has long concerned me as to when we as a people, the large majority of us, will begin to show good judgement in the things we do and say.
What would anyone gain from such an act of vandalism? Certainly it can't be monetary nor can it be a case of jealousy or revenge! I won't even consider whether it may have occurred to the perpetrator that these murals are in fact a showcase of our legacy, our heritage, our history, of the national character.
I can ask, however, whether, in the simplest of ways, it may have crossed his consciousness that there was absolutely nothing to be gained from this act, yet he went on to vandalise the artwork!
Is this the kind of mindlessness we demonstrate in much of what we do or say, like abandoning a newborn baby with its umbilical cord intact, or robbing a pallet man who had been slaving for the entire day to make a dollar, or running a "sweet-drink cork" across a new car's paintwork simply because we can't have one ourselves, or giving more of "it" to somebody because he complained about the noise? And the list can go on and on and on!
Maybe this mindlessness is a sign of the times, like the killing of 20 children in the US recently, and right here, but no less mind-boggling, biting off a chunk of flesh of a new-born baby's face because you are hungry!
But can we not as a people for this new year, begin to be less mindless and more mindful about the things we do and say, applying that innate sense of right and wrong in the choices we make, like in the temptation to destroy murals and the like? It is my new year's wish for this nation!
Such, however, cannot be merely wished for! It can only come from the values we instill at home and the critical faculty we develop in the children in school, enabling them to make intelligent choices about the world in which they have to live.
Dr Errol Benjamin