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Recite the pledge, live the pledge

Who knew the words of your Pledge were so powerful? I am certain many of you can not remember it; I did not. My memory was jogged while teaching it to my daughter, who is being prepared for primary school in September. She drilled me about the lines which read “I will honour my parents, my teachers, my leaders and my elders and those in authority”.

The innocence of children. 

One question came to mind when I attempted to answer her many questions without any form of negativity: why do we still teach our children to do right, when people in the world in which they exist do wrong by them every day?

With the recent display of a video of a man resembling a Government minister allegedly using illicit drugs, the son of a minister allegedly displaying violent behaviour at a doubles vendor’s stand, the male principal who was arrested sometime ago for allegedly being intimate with female pupils at his school, the many elders who have given up on the youngsters in our country, the father who killed his three children then himself, not to mention those in authority who on a daily basis continue to abuse their power for selfish gains—those are not the people to whom the pledge is referring, I am certain.

I am also certain every parent wants their child to be a model citizen, a well-rounded pupil and an extraordinary individual, but they must guide and educate their children from young to understand their morals, values and religious beliefs will guide them to have good character—the type of character others can admire, respect and honour.

Let’s break the cycle and groom our little ones to be the type of people the very pledge they say in school is referring to. Let them not just recite it, but mean it and aspire to be just what they are saying. If only everyone in this country could be conscious about the words and meanings in the National Anthem and the Independence Pledge, they would all be leading very different lives today.

They would understand “others before self” is a good mantra to live by, for it is the very fabric of our existence. We weren’t blessed with what we have to be selfish. Why say “here every creed and race find an equal place”, but inequality still continues to exist on all levels? Why say “I will strive in everything I do to work together with my fellowmen of every creed and race for the greater happiness of all”, but there are thousands of unhappy citizens in this country? Minority groups are still excluded from the policy and decision-making processes, and our country continues to be on the regional and international map for many of the wrong reasons.

Let’s make a concerted effort as true parents to “change the world, make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race” because there are many people who are crying around the world. Let’s start culturing our babies with the right attitude and mentality they need to be agents of positive change and end the cycle of poli-tricking, domestic abuse, murder, rape, incest, white-collar crime, racism and many other issues that plague our society.

I believe if we groom our babies to be better individuals, we would have a better society and an even better country because they will one day be the teachers, leaders, elders and the ones in authority for the future generation.

God bless our nation!

Malissa Burton-Valentine

via e-mail

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