Our children are living a behaviour cultivated by ourselves over generations past and present—it is called “we” culture. One of the descriptions of culture in its broadest sense is that it is an integrated system of learned behaviour patterns which are characteristic of members of a society transmitted from generation to generation and which are not a result of biological inheritance. It is supposed to create the conscience of a people —that is a sense of right and wrong and does not matter where you come from— Westmoorings, Laventille, Caroni— or your status in life—rich or poor.
But this is a country where anything goes—where our children are exposed to leaders, teachers and those who are supposed to enforce the law but who themselves seemingly have no sense of right and wrong; where our children are exposed to mass vulgarity at Carnival time but which according to one bandleader is no big sin; where our children are exposed to parents dumping garbage and burning tyres in the streets as their form of protestation; where our children are exposed to all sorts of characters on street corners (we call it liming) preying on them after school; and I could go on and on but you get the message.
So do we have to wonder why our children are acting out as they do; and why so many are failing in school and turning to crime? Are we prepared as a society to give up some of the freedoms, privileges and excesses that we have so gotten used to and take for granted in order to save the next generation— I don’t think so but hope I am proven wrong.