Without compassion there’s no justice
I was quite moved by the Express editorial of October 21 about Michelle Cudjoe, the single-parent mother of three children who snatched someone’s purse.
The newspaper’s treatment of her situation is commendable. The emphasis on the desperate circumstances which lay behind her actions; her ready admission of guilt; and the response by attorneys and others to come to her and her children’s assistance says much for the Trinidad I used to know as a boy, born in Laventille, brought up in Morvant, now a retired teacher, and resident in Ontario, Canada.
Yes, there appears to be much in disarray in the country. It sometimes appears that the Parliament is a calypso tent, and the parliamentarians, attendees, with mauvais langue, picong, and badjohn tactics, trying to “storm” the place.
I should say that such actions by parliamentarians are not by any means unique to Trinidad and Tobago.
By comparison, when I was last at home in July, I could still see—despite reasons for dismay and advice about where to go and where not to go—many acts while travelling to visit family, church and friends, that showed a sense of common graciousness among Trinis.
In fact, in every taxi and maxi during my travels, when I requested that the volume on their speakers be turned down, it was.
In fact, on every occasion that I visit, on my return to Toronto where I and my spouse have for five decades been teachers, grew our children and now our grandchildren, it takes several days before my feet are able to touch the ground.
In short, there is still much that is good, very good with T&T, from my observation and experience among the common folk.
To return to Ms Cudjoe’s circumstances—and no doubt those of too many others—while charity is only useful as a short-term bandaid, is there any opportunity or location where, if one is willing to, to contribute to assisting parents like her?
Establishing such opportunities might speak to the conscience of some of those in power to consider the right thing. I say this unapolegetically, and philosophically from the understanding that the most precious characteristic which we as humans are blessed to have is that of compassion.
This is so because without compassion there is no justice, no peace, no truth, no beauty, no reconciliation, no redemption, no joy.