Letters to the Editor

Crime is just a symptom

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I'm a Jamaican living overseas and I log on almost every day to see what's happening in my beloved country. Suffice it to say that most times I'm appalled and frightened at the activities of my people. Yet, my letter today is not to cast judgement on anyone, rather it is to make suggestions to the powers that be to see if we can try to get our country on the track to success and peace.

I know many people have made suggestions, and I do hope that this suggestion not only catches the eye of the prime minister but is also favourably considered.

Our biggest problem in Jamaica many may feel is crime. Now, while it is certainly a problem, I want to suggest that this is not the real problem, just a symptom of the problems we have.

What then are our problems? Two things in my humble estimation — lack of true respect for all and an inability to productively and effectively manage our emotions. In short, many of us Jamaicans have anger management issues. We are naturally a spirited, passionate people, but sadly misguided and misdirected. It is my desire to see the passion directed and harnessed for good.

The country I live in encourages people to respect people. It is a country which has become home to people from every corner of the globe and, for the most part — it is not heaven, so, of course, there are people who will debate this — people here feel like they can be themselves and no one will get up into their faces for it. We in Jamaica tend to be overly concerned about people being themselves. We get into people's faces when we feel they believe differently from the “Jamaican mindset”. We need to understand that just because other people think and act differently it means they are adversaries. This could also be helpful when it comes to our political preferences.

We need to become more confident in our own beliefs so that we can be comfortable with other people's beliefs. We also need to understand that we each have a right to our own opinions.

Next, there is the issue of managing our emotions. After having read for the umpteenth time the number of domestic disputes gone sour, I feel that if people were given the tools to effectively deal with their emotions these incidents would be much fewer. Anger management needs to be put on the curriculum of our schools. If we are to become a successful nation we have to learn how to harness our emotions and let them become tools, rather than being led by them.

Here, in the country I live, sensitivity training is a big deal. It is talked about, there are places at which people can go for training, offices and schools teach it to staff and students, respectively, and the result is a society in which people are generally very respectful of others, even if they don't agree with their particular view points. This leads to a more peaceful society for all to enjoy.

The Government should appoint people and approve budgets to get people trained to respect each other. Companies and churches can take up the mantle and put their best efforts into helping our people.

Jamaicans are loving people at heart, but I find that so many of us are misguided. We need to get back on track.

Here, in this country, even at the bus stops, you will see signs like this “Your bus, my office, get on with respect.” We have to start somewhere, and I believe rather than throwing funds into building new prison spaces, we need to invest in our youth so they can become the agents of change for Jamaica's tomorrow.

Teach everyone how to respect each other in truer ways than just saying “respec' ”. We as a black nation need to learn what we can from those who have studied and unearthed many useful tools. Take good pages out of the books of developed, First World countries. We want Jamaica to become the little piece of heaven it was created to be.

One love...

Audrey Moyo

amoyo@sgicanada.ca


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