Ode to that gunman on the brink of change
Social intervention is one way to turn criminals to citizens

Dear Editor,

You, who have done murders and extortions.

You, who are a fellow human being struggling to survive and make sense of this harsh world and evil systems of poverty, injustice, and a rough life.

I am writing to you because you are so much more than many understand you to be.

You, who live in a long nightmare because you keep hearing the screams of those murdered.

You, whose heart is burdened becauuse you know that a motherless child cries because of you.

I am writing this to you because I know that you want a better world.

You want a home. You need family and food and work. You just want to be able to function effectively as a fellow Jamaican citizen.

But the fears are real. Was that siren a sound for you? Is that flashing blue light up the road coming for you? And you wonder.

You are scared. You know that you are not free.

You have been caught in a vicious circle of unplanned family life, unplanned community, poverty, corruption, and people used for votes while the system punishes the victims of its own failings.

It is a harsh and cruel world out there. It is not easy to do the right thing, the kind thing, the best thing when so many around you are doing the bad thing.

I am going to share a little secret with you. It is simply that there are some folks around who know that you have a special and deeper self that is so much better than what others think of you. That little light of yours, which you sang about just the other day at school, is still waiting to shine.

There are some of us who are only interested in seeing you change from this road of nightmares and turn, instead, to that road where your light begins to shine again. Yes, that better you is right there deep within.

There are some of us who are willing to sit with you, talk with you, share this life's journey with you, hold your hand, hear from you, and learn from you some of life's truths.

We all need to be heard, to be understood, to be loved. Then we are better able to shine that light that is in all of us.

There is always someone you may find to share with, a trusted person in your community.

I am encouraging you to talk with someone today.

That little light inside of you is waiting to shine through.

Fr Sean Major-Campbell


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