Barbados is getting it’s wake-up call and the nation should listen.
That was the summation of September 3rd Foundation member, Thelma Gill-Barnett as she addressed a lecture at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre last night on the topic Causes of and Solutions to Youth alienation and crime in Barbados.
Questioning why so many Barbadian men were engaging in acts of violence, Gill-Barnett further queried whether it could be a case that society had failed them.
She said that coming out of consultations they held in April, she would advise teaching from a young age that violence of any kind was not acceptable behaviour. There was also a need too, she added, to understand why young individuals thought violence was a means to solving problems.
“We go to schools and we see violence in the schools. We see all around us, so we cannot be blindfolded and say it is not happening because we don’t want to deal with it.”
She said a pastor had indicated that there might be a need for parents to “replace the old landmarks” like sending children to church for guidance.
“I want to say to parents that what is happening many of us might not understand, but our Creator has ways of waking up a society to take note of what is to come. We might figure those young people’s lives were gone for nothing, but that is not the case. A message is being sent to this country Barbados to wake up and smell the coffee before it gets too late.”
Gill-Barnett told the audience that she was not preaching gloom and doom, but rather looking at the reality facing society.
“Go to some of the schools, hear some of the young people in conversations outside of your homes; listen to some of the things that they are doing and you would be amazed yourself.
“So I will say to young parents, don’t be a friend to your children, you are a parent, you are not their good friend. Love them yes, but also chastise them. Don’t spare the rod and spoil the child, because in the end you will feel their pain,” she advised. (LB)