by R. Andrew Cummings
We seem to be numbed and confused by the spate of murders that has hit a record high this year in this our âland of the blessedâ. The mayhem is a symbol of shame and insults our core beliefs in peaceful co-existence and the spirit of community. The clamour for urgency in implementing solutions is everywhere.
One of the Suggested Answers
There is a school of thought, mainly among the conservative elements in our society, which posits that the answer lies in putting more police on the road; carrying out more hangings of convicted murderers; forming more vigilante groups and encouraging more right thinking persons (like themselves) to bear arms. The mantra runs, âRoot out the effect if not the cause! Care not about the festering sore.â
Bling Bling, Ching Ching and Cheddar
In an animated discussion, a group of really young minds, who claim to have a cloud-free vision, asserts confidently that the creeping violence is only curable if the youth are provided with abundant âbling blingâ, âching chingâ and âcheddarâ, according to hip hop forklore. To become legit it is necessary to become a âgangstaâ instead of a âwankstaâ. After spitting a few rhymes you may be lucky enough to make a few million and so bathe in Crystal. All other views belong to the cesspool. How clouded is this vision?
Viewpoint of Questions
In the search, there are many who wonder if the often violent and negative aspects and influences of television (mainly North American) are to be blamed. Then, also, what about globalisation whose global tentacles seek to create a socially and economically homogenous world where the emphasis is on slavery to materialism? To boot, do the Internet and cell phones, with their instant contact with people, events and places the world over, contribute to our dilemma? Does the print media, one of the bastions of freedom, peace and social harmony, aquiesce, and even abdicate its role in the struggle? Serious reflection may well suprise you!
We, the people, must shake off âthe vigour of inertiaâ and take a deep cleansing breath so as to find ways and means of putting an end to this real and living nightmare. Just as the cannibal comes from within – so too must the light that will help us find our way. This is not the time for complacency and relaxation. The enemy has already entered the door.
Towards A Culture of Peace
In an analysis of seven violently troubled cities (Suva in Fiji, Boston – USA, Kingston – Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro -Brazil, Belfast – Northern Ireland, Colombo – Sri Lanka and Durban -South Africa) the experts concluded: âThe experience common to all these seven cities is that wherever and whenever people from different backgrounds and from different decision levels are willing to work together they can find solutions to growing violence. To do so requires a sense of vocation and considerable courage, but also an open mind, adequate training and the conviction that working for peace cannot be separated from working for justice and equal opportunities. When a community adopts these values and puts them into practice, it is possible to build foundations for a culture of peace.â
Are we in SVG up to it? Trust me, IT IS UP TO US!!
(This article was first published on 17th December, 2004.)