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Our society shapes us

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Fri, Oct 26, 2012

EDITOR: Our brains change physiologically as a result of our experiences. Our society shapes us. We are therefore products of our environment. In this environment, wherever it is, we are taught a code of behaviour. Our Vincentian code of behaviour has been deteriorating. It is this warped new code of behaviour that many of our young people are learning and which they consider to be acceptable ways of interacting.{{more}}

We are now so interconnected with the rest of the world that we need to consider the level at which our citizens would be able to function when they migrate to other lands. Their code of behaviour will reveal itself and be recognized, no matter where they go, and will influence the level of acceptance they experience.

Those who remain here and become our leaders, we hope would adhere to a code that makes it possible for them to work with us by having an attitude of good-will to all. They should bring people together, not be divisive, and have such an influence on the community that we move in the direction of peace. By doing so they will command our respect. Intuitively, this is what we look for and appreciate.

A peaceful nation depends on our ever-day behaviour, not only on an occasional day of prayer. When a society becomes more violent, it becomes, at the same time, less peaceful. Finding peace at home should be easy. Our burglar bars and the notices posted at the front of our properties warning of electronic protection tell a story. Where there are burglar bars, the world judges such to be a “bad neighbourhood” – a neigbourhood filled with crime which is out of control: burglary, assault, rape and murder. These crimes cause psychological pain to the victims and members of their families. Our brains change physiologically as a result of our experiences. They are changing. Too many of us have had the experience of no one coming to the home when a situation has been reported. We are on our own.

When the society does not care to punish, or is incapable of punishing offenders, criminal behaviour rises. It is no longer disapproved. This seems to be our projected, deliberate and conscious path. The path we are on is not by chance. We know that reports are being ignored. We know that criminals are not being pursued. We, therefore, know that they are not being punished. We know that we are not providing incentives for non-crime. Instead, we talk to the victims and provide incentives for fear. In this environment, it is the victims, not the criminals, who are instructed to change their way of life. We are a conscious people. We know what we are doing. Victims of these crimes who wish to be legally armed are knowingly left unarmed. Our brains change as a result of our experiences. We are therefore products of our environment. Our society shapes us. Look around at what we are shaping. The conditions we provide for all citizens elicit responses. We are moulding our people.

Crude and callous behaviour is not what we want emulated. We have strayed so far from our once peaceful and polite ways that it may seem irreversible. However, where there is life there is hope.

We hope for and work towards change. We hope for and work towards reclaiming a society where all girls, women, boys and men would be heard and taken seriously when in distress.

Quotations from our national songs:

“God Bless our Homeland”
“God Bless our State”
“May peace and justice here be found”
“For Liberty and Justice
And Peace and Progress too
We’ll firmly stand in mutual band
United, brave and true.”

Gloria Margaret Jack

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