Cultivate propensity to do good

I have been following the different publicized strategies for handling crime on our Islands, however, thus far I am not impressed by any of the tactics or ideas brought forward to handle this very disturbing issue effectively, which affects us all.

That being said, I am totally against crime and I do believe that we need to make some effort in the interim, but we also need to realise that Band-Aid efforts are not the way to go when we want and need solutions to a problem.

The problem of violent crimes on these Islands, are like a friend once said to me: They are 20 years in the making! This means that the problem started at childhood with each perpetrator, which is probably the average age today. It is not something someone gets up early one morning and decides to plan and execute.

Violent crimes against others stem from a root problem, namely poor parenting whether we like that or not – because it is simply the way parents behave and interact with their young ones.

Children learn by example; that is a well documented fact.

If I as a parent show disregard and lack of respect for my child and use violent and abusive forms of punishment in place of discipline, this teaches a child to have disregard and disrespect for the property and lives of those around them. That is how they learn to handle life.

From all around the world scientific data has been gathered that shows there is a violent and or abusive childhood for criminals of violent crimes. Why is it any different in the Cayman Islands? Is it the ‘we are a Christian society’ syndrome that makes us overlook that poor parenting is the cause of the production of violent criminals?

Not being able to make the proper choice in life is what creates criminals; not video games, toy guns, etc.

Remember that the human mind is creative; therefore, it will find another way to invent that same toy or video you have just taken away.

Parents need to first learn empathy and respect and pass this on to their children. Teach your child that it is not right to disrespect or hurt another person. Teach them what makes others sad and unhappy and that they need to do what is right toward each other.

Do not speak violence in front of your children or give violent advice. I have heard young children and teenagers here use violent conversational language against each other in a joking manner on many occasions – it is a part of most children’s vernacular here! And we all know that every deed begins as a thought.

I hope that somehow we as a society will realize that not placing the blame of our problems on poor choices will only continually lead us down the path of a bigger prison and a larger judicial system and not toward ending violent crimes. We need to teach a child how to make a good choice.

OK, that sounds like Utopia, right? People will continue to make choices, and a choice will either have an element of good or an element of evil to it, so as long as there are choices to make, let us cultivate the innate propensity to do good.

C. Smith