Letters to the Editor: Be honest about crime

Like everyone else on our beautiful
Cayman Islands I am saddened by the rise in crime and am very cognizant of the
fact that it is so disruptive to our way of living, but for me it was only a
matter of “when?”

What is crime? Crime is a symptom
of darker more sinister evils that can no longer be hidden. These symptoms, not
unlike the ones that remind us that we need to take care of our bodies, are
alarm clocks that signal serious trouble.

Like crime in any other country,
these symptoms arise from base camp and are in the making for many years, just
like the abuse we put our bodies through and is expressed as an imbalance. You
do not hide an imbalance and you do not beg it to go away. You simply fix the
problem. If you do the same thing every day you will get the same results.

We cannot beg criminals to stop
crime; we can extricate ourselves or we can try to be a solution to our problem.

Criminal activity has its roots
from in the home, or base camp. It starts with physical and emotional abuse of
innocent children. It starts with parents teaching children to be disrespectful
to others by being disrespectful first to their child(ren). It starts at home
where there are no consequences for misbehaviour; only reinforcement of poor
behaviours. Fathers or mothers being overly controlling and manipulating
instead of considerate to differences and opinions of each other and their children.

How can you respect life or
another’s property if you have not been taught to be respectful?

In the primary schools I have heard
young children speak in violent terms to each other, such as what they are
going to do to the next child! Where is this kind of violent talk coming from?
Of course they are only mirroring what their parents do and say!

So how long will it take for a
child to act out on these types of unacceptable behaviours?

There is a saying “The road to hell
is paved with good intentions.” Well Cayman, it is time that we take the ugly
bull of crime by the horns and start at home.

Parents and the school system both
need to be more accountable for the behaviours of those we are in charge of,
for after all, programming starts from the time a child is born, and what he or
she is taught (directly or indirectly by observation).

We are all programmed to believe
what we believe, to speak the language we speak and to be who we are, therefore
de-programming takes time also.

Crimes must be stopped, but it will
be from a concerted grass roots effort, not by asking criminals to stop,
because they were simply programmed.

De-programming has to be put in
place, and our society must come together, not float apart, to truly help stop
crime from happening.

Reporting a crime only helps to
solve who did it, not stop crime from happening. This has to be done from the
home and school, for each child is a product of their environment, whether we
as parents want to see our faults or not. It is time we stop blaming and
acknowledge responsibility.

Our leaders need to see and
understand where the problem lies, call it what it is and find proactive solutions.
We do not need a high profile high paid expert to say how to prevent crime; we
just need to look within not without. We need to stop blaming television
programmes or electronic games. Crime existed long before these items. We need
to teach our children acceptable behaviours and reinforce them while
discouraging unacceptable ones. Behaviours hurt others and their property;
behaviours do not take another person’s right into consideration.

The kind of laws we need more of
are the ones that hold parents more accountable for their children’s actions.

I too hope to see a Cayman that is
crime free, but that takes all involved because you cannot expect to be a part
of something you are not contributing to.

We cannot expect to place the small
man behind bars for a simple marijuana joint, but let the white collar criminal
go free because he appears to be a model citizen and may have held a public
office. Hypocrisy does not work – never has and never will.

I have written this letter as a Caymanian
simply to try to add a voice of reason to all the other voices that are crying
out for our Islands, for us to stop and reason out Why, because if we do not
understand the Why of this critical problem, we will be many years trying to
find a real solution to a real problem.

There’s hope Cayman, but we have to
own our own mess and in turn be the ones to clean it up by doing things
differently than we have been. We need to start with honesty about who we are,
not who we want others to think we are. Actions do not lie. Consequences do not
lie.

Cherry Smith

PULLOUT

 

Reporting a crime only helps to
solve who did it, not stop crime from happening. This has to be done from the
home and school, for each child is a product of their environment, whether we
as parents want to see our faults or not. It is time we stop blaming and
acknowledge responsibility.

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