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Beyond the Outrage: navigating a decaying society

Beyond the Outrage: navigating a decaying society

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EDITOR: Recent events have brought to the surface the ire and angst many in St Vincent [and the Grenadines] have been experiencing for a while now. It has not helped that this has come in the wake of a worldwide pandemic and a response to it fraught with missteps that have led to more harm than the actual disease. Stating that society is decaying may be a pessimistic outlook, but there is a way we can navigate this and come out if not flourishing then progressing in the right direction.

So here goes.

Take Responsibility:

We cannot look at the symptom of violence and not examine the underlying issues contributing to its existence. Homes, where verbal, physical, and emotional abuse is commonplace are seedbeds for violent behaviour later on in life.

Do not get me wrong, correcting heart and behavioural problems in a child in a loving manner is not the same as the scurrilous parenting that we see too often.

Movies, songs, and video games that promote and glorify violence are constantly feeding impressionable minds. Sadly, little is done to put a stop or even limit this.

Education where the focal point is regurgitating bits of unconnected information and does not include character formation or encourage independent thinking.

The list can go on. Inability or unwillingness to enforce laws, underfunding for social development, poverty, injustice, chronic father-lessness, and the failure of spiritual leadership and institutions are some of the contributing factors.

The point is this, we need to all take responsibility for what is taking place in our society. Once that is done we are ready to do this.

Take Action:

Let’s put aside the tiresome

mantra of what-is-the-government- doing-about-this and begin to take personal action. If we are all contributors to our own decay then we can be partners in bringing about its restoration.

I am a bit hesitant to put forward a list of prescriptive do’s and don’t s. However, after you have owned your part in the problem and taken a good, long look in the mirror of self-introspection here are a few things you can begin to think about doing.

  • Pray for peace.
  • Support wholesome efforts and movements that bring healing to society.
  • Join clubs and organizations that really make a difference.
  • Become a social worker, pastor, counsellor, police officer, or teacher (seriously). If that’s too much too soon, take a course on helping others.
  • Tune out the hateful, the grumblers and spend time with those proposing meaningful solutions.
  • Stop being the problem.

Use kinder words (to your children, parents, and others), find better ways to express yourself, stop equating love with physical violence, and learn the difference between persistence and harassment.

Finally, do this, STAY THE COURSE. The change will not come overnight so keep at it, own what you need to own, be a partner in the solution, and remain hopeful that things would change, or at the least, progress in the right direction.

KES Lewis