Categorized | Editorials

When Children Suffer

Things are tough and the times are hard.

But yet the fact remains: – Like other right-thinking people around the world, Bahamians crave commodious lives for themselves and their loved ones – ways of living that allow them and their brood to aspire and achieve some of their goals.

There is any number of men [yes, Bahamian fathers, no less] who also bear their own crosses as they find themselves quite unable to feed or care for their children; and so, there we have it: – one generation bequeathing a poisoned chalice to another!

In neither case are we referencing some fantasy or the other.

To the contrary, we are noting the agonies currently being experienced by both men and women and their children as they feel the hammer-blows of what is euphemistically described as ‘the rising cost of living’.

The facts are clear.

They show that poverty is on the march in this place; that children are feeling its brunt and that some of them dare not cry out in these last and evil days.

This phenomenon is nothing more and nothing less than a type of social death on the installment plan where day by dreadful day more and more of our people find themselves reduced, diminished and humiliated.

It is perhaps this factor – among others such – that might explain some of the rage that currently saturates social life in not only today’s Bahamas, but that of any number of other societies in our region where hundreds of thousands of our people now live in conditions that are perfectly unfit for beings made in the image of the Almighty.

It is also widely known [and agreed], tens of thousands of our people are also up to their gills in debt; with many of them obliged to witness their lives being upended by loss of their jobs, mortgage foreclosures and a myriad of other troubles.

And so, there it goes rich, poor and those in the middle are in the same boat!

Indeed, one of the more interesting facts of life in today’s Bahamas has to do with the fact that there are so very many Bahamians who do not have a clue concerning the extent to which they are complicit in fomenting and fermenting discord, distress and perhaps even an early death for their for their children.

Here we need only cite the fact that on any given day right outside practically any public school you find vendors and other such market-ladies selling all manner of greasy goo and all manner of sweets and all manner of drinks which – when taken all together – serve as precursors to diabetes, cancer, morbid obesity and a host of other chronic non-communicable diseases.

In short, these children are being abused.

And in short, this is happening as practically everyone in a position to make a difference – inclusive of the Ministers of Health, Education and Social Welfare – do little more than chat and prattle about the extent to which child abuse is on the rise.

There remains that vexing issue concerning the public’s barbaric acceptance and approval of corporal punishment as a means of so-called discipline when [in truth and in fact] it is nothing short of torture.

There is no doubting that many who would torture and degrade do so because they were once upon a dread time so victimized.

The truth of the matter is that we can only stem the violence when we decide to stop the violence perpetrated against innocence.

All who would chat about the need for child protection should be minded to understand that this process must include not only a vow to deal with children who do present for care, but that attention should also be placed on that species of abuse which takes place so often that no one is able to see what is going on.

Yet again, please note that prevention is far better than cure.

Like other people around the world, the vast majority of our people are terrified of living in a world where fear rules and a world where life seems on the way to becoming nastier, more brutish and shorter by the day.

Put simply, Bahamians and their neighbours in the wider region do wish – more than anything in the world – to live in societies that make life seem worthwhile.

But whether they wish this or that outcome, things are tight, money is scarce and people – whether rich, poor on being crushed in the middle – are troubled to no end.

As they suffer, so do their children – and so, we can rest assured there is in addition to no free lunch, no quick fix to the challenges thrown our way by a system over which we have no real control.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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