Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Hell, here we come

Published:Wednesday | June 17, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Chaos will reign in any country where parents abdicate their responsibility to guide their children and set good examples for them to follow. In too many instances in this country, parenting is a joke, with the result being that maladjusted, rank and ill-disciplined children are unleashed on society to act like termites and eat away at the fabric of traditional Jamaican society.

And so, many men, despite how many women they 'breed', have no clue what it means to be a father. Many women also, despite how many men they 'breed' for, haven't the faintest idea what motherhood means and cause otherwise good children to grow and develop into cancerous cells that wreak havoc on society.

Poverty is often held up as the reason parents fail to properly do their jobs as caregivers, teachers, disciplinarians and life guides. But many people have come from the same hellhole of poverty. And while some use it as an excuse to divest themselves of the responsibility to properly parent their kids, others use it as a motivation to grow their children in an upstanding way.

 

CAN'T REIN IN CHILDREN

 

Ask any behavioural specialist and they'll tell you that a parent living the dirty life and seemingly immersed in immorality cannot hope to shackle errant behaviour in their children.

There was a boy from my childhood who lived between his mother's two-room house and his paternal grandmother's three-apartment dwelling. The boy was known for his sharp tongue and his flair for using the worst kind of language to verbally bash anyone who crossed him.

His mother had six children, never worked a day in her life, and lived from the proceeds of her three babyfathers and what she could make playing 'drop-pan' in the days and bingo in the nights. She was a notoriously loose woman whom all of her children referred to by name, never as 'Mama' or 'Mommy'.

One day, she scolded the boy for failing to do a chore at home. The boy, no older than 12 at the time, went into the lane along which they lived and began calling her all sorts of names. As is customary in those settings, a crowd gathered to hear the boy cussing his mother.

The woman was giving as good as she got in the 'tracing' match, when the boy dropped a line I will never forget. The boy looked at his mother disdainfully and told her that she could not talk to him about discipline, because she knows that he has seen her, on several occasions, open her legs to two men in one night!

The woman was so ashamed, as the crowd of adults and children roared with laughter and gave mock gun salutes. Grandmothers were in the crowd. And grandfathers. None of them reprimanded the boy. The mother slunk away after that barb, her pride not so much wounded as decimated by the truth.

 

TOO FAR DOWN WRONG ROAD

 

I saw a video recently of a woman, probably in her 40s, daubing bleaching creme on to her skin. The woman was naked in a yard, and had another woman helping her to lather the substance on to all parts of her body. Another woman, who called the bleacher 'Mommy' and appeared to be her daughter, was videotaping the session. The bleacher instructed her assistant to apply the creme liberally as she wanted all parts of her body to 'catch'. The daughter then reminded the bleacher to rub some on her privates to ensure that everywhere would 'catch' the same colour.

Now, which of these two parents and the army of others like them can hope to reprimand theirs or the children of others for misconduct? And if they can't as parents, who else in society can? And what society are we living in where a growing army of people don't know what good discipline is and are resistant to any form of correction?

The evidence of the damage done to the influence of family life in this country has convinced me that the rotting of Jamaica's social fabric is too advanced to be reversed. Hell, here we come!

Selah.

- George Davis is a journalist. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and george.s.davis@hotmail.com.