Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Make Jamaica polite again

Published:Saturday | January 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM


One of the problematic variables that seem to give rise to our sorry state of crime and violence, as observed across political, economic, educational and social divides, is the almost irrecoverable breakdown in social values. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or even a social scientist's study to realise that.

However, the problem lies in how to solve this runaway malady. As a people, we always want to have our cake and eat it. As it is with so many other situations, we want the police to take the illegal guns without themselves firing one shot. We want our teachers to discipline our spoilt pickneys without saying anything to them or touching them.

We want Government to fix roads without collecting taxes, and, in like manner, we want Jamaica to be a 'nice place fi live', but we must be free to do whatever we want to do, unrestrained because, as we often say, 'everything is everything'.

So how are we to solve this social problem without ourselves getting involved and by implementing sensible measures? We cannot arrive at a society that is decent and follows certain codes of conduct, as if we're watching a movie. We have to all get involved.




When I was growing up, everybody was respectable and respectful. As youth, we could never address adults or speak about them without using the appropriate titles. With the passing of time, and as we allowed ourselves to be colonised by failed American standards, we adopted some of their modus operandi, much to the demise of our once-polite society.

The Americans who conduct Bible classes with our children, for instance, insist on being addressed without the respective traditional titles (Mr, Ms, etc).

With the level of social breakdown within the American society that has given rise to them holding the unenviable record of having the largest prison population worldwide (fewer than 2.4 million), double that of China, which has an overall population almost four times that of the United States, maybe we should have been wary of the practices that we adopted from them.

This is not to say that once we have a respectful and polite society, all will be well, but it is a step in the right direction. We need to manage and train our youth properly. Maybe that would redound to them not having as many problems with sex, sexuality and truancy as now obtains.

Let's make Jamaica polite again.