THE EDITOR, Sir:
Has Jamaica gone mad? This is the question on the lips of many here and abroad because of murder, rape and vigilante action which seem to be increasing.
But Jamaica has not gone mad! We have simply gone more! Here is an illustrative view of what I mean.
When Jamaicans 45 and over were in high school 35-40 years ago, there were bullies and rapists at the schools they attended.
However, for every 10 student males at the time, only one young male could probably be so categorised. That young bully and rapist was well known by all, avoided by many, befriended by few, and eventually ostracised or arrested after organising his first 'battery' (gang rape) or stabbing.
In addition, one out of every 10 student females was known as the 'school mattress' (very sexually active). She, too, was generally well known by all, befriended by many, avoided by few, and eventually ostracised or sent to 'country' after experiencing her first 'battery'.
TIDE HAS TURNED
Now, the numbers have drastically flipped. In some schools, eight out of 10 young student males are bullies and eight out of 10 student females are 'mattresses' and the remaining minority are daily resisting the temptation to join the 'more'!
More is the result of lowering family, community and national standards concerning violence and sex. The bully, once ostracised and arrested, is now the 'big man', popularised for his badness and sexual prowess. The 'mattress', once hidden away in the country, is now the hot girl glorified for her sexual stamina.
More, if not halted and transformed to less, may cause even the best of us to join the more and help bring down our nation! Some of us have already begun to realise that truth, when we found ourselves wishing for the horrible deaths of the young males who raped our precious eight-year-old. Yet we don't consider ourselves vigilantes!
The difference between savagery and civility is not so much in action but in thought. Thinking a cruel act is a step away from doing the act - and that step is usually just the opportunity to act! If Jamaica is to become the place to live, work, raise families and do business, we must stop the rise of the 'more' before we are all engulfed!