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When did we become the uncaring nation we are today?

Published:Monday | November 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM


When I was a boy growing up in the inner-city community of western Kingston (West Street), people were loving and caring.

Yes, they had disputes and settled their differences in several ways, but supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP) were friends.

Families were on different sides of the political divide.

I remember in the late 1970's throughout the 1980's, some areas of the constituency were forbidden to some people, dependent on the party they supported.

However, the late Claudius Massop and Aston 'Buckie Marshall' Thompson, my former schoolmate, brokered a peace truce between members/

supporters of the JLP and PNP. Areas that were once forbidden, dependent on the colour of your shirt, were once again accessible.

I have seen a new development emerging in the country where bereaved families are abandoning their loved ones at funeral homes for upwards of three years. The State is also guilty of this practice.

I remember the days when someone died in the community and the family never had the financial resources to effect the burial and they would leave the body at the hospital and 'saucer' used to be held to raise funds to bury the dead.

Today, we abandon the old to fend for themselves on the streets, where they are taken to government-run or private nursing homes. No one returns to care for them or pay the bills.

Our children fare no better as their parents are missing in action or just neglect them. Some migrate and don't look back, while others leave them to grow up with their grandparents, other relatives or friends as 'barrel' children.

I vividly recall that when I was a boy, parents from the rural areas would take their sons and daughters to Kingston to learn the art of cabinet making, blacksmith trade, auto mechanics, printing, hair-dressing, and dressmaking to name a few.

This does not happen anymore, and you have to be qualified to enter the HEART programme.

Will Jamaica ever return to the loving, caring society it once was? Time will tell.

Joseph M. Cornwall (Snr.) JP

Managing Director/CEO

House of Tranquillity Funeral Home Ltd.