Tue | Jan 25, 2022

The monster who eats her children

Published:Tuesday | May 7, 2019 | 12:20 AM


The appalling news about the number of children killed, raped and go missing in Jamaica has me thinking about the myth of Lamia, the mother who ate her children. It is as if this country is becoming like this monster. Those of us who study these things, know that myths are not falsehoods, but stories that communicate profound truths about human life. It seems to me that this myth is speaking to us in this country today.

As a child growing up in the country, our elders taught us to be afraid of the Catcher Man. But I do not recall ever hearing stories of actual children being caught by him. Now with reports of an average of four children going missing each day, it seems as if that mythical Catcher Man is becoming a grim reality in our society.

There must be few societies more pathological than those that abduct, rape and kill their children. Those are societies with a death wish.

To refer to another ancient story, the parents, educators and the rest of the society are becoming like Rachel weeping for her children.

A successful State uses its 'teaching power' to give hope to its children. It is bad enough not to give them hope, but to rape and murder so many of them is a catastrophe.


Retired lecturer in philosophy