Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Letter of the Day | We have become an indisciplined society

Published:Monday | May 23, 2022 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I listened with great interest recently as persons recounted postindependent Jamaica on a recent programme. I was born in the early 1950s and I have witnessed our country take a turn for the worst over the years. As a senior citizen, I am concerned with the lack of order and discipline which now plagues our country. Children and adults alike have a law to themselves and there is no respect for God nor man. Those put in place to maintain our Constitution and laws are now looked down upon. Soldiers and police officers are treated with disdain daily as they are publicly assaulted and ridiculed by citizens. In times past, their uniforms spoke on their behalf and commanded respect.

Citizens and the upholders of the law both knew their roles in society and acted accordingly.

The standards in Jamaica have rapidly deteriorated and I fear the condition Jamaica will be in socially in a decade or less. The constant tension is a recipe for a nervous breakdown. From the high levels of crime to the loud and disruptive sounds that echo throughout communities. Reckless motorists, loud and traumatic blasts from infamous ‘yeng yengs’ and the earth-shaking vibrations from the community boom boxes at night at ungodly hours. There is no order! I recently had an experience where I witnessed someone who swore he was shot! A motorcycle pulled off from the stoplight and the sounds released from the modified muffler replicated that of an assault rifle. Is there a noise abatement act in place, or are the 63 parliamentarians hard of hearing or deaf?

I cannot get accustomed to this new way of living. Life in Jamaica is now frustrating when I recall my younger days. Discipline was at the core of our country. Parents knew their role in the lives of their children. It didn’t matter whether they were from poverty or sitting with princes, values and morals were instilled in their offspring. Manners and respect were expected. I am now embarrassed when I hear children heading home from school in the afternoons with expletives being hurled boldly as they converse with each other. They will go to the extent of staring at you with no remorse. Lack of proper parenting has contributed to this. The indiscipline seen among our children is nothing but reflection of our society.

Will Jamaica return to what she was in the yesteryears? I doubt it. Despite this feeling of defeat as we approach our 60th year, I pray that we truly evaluate where we stand as a nation, which was once the gem of the Caribbean. In our current state, will this be the place to live, work and grow children in eight years? Our forefathers asked our eternal Creator to give us vision lest we perish. Have we turned a blind eye and wilfully sought to be ignorant and without wisdom?

Sixty years later, we continue to pray ...

GARFIELD BURNETT