Rate this
0 (0 votes)
“Looking at society as a mirror image”
0 out of 5 based on 0 user ratings

“Looking at society as a mirror image”

A shocking experience led Shannay Williams, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from St. Thomas in Jamaica, to think about social problems from the viewpoint of those most affected – and to consider who is responsible for the solutions.

It was sometime after 5:00 pm. I remember leaving the University of West Indies Mona in a taxi that stopped to pick up a lady. She was evidently disturbed.

She got in and apologised for her absent-minded behaviour. In a taxi with about six passengers she proceeded to explain her mood. She said she had visited her child’s father’s job, and that while there she took a chair a hit him across the ears because he was ignoring her requests for child support. She was content, and said she was going to Family Court the next day because he deserved it.

The passengers erupted in chiding and confirmation, either saying she didn’t do the right thing or that he should support his child.

I was, in a word, appalled. I wasn’t shocked by the fact that she wasn’t getting child support. But I was shocked that she openly said what she did, that she took what some might believe was an extreme measure. But was it?

In a country whose economy is marked by inflation, it is really extreme to be that upset? A few might think that the woman has access to welfare programmes, or she could just take him to court again. Well, the patience sometimes required to benefit from these programmes aggravates the persistent and present needs of children. Children aren’t known to patiently wait a few months to be fed when they’re hungry. The situation leads some to believe that extreme measures call for extreme solutions, I suppose.

To be clear, I don’t agree with her treatment of the father, but in some ways I understand. This should not be the case. I am a bit disturbed that I understand this logic. That violence is not a solution to a problem, but I understand. I understand that in a society that is governed by patriarchy and upheld by matriarchy, there is a festering frustration.

There are, and will continue to be, calls from our leaders to fix ‘the problem’. But really the onus is on us, the everyday citizen. Members of Parliament can propose general policies and legislate tooth and nail too fix ‘the problem’, but it won’t work unless we commit ourselves to change. Absentee parents must commit to their children. If not, policies may remain just that – policies.

Quite frankly, I don’t think I should live in a country where citizens believe that all their problems should or can be solved by the government. Our representatives are representatives; they represent what exists and what should change. They represent our votes and the polices we allegedly believe in.

If we believe in something, doesn’t it follow that we positively act upon our belief to make it work? We should hold politicians accountable, yes, but only after we’ve held ourselves accountable.

photo credit: Schermannski Rheingauer Ansichten I via photopin (license)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me: I am a student of Morant Bay High school, Jamaica, and I am passionate about the literary and performing arts. I am aspiring to become a real estate lawyer, poet and novelist.

I am guided by the philosophy ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’, because I strongly believe that all we need to produce greatness is a mind. I believe there are no limits to greatness, not even death. I am a climate change advocate in my community, and a patriot.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments