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2005-05-07 19:14:21

Bahamas: A Society Without Values

No positive changes can ever come about until there is a nation-wide acceptance that there are serious social problems and a real willingness and commitment to resolve them.

As children continue to have children, the Bahamas is fast becoming a society without values according to S. Ali McIntosh, president and chairman of the National Committee for Youth Renewal and Revival.

Addressing the challenges surrounding young people in The Bahamas, including teenage pregnancy, violence and the absence of role models, Ms. McIntosh explained that one of the key factors to reversing the social collapse is to encourage communities to parent the children of other people.

"Our children are not being taught values or socialisation skills. You have 21-year-old mothers with a five-year-old child in primary school. You have parents in their 30s who have 17-year-old children graduating from high school."

Out of Control

"The reason we have this out-of-control situation at schools, is that too many children are having children, so you have a society where values are not being passed on. Many times these parents are still finding their way in life and can't be bothered with children," she said.

Ms. McIntosh said now is the time to implement values training.

One way this can be done is to stop glorifying criminals and unethical businessmen who have acheived financial success by hook, crook and manipulation, rather than by hard work and talent.

Also, Bahamians must stop voting for, and electing corrupt, incompetent and selfish politicians who routinely display unacceptable moral standards and fail miserably in setting a proper example for our nation's youth. Several Bahamas Cabinet Ministers have recently been involved in all sorts of scandals including racism, rape and larceny, yet they are still in office.

Another crisis exists in church leadership. Many of the pastors and religious leaders in the Bahamas are little more than religious con men. Reportedly, one of the largest churches in the country is operated by a scam artist who provides absolutely no spiritual leadership and, in fact, does more harm than good to society.

Bahamians Don't Want to Hear This

The biggest social problem lies in the fact that Bahamians refuse to accept the fact that their nation is in deep trouble. No positive changes can ever come about until there is a nation-wide acceptance that there are serious social problems and a real willingness and commitment to resolve them.

Many Bahamians are content with merely "talking" about the problems, which have been regurgitated over and over again in the local papers and in speeches at Rotary Clubs and press conferences. It is always the same people pointing out the same problems, but never offering any concrete solutions or acting upon their statements. Others just sweep the problems under the rug by ignoring them.

It seems that Bahamians only address the symptoms not the disease. Instead of dealing with the root of the problem they want to focus on the results of the problem. For example, it is not teen pregnancies that is the problem, it is the lack of parenting as Ms. McIntosh points out. Teen pregnancies are the result of the underlying problem of a lack of ethical parental and societal role models.

Instead, the morally corrupt continue to battle for control. When a popular community website took a stand aginst corruption and racism, the site was attacked by one of the country's daily newspapers. The newspaper then went on, in a later article, to defend some of the biggest "gangsters" in the Bahamas.

As long as criminals, crooks and con men are given an elevated stature in Bahamian society, there will continue to be an erosion of values and ethics, leading to ever-increasing social problems and the ultimate destruction of Bahamian society.

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