Sometimes, I feel like we live in the saddest possible version of the world. There are far too many people dying of curable diseases and circumstances. Money rules too many lives. Illiteracy is more rule than anyone would like to admit. Too many people don’t know how to settle differences without the use of harsh words and/or weapons. There is too much talking, and not enough listening. There is too much focus on the problems, and not enough on the solutions.
Yesterday was a sad day in The Bahamas. Another sad day, I should say. The crime rate is ridiculous. The murder count for this small nation of less than 400,000 people is over 100. The most recent murder victim was an 11 year old boy. He’d been reported missing a few days ago. His mother and sister have been on the news and in the newspapers, begging for his safe return. He’d left his home some time between 4pm and 6pm (don’t ask me why a 2 hour time period is used to say when a child left his home) to go to the gas station (a little further than “right across the street”) to get candy. He never returned. His body was found yesterday morning. It was evident that he’d been raped/molested and killed.
You should see the posts on the brief news update, tweets, and posts on community forums. They are just as sad as this horrible crime. People are blaming the government. People are saying the police are not doing their jobs. The parents are being blamed. It’s ridiculous.
A comment on the news update struck something within me. It’s a quote from the Chief Justice of The Bahamas in 2007.
“Moral codes survive only if they are constantly taught and practiced. Rules are kept by convention, habit and self-interest, and to a large extent, because other people keep them. Self-interest works for the common good. Operating a code of behavior is like a pyramid sales operation. As long as it continues, its working guarantees its future. Once a significant number of people starts to breach the code with any frequency, self-interest becomes self-centeredness and the whole system falters. People behave badly; other people then behave badly because they have lost trust. They do not have the confidence to follow what their consciences often prompts them to do. Disorder becomes its own recruiting sergeant.”
As for the reasons that things like this happen, there are many, but I believe that the quote above is too true for many people to admit to, or acknowledge. I don’t know what else to say.