The struggle to recapture values
Bermuda, like many countries around the world, is confronted with a change in basic attitudes that decades ago were taken for granted. That change, which has sparked numerous conversations and debates in family gatherings and community groups, continues to cause increasing concern over what effect it will have on the next generation.
There may be various perceptions over what is meant by values, especially with so many different approaches to lifestyles, what most cling to as values that determine whether a society is growing or is trying to keep pace with popular trends that cause a shift that no amount of time will change.
When considering values to live by that promote decency, trust, respect and a will to treat others as one would like to be treated in today's world, one has to wonder whether the new order is based on power with little regard for those common values that were pillars of strength for many generations.
Our forefathers must have known that without them, any society could slide into an atmosphere of fear and disarray.
Although there is a certain amount of optimism over news of an upswing in our vital tourist industry, which holds the potential for more jobs, the island can ill afford to allow an undercurrent of crime, along with disrespectful attitudes that spill over on to our roads, to diminish what it has taken many years to build.
Experts provide countless reasons for modern behaviour patterns, which often include economic conditions and other pressures of the day. It generally boils down to what people hold as key values, even under extreme difficulties.
It is more than disturbing when public servants such as bus drivers face physical abuse while performing their duties. That type of incident sends a signal that in our society there are those who show no regard for the common rules of respect for others. The drug addiction problem is believed to be at the core of numerous break-ins at homes and businesses throughout Bermuda, and while every incident is not a headline story, there is a trail of personal trauma among victims.
Sadly there is no light at the end of the tunnel in seeking a solution to a problem that few families have escaped. This is not an issue that is restricted to certain segments of our society; the problem of vanishing values affects the entire island and that means any possible solution will involve the entire island.
No political party, or group, will alone be able to solve this deeply complex problem that is eating away at our social infrastructure.
Our future could depend on our ability to recapture sound good values before they become only memories. It is never too late to try.