Spare a thought for our children
We are all living in a world with fast-moving events, many of them impacting family life to a degree where the task of parenting has been challenged in ways never seen before. Even here in Bermuda, usually considered a beautiful and peaceful place to raise a child, where the first learning centre should be for teaching proper values about life.
Much has changed and distractions have invaded many homes, and the family gathering for the evening meal has diminished to a stage where empty chairs are common, and the dinner table is just another piece of furniture.
Surely that is not the case with every family, but it would be turning a blind eye to the ugly truth that the family, as some us remember, has crumbled as a learning unit over the years — the result being that an increasing number of young minds have become vulnerable to a steady stream of negative elements, including illegal drugs and becoming attached to those with devious conduct.
This leads often to being placed before the courts. It is an issue with wealthy and poor nations, and there are no easy answers to a problem that is made worse when children are exposed to violence and sometimes abuse, much of it in the shadows of society.
Since the pandemic, which continues to rage globally and is still claiming lives each hour, children have been silent victims of a dramatic change in normal life activities. Picnics, outside fun games and even school life have been disrupted, and trying to communicate while wearing a mask for some is a nightmare.
When adults, even here in Bermuda, have not been willing to follow health guidelines issued globally to protect against spreading the disease, children too young to be vaccinated are at greater risk. When this occurs, something far more serious is happening in the family unit, where sound positive advice should always be a priority in keeping the family safe.
Bermuda is far from out of the woods in tackling the Covid-19 crisis, and government officials monitoring the situation must be aware that something more than the existing restrictions may be required to stem what seems to be a new surge, which may get far worse before anything improves.
These situations not only take a heavy toll on family life, but affect young developing minds that are unable to comprehend fully what is happening. Our leaders from all areas of our community life can help in the situation by working more closely together, despite political or other differences.
The children must be given serious thought because without steady guidance during testing moments, they will not be properly armed to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
We should also remember that children in other parts of the world would like to play in the sunshine, but instead know only the sounds of gunfire and bombs. These children are a part of the world community, and should have a right to a peaceful life. They are not born with machine guns in the crib, but in an atmosphere of regional conflict often raging for years, it is not long before they see the gun as more important than a meal for survival. So very tragic.
Bermuda has been blessed with a small population and size, and despite challenges, we should be able to combine our best qualities to protect family life in order to groom our children with proper values. Even though this is not a perfect world, they would be better positioned to confront life challenges, which could pave the way for the next generation.
In today’s world, so much emphasis is placed on financial gain and possessing the latest gadgets that attention in raising children is often near the bottom of the list. Children will always need more than food, clothing and toys.
Those things are wonderful, but teaching them how to respect others, and to be honest and truthful, requires more than dollars.
Bermuda’s future could depend on how well we preserve family life and protect our children.