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Lessons from the rainbow

Much of our world these days seems to be seeking new ways to solve old problems that have been a part of life on this planet for many centuries. One of the key elements found in almost every conflict involves critical divisiveness, usually based on differences such as race, ethnicity, ideology and the perceived perception that those in power should rule without regard for truth, freedom, decency or respect for those who choose to embrace a world of diversity and freedom.

The word “diversity” has been tossed about in many countries by those willing to risk even their lives to promote a world where people with a different skin colour and their own language are not ridiculed or considered as unfit to live as citizens of the Earth.

History is jam-packed with countless stories of men, women and children being tragically pushed to a state of existence where life for them no longer has meaning. Sadly, such incidents are not just in history books.

In this modern world of technology and in so many areas of life, it would seem world leaders should be more connected with peace rather than flexing military power — if in fact they had any serious regard for the price paid in recent history by so many nations with millions of lives lost in the endless violent confrontations over basic human rights that every human being should be entitled to.

Before the pandemic struck, claiming so many lives in just about every country and causing massive disruption to normal life on our planet, the challenge for families trying to keep values alive for future generations was a constant battle, with much of it taking place behind closed doors.

Bermuda, with its small population and size, was no different from other countries in trying to cope with a situation that was having a deep impact on family life. With early lockdowns, what was already a family challenge for some was a nightmare, as domestic violence became more of a concern than the Covid-19 virus.

The full impact of how this damaged families may never be known. What is known is that the impact on children exposed to domestic violence develops antisocial behaviour. This will not happen to every child, but losing one young mind could explode later, hurting that individual and the community.

A matter of real concern is that there are reports of children younger than 10 not even in double figures, getting involved in gang activity.

That should set off alarm bells for all parents who know with modern communication, children can be exposed to negative elements that affect their undeveloped minds. It could create a situation with “young strangers” at the meal table going undetected. The reality is not always pleasant.

Some will respond that life today is different, and that many parents no longer have the authority that was prevalent in the old days. While that may be so and people may change, good values for strong families should never change.

Some of us remember quite clearly at mealtime the words ”elbows off the table”. Usually there was no response because there would be consequences for not complying with basic family rules.

These days the order would be probably ”mobile phones off the table”. We know how that would go down.

Saving the family should never be a political issue. Both political parties here should combine efforts along with other interested groups to focus on placing greater emphasis on vulnerable children by seeking ways of early detection to provide assistance wherever it is needed. It will not eradicate all problems, but will help in trying to keep young minds from slipping into the underworld of unlawful activity.

Meanwhile, there are parents around the world probably wondering what to tell children in the face of powerful nations with weapons capable of mass destruction who do not see eye-to-eye on what is best in trying to make the world a safe place for all.

Perhaps world leaders might learn from the rainbow and the beauty produced by colours and light. This act of nature could be a lesson on blending cultural differences in order to build a more harmonious climate for diversity and a more peaceful earth.

Photograph by Akil Simmons

Teaching children early the importance of different cultures and respecting good rules for living may be the only hope for future generations to avoid history repeating itself in so many negative ways. Nothing will change overnight, but a step forward is better than no step at all.

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Published March 05, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated March 04, 2022 at 1:18 pm)

Lessons from the rainbow

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