is when I am awake and there is dawn in me…
must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids,
but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in
the soundest sleep.
know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to
elevate his life by conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to
paint a particular picture or to carve a statue, and so to make a few
objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very
atmosphere and medium through which we look…
affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts.” –
all very well, you might say, but think it’s easy to do that in Trinidad
reader summed up our collective disaffection:
find myself trying to understand why, despite a budget of around $20
Billion, in a population of 1.5 Million, in a country rich with natural
resources, people blame poverty for the rising crime in our country.
busy street corners, outside schools, in malls, you see signs of
prosperity, people walking around in expensive brand name sneakers, using
will always be poverty, but is that a good enough reason to kill twelve
people in twenty two days?
you agree that ultimately, an individual rather than a situation is the
deciding factor on whether or not to pull the trigger?
policeman can read the mind of a potential killer. We are all capable of
myself emerged from poverty and I think we are all the products of our
choices and our spiritual and moral values.”
another readers view:
are, in most cases, the result of dysfunctional unions, where the father
is no role model – where, indeed, all they learn from him is how to
brutalise children and women and to father several children with different
they develop a rage against against women, leading to all kinds of
brutality, including rape.
also have a rage against society, which leads to callous murder, robbery
punishment has no effect on criminals and is itself a form of violence
which has been eschewed by all the countries of the industrialized Western
world, with the exception of the USA.
country is not only one of the most violent in the world, but also
consumes more hard drugs than any other and has the love of money as its
local criminals have learnt much from that society.”
I write this, crime is spinning beyond control – an 18 year old girl has
been found strangled in a furniture store; businessmen are looking over
their shoulders for possible kidnappers.
I write, doctors continue their malfeasance, uncaring of the ill, poor and
I write, Caroni (1975) Ltd remains a mess, political tool that it is, as
is the National Housing Authority, manipulating desperate people badly in
need of jobs and homes.
of our readers quoted earlier wanted to know whether I agreed that one’s
actions are determined by one’s strength of character rather than
circumstances, such as poverty.
is my answer.
I write this, a reportedly super-wealthy PNM party supporter by the name
of Ken Julien is cashing in his $100,000 from the State’s coffers’
“reward” for “service”.
on are hundreds of bright A’Level graduates working in menial jobs
because they can’t afford the fee for University.
they watch the wealthy being rewarded and the poor being shoved under the
carpet, what kinds of messages are the thousands of young men getting from
the State? That only the rich are rewarded?
service should be rewarded with trust funds on behalf of long-serving
citizens for young people eager to fulfill their potential.
police patrols don’t make our hordes of unemployed and unemployable
young men and potential criminals disappear; it just makes them more
major aspect of tackling crime is about providing hope to people in
unless, as Thoreau put it, those in power allow our people the opportunity
to carve and paint the atmosphere of their lives by themselves acting on
behalf of the vulnerable amongst us, unless they find ways to affect
“the quality of the day” of “criminals”, we will continue to wake
up to news of murders and kidnappings, corruption, dead babies in living
mothers and every-day stupidity.