Violence among black youth or youth in general across the GTA is now overpowering to all of us. Over the last couple of weeks, violent acts among youth can be painted with almost five deaths of very young people who had just started to enjoy life or make sense of what it is to be born a man or a woman.
Listening to the tone of politicians, law enforcers, members of the community, social workers, youth workers to name just a few, you will concur with me that someone is almost giving up. The repeated promises are what we continuously hear. Haven’t you heard; something must be done to stop this madness, we can’t take it anymore, this is it, you will never be forgotten, you didn’t die in vain, we must change the laws and most famous we have to change the laws surrounding guns ownerships.
In broader perspective, they all have good points and I for one, would like to see all of the above implemented immediately or yesterday. In reality, I don’t comprehend why they have not been implemented years ago. To me the above mentioned concerns needed quick and aggressive attention yesterday, not a mere political talk no more, for coming elections purposes. Therefore, it surprises me to see that we are still just talking and researching, as if we don’t know.
I hate saying this but I am gonna say it anyway. We are failing our young people just as they are failing themselves. Unfortunately, we can’t give up, we are not supposed to. So what to do? What changes needs our attention? What need to change are not laws alone but also we. We need to start teaching our children the importance of life. The senseless acts of violence across the GTA that have led to loosing precious lives, are living proofs that our youth, or ourselves do no longer think that this world is nothing without people. People mean lives. We need to teach them the difference between what they see on TV to what is real in actual life. Above all we need to teach them LOVE. We need to let them understand what it means to love one another. Teach them to think before acting, teach them that once a life is lost, be it by a punch, a stabbing or a bullet or anything else, it can never be taken back. What follows after those silly, senseless acts are only regrets and wishes.
Now to teach our children the above is not easy if we, as parents, guardians, community members, leaders etc do not know the practical sense of love. First and foremost, we must examine ourselves, where do they learn all these hatred and violent behaviours? To be able to get there, looking at the mirrors could be the best thing. How do we treat each other as community members? What comments do we make about policing, media, leaders, neighbours, uncles, aunt or the convenience store owner across the street? Are we role models?
On frequent basis, I attend community meetings where a lot is said. Unfortunately, my experiences from these meetings are never impressive. We do a lot of talking but end up doing nothing about what we say. Practising what we preach is our block, the hardest thing to do. May be because, we do a lot of finger pointing, blaming without realizing that four of the rest of fingers actually point back to ourselves.
On the other hand, our governments needs more than changes. How do they talk about violence while our troops are out there doing hell of violence? What message are they sending to the young ones? Therefore, the senseless wars around the globe on the excuse of war against terror while it’s actually wars against ideologies and values must come to
What are we failing ladies and gentlemen?
Photo from David W.Boles.