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Dear Editor: Karma and ourselves to be blamed for our troubles, not young people

“The youths today did not create the monsters that are haunting our once beautiful two-island nation. The thieving politicians whom we have employed to manage our affairs and whom, blinded by party loyalty, we fail to hold up to public scrutiny are the ones to be held responsible for the state of our nation.

“It is they who continue to fail the people by not doing the job that they were sworn into office to do.”

The following Letter to the Editor, which warns about wrongly blaming young people for the society’s ills, was submitted to Wired868 by Michael Joseph of Marabella:

Photo: A tense scene in a Trinidad and Tobago school. The tendency is to put the focus sharply on the negative side when young people are involved.

This once lovely two-island nation called Trinidad and Tobago is today in a depraved state and all its citizens within and without are asking themselves the following question and coming to the wrong conclusion: What is wrong with the youths today?

I can tell you that not one thing is wrong with the youths today. They are the mirror of the wider society and our living in denial is not going to alter the fact that karma is a bitch and none shall escape. You sow the wind and you reap the whirlwind.

All the crimes that are looking this society in its face today are the same crimes that this society committed in secret. We are pretending to not know that these evil deeds make full circle and have for some time now been standing before our face while we choose to create distractions to justify our actions and try to ease our disturbed, tormented and guilty consciences.

The youths today are motivated by the karmic effects of misdeeds created by governance past and present. When people who are placed in public trust turn around and take advantage of their position, when politicians, caught up in their selfish greed, are allowed over the years to rob the Treasury with impunity and fail to realize that they are depriving the children of proper health care, of food, of the right kind of nourishment, of housing with all the necessary amenities, of a good education and of job opportunities, especially in an oil economy such as ours, this is the result. It is called karma.

Photo: Former Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan (right) shares a tender moment with UNC financier Ish Galbaransingh, who is wanted for corruption by the United States Government.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

The youths today did not create the monsters that are haunting our once beautiful two-island nation. The thieving politicians whom we have employed to manage our affairs and whom, blinded by party loyalty, we fail to hold up to public scrutiny are the ones to be held responsible for the state of our nation.

It is they who continue to fail the people by not doing the job that they were sworn into office to do. Wheeling and dealing for personal benefits seems to be their main expertise.

We place people in office because they say they can do the job we require them to do. That job is to manage the economy and create a better life for the people. But, after enjoying all the facilities we put in place for their ease, comfort and efficiency, they go on to abuse their privileges by fixing themselves, their family and friends. Then they turn around and tell us we are depending too much on the government for our sustenance.

Who should we depend on, ghostbusters?

The government was put in office by us the people to improve our lives and create betterment for all. Instead, to maintain their dishonest life style, politicians choose to become oppressive, taxing the poor out of existence. When they take office, their family, friends and financiers in big business can depend on them but the people who put them in office cannot.

The youths are not stupid; they are growing up and seeing everything that is taking place right before their eyes. So, society is facing the demons society continues to create. And, the security forces that we are depending on for protection are all creatures of the same vicious cycle. That is why they become a part of the problem.

Photo: Soldiers on patrol in Laventille where murders were at one point a daily occurrence. Part of the problem or part of the solution?

In this society today, there is no one people can trust. And, mark my word, what goes around comes around. From the little man to the high and mighty, none shall escape, What’s going around is coming around.

Because what we are facing is not a youth problem. It is our own sins coming back to haunt us. It is called karma.

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47 comments

  1. Gangs everywhere. Country under siege. I don’t think people outside T&T undestand our crime situation. Guns and drugs all over the place. Home Invasions, robberies, kidnapping and murders with a culture of despicable torture now. No big fish get caught. Bribes go further than books. We have come to accept all of this normal. The Carnival Culture can’t numb this feeling. Young people between 15 and 25 know more about guns than their subjects and we’re talking automatic weapons. They are boldfaced enough to come and make threatening videos right here on Facebook glorifying that lifestyle. It’s real. They can come for you at anytime of the day and anywhere. Tighten up the school system. Make the free education count. Stop running juvenile daycares. You’re not in school at a certain age, say hello to the Army. We have to stop accepting low standards and stop relying on the Government. They’re only interested in easy shifts. Very low ambition. They are the head of the class when it comes to settling for low standards. As parents, we have to do our part as well. If we raise our standards and expectations, the next generation will be fine. If not, the “We like it so Mentality,” will become our Gold Standard.

  2. I fully agree that politicians over the decades hold much of the blame for our condition today but, as has been articulated before, much more accounts for our society’s degradation. Our rum shops are full, from morning till closure are night, of patrons most of whom are middle aged and older. My office is near a particularly popular one and oftentimes, Government vehicles are parked there FOR THE ENTIRE WORKING DAY!!! Our police officers, sworn to uphold the law and employed for our protection, can be seen almost on a daily basis, breaking the law in small and large ways. They constantly abuse their power. I saw earlier in the news, soldiers at Professor Richards’ funeral, smiling and talking among themselves during the gun salute. My point is that in almost no sphere within our society is discipline evident. From whom then can our youth learn?

  3. Excellent analysis and this problem will continue to exist unless we as a people understand our power and do the necessary work to change our political systems and create a society where everyone would count and there is social justice and equity for all.

  4. Accountability for actions was never incorporated into our newly formed independent culture. When the reigns of control was cut from our colonial masters, our new masters were never required to be held accountable for their actions in ruling over the nation. If your rulers are not held up to an moral or ethical standard of behavior while in office why would they expect citizens to apply such standards to their own behavior. Apple trees produce apples and mango trees produce mangoes. If the law applies to one it should apply to all…..that is what justice and fairness is.

  5. The father of the nation in introducing junior sec schools help create these indisciplined youths……behaviour passed down to generations

    • Rubbish! I am aware of quite a number of Junior School children who who went on to some of the most prestigious seven year schools. Blame the parents who have failed in their parental duties.

    • Reynold, let’s not have personal attacks even if you feel strongly about your point.

    • Reynold tell them like it is I knew when those schools and the Senior Comp were built to take care of the education of the masses that could not afford private schools if they did not win exhibitions and parents could not afford to send them to private. . Where they think the work force came from. Something got screwed up along the way. The struggle was never taught. So pickney feel everything dropped from the clouds. History must never be forgotten.Water used to come twice a week in Maraval. Well telephone service forget that. No tanks you better full up LOL. Now is waste waste.

    • Chloe Paul some of us been there. Some of us passed through this phase. I went to Queen’s Royal College when Secondary duration was limited to the very. Only two hundred exhibitions were awarded in those day. I was there when a number of our senior masters were elevated to Principalships of these new secondary and junior secondary schools in which they left their marks. Those who blame Junior Secondary for errant, please check the parents for this situation

    • Reynold F. Ollivierre I know of what you speak Bro. I dropping meh mike now. LOL.

    • I know a lot who have turned to crime

  6. Where did the politicians, Lawyers, Judges, Police, Teacher etc… come from? They surly did not fall from the sky. We blame the Politicians but the Politicians are a perfect reflection of who we really are. When go to get Bar-B-Que and we know the Proprietor, and we leave the line and go to the back to collect, we have just done wrong to someone in the line in front of us. Corruption starts with the very little things. We speak wickedly about people of other Ethnicity but are offended when we hear someone speak the same about us. We are driving and throw a piece of paper or bottle out of the car window, we are being nasty and are a part of the Flooding. Your Father, Mother, Uncles, Aunts etc… are involved in Crime and the Youth becomes collateral loss but we cry and screaming aloud. What you sow you shall surly reap and probably in Abundance. Then our children sees and experiences all of our behaviour and the trend continues. Do not blame the Youth. Blame yourself.

  7. The logic of this article is dubious. It lays blame on a concept called karma, which boils down to , my present circumstances are a result of decisions I made in a past life. The author has made a leap by saying that politicians decisions in the past are affecting the karma of the children because the karma of a child can only be affected by that child in a past life. He could have just said it is the FAult of the politicians and they are to BlaMe. But he still would be wrong. Our politicians have had no choice in the decisions that affect this country. Let me repeat that. Our politicians have no choice in the decisions that affect this country. Since 1823 the Monroe doctrine has seen the US meddle and dictate the affairs of every state in the western hemisphere. From Chile to Grenada to Hispaniola to Mexico governments have seen overthrown, journalists killed, politicians bribed people raped and murdered in campaigns of intimidation and fear, inorder for american companies to buy cheap oil, bananas or orange juice. Allyuh so naieve to think we are immune to US, British, Chinese or Israeli competing interests? Allyuh could blame our politicians, or start looking for the real enemies.

    • I don’t think the author was being that literal with the word “karma”. And I don’t think the US drew up the LifeSport programme for Anil or advised Jack on the cost of towing the fire truck.
      Despite the geopolitical game, we still have to take responsibility for our individual actions too.

    • To play the game of geopolitics, you need a shrewd negotiator at the top. So it still comes back to our political leaders.

    • That’s only a part of the story surely, Spencer.

    • Maybe so. But every civil rights leader in the past three decades have been asassinated or compromised, from MLK to Allende. The people understand they must kneel to the neo colonialists or die, shrewd geopolitical leader or not.

    • But we are not America. We have no civil war to speak of except the war being waged by white collar and othercollar reprobates and by politicians with the power to do something who are not doing er, anything substantial about it, External factors of course set a debilitating context. But places like Mauritius and Botswana seem to be managing pretty well thank you. I put it to you that good governance has a lot to do with it.

    • This is the exact denial that they rely on. We are not america, we are a american strategic asset, in location and resources. You say we have no civil war, but have you seen our murder stats? It is their method and interest to keep the country unstable, and in a state of fear with the help of the 1% media. The guns that are found in the hands of young criminals are manufactured in the US , the guns that the Imam used in 1990 were imported through miami. Most of our police and army weapons are israeli made. How is it so hard to recognise that there is a war on our people from powers that are exellent at hiding thier involvement.

    • There is class war and yes, a bit of US/imperialist self-interested meddling and corrupt elites doing their thing. However, there is something called ‘Agency’. We are not a strategic asset for no one but ourselves. Our politicians can do much much more. But they don’t. I’d call that ineptitude, not other peoples’ fault. Context is important, but I dont think the many billions that have been wasted in oil dollars in 50 yrs can be laid at the feet of America or Israel. Undervevelopment stemming from colonialism of course blighted our countries. But we have had a lot of opportunities to do something with windfall dollars to back it up. We didn’t.

    • I will go back to the substance of my initial comment. The Munroe doctrine and other similar position statements by the US state that everything in this hemisphere is within their region of influence. Anybody who believes our government is anything but a high class puppet show will be proven to be wrong.

    • It was really interesting to read the wikileaks leak of diplomatic cables from the us embassy in POS to washington. The tone of the memos is often more instructive than the content.

    • That’s not news Spencer, that’s what all diplomatic missions do. Ofcourse the US is in our front yard and we have history with them as do other LAC countries. That said, there still remains lots of room for action/agency. Sadly we know the post-Independence history of oil dollar profligacy and downright looting. We cannot blame Monroe for dat, I dont think.

  8. Politicians,Parents and children are all from the society. Start respecting each other small step.

  9. Finally, someone that understands

  10. Absolutely! Over 50 technocrats manipulating the political system to project their partners and themselves ultimately at the expense of the population. Shame on them, kids of today being held responsible for yester years plundering of the treasury and self enhancement. No thought about “aspiring” or “achieving” just tiefing

  11. I want a more thorough discussion about our political history, thanks for stirring the pot

  12. Great article. We cannot blame the youth. They are a reflection of our history. The alienation they deal with today can trace its roots back to 1498.

  13. Good letter but could benefit from a bit of depth, a few examples of the gross mismanagement committed by both parties, lest we forget, the huge wastage of oil dollars in the immediate aftermath of the oil shock of the 70s. The time of ‘money is no problem – a real lost decade that the PNM laid out, sowed the seeds of huge state and party political squandermania that just threw money at serious problems – a school here, a centre there just to say we built this and that, but with no thought. The wastage was staggering. Im not sure that millennials realise how much was went down the hole and into Ministers and acolytes’ home and offshore accounts. By the early 80s, most people were fed up with the troughing by people who wore T&T pins on their lapels at cocktail functions. The mass wipeout at the 86 elections is evidence of this. I think this story needs to be retold for the under 40s. Ish and Steve were there in deep with the PNM too, but so were other fatcats. A good book on this peiod is sorely needed, Lasana Liburd

    • Justin Phelps you have any literature covering Trinidad and Tobago in this period that you would recommend? Or A Corey Gilkes?

    • I’m fairly well read on what has been published re T&T post-Indep history. Sadly I have not come across any in-depth analysis/study of Corruption and politics in the first and second decades of the oil boom we’re talking from the 1970/BlackPowerRev/Oiil Boom to 1990 OilBust/AbuBakr – note the two events. A lot has been written on both events. But the country could benefit from some really good research of corruption during that period. A lot of what your letter writer says the roots were sown during this period. OK yes we can go back to 1498, but I think the gross corruption and mismanagement of the oil windfall is what we’re reaping today.

    • I don’t know of any such book as yet Lasana. I can say though that I am assisting someone in the writing of his book on a related topic and I’ve already mentioned to him to throw some light on the amount of money made and wasted in this society that contributed to what he is working on (I’m speaking of Kamara, Aletha)

    • Yes looking forward to reading this work

  14. I tell my students everyday : ” crime doesnt pay” true ? ” study hard, achieve and u’d land a decent job” true ? Honesty is the best policy ” true? Education is the key to success, true? When u steal, u will go to jail, true ? If ur a law abiding citizen, crime wont really affect u, only if ur involved, true ? The law is for everone, true? We live in a ‘ meritocratic democracy, true ? and to top it off, we sing lustily in assembly ” here every creed and race find an equal place”- My questiom to you is, must i continue lying to these kids ? As they read or watch the news daily, what will they think of me ??

  15. Simplistic and beginner type artice…

  16. I agree fully that the children of today should not be blamed for the troubles currently plaguing T&T. After all, they are not the ones that brought us to this point. I also get what you are saying where Karma is concerned, because, what one sows they inevitably will reap. You are right in you suggestion that years of dealing with fraud and corruption with kids’ gloves have led to the perpetuation of a culture of crime, and for this successive political administrations must take some blame. It is not our young people that takes a couple thousand dollars at licensing office to “help” someone to their permit. It is not our young people that usually driving on the PBR without a pass and being waved on by their coworkers who stop and ticket others. It is not our young people that clock into work and then go about their business only to come back when it is time to clock out. And it is certainly not our young people who turn a blind eye to drugs and ammunition pouring into the country in the dead of night, while being told by superiors that they are not seeing fast moving dots on radar screens set up in monitoring stations at Tetron. On the other hand, it is our young people beating the hell out of each other in classrooms, aligning themselves with insane desperadoes masquerading as community leaders, picking up guns and blades instead of pens and school-books, and replicating the most vile behaviors they see around them. I AM NOT SAYING THEY SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR THIS, but I am saying they should also be responsible. We all should be. It is not just politicians that carry the responsibility for the chaos we see….it is all of us. It still takes a village to raise a child. The village is made up of every single person that is a citizen. You are right, the crime problem today is the result of years, and months and days and moments of enabling leaders that were too occupied with personal and individual advancement instead of focusing on the collective good. But it is also the product of bad choices being made by many of the nation’s young people everyday…young people that in many cases know better…and sadly in many cases where violence was all that they knew. There are no simple explanations, yet there are explanations. There are no simple solutions, yet there are solutions…If we take responsibility for each other, we may not stamp out all crime, but we can begin to treat the disease. All that being said, i really enjoyed your article.

    • Earl Best

      Kurt, Seems you have strong views on the subject. How would you like to do some commentary yourself, perhaps as a direct response to this piece?
      We would be willing to consider publishing it so that a wider audience, which includes those who don’t bother to read the comments can benefit
      from your experience and your wisdom.
      Email the finished product, if you agree, to emcdbest50@hotmail.com and/or to lasanal@yahoo.co.uk
      Thanks for at least thinking about it.

  17. I agree fully that the children of today should not be blamed for the troubles currently plaguing T&T. After all, they are not the ones that brought us to this point. I also get what you are saying where Karma is concerned, because, what one sows they inevitably will reap. You are right in you suggestion that years of dealing with fraud and corruption with kids’ gloves have led to the perpetuation of a culture of crime, and for this successive political administrations must take some blame. It is not our young people that takes a couple thousand dollars at licensing office to “help” someone to their permit. It is not our young people that usually driving on the PBR without a pass and being waved on by their coworkers who stop and ticket others. It is not our young people that clock into work and then go about their business only to come back when it is time to clock out. And it is certainly not our young people who turn a blind eye to drugs and ammunition pouring into the country in the dead of night, while being told by superiors that they are not seeing fast moving dots on radar screens set up in monitoring stations at Tetron. On the other hand, it is our young people beating the hell out of each other in classrooms, aligning themselves with insane desperadoes masquerading as community leaders, picking up guns and blades instead of pens and school-books, and replicating the most vile behaviors they see around them. I AM NOT SAYING THEY SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR THIS, but I am saying they should also be responsible. We all should be. It is not just politicians that carry the responsibility for the chaos we see….it is all of us. It still takes a village to raise a child. The village is made up of every single person that is a citizen. You are right, the crime problem today is the result of years, and months and days and moments of enabling leaders that were too occupied with personal and individual advancement instead of focusing on the collective good. But it is also the product of bad choices being made by many of the nation’s young people everyday…young people that in many cases know better…and sadly in many cases where violence was all that they knew. There are no simple explanations, yet there are explanations. There are no simple solutions, yet there are solutions…If we take responsibility for each other, we may not stamp out all crime, but we can begin to treat the disease. All that being said, i really enjoyed your article.

  18. Karma?Then d whole world going through karma. As it was in d beginning, so it will b in d end. Simple. Bible says , each new generation it will b worse. Government have nothing to do with how youths behave.

  19. Excellent!! How long Peter Tosh sang that you can’t blame the youths when they go bad especially when as children, they’ve been taught to admire John Hawkins and Columbus.

    Many of the self-righteous dinosaurs ranting on the youths today forget that they were once youths and many of them saw how certain members of society then did all sorts of wrong with impunity.

    Furthermore, they looked up to the violent, aggressive hero figures that were projected in TV shows and movies the same way *their* parents and grandparents did (some of whom reflected that admiration by calling their bands “Red Army” “Desperadoes” “Hell Yard” “Destination Tokyo”).

    There’s a culture of violence, aggression in this society that is and has always been twinned with a culture of impunity for some members of society once you have money and influence. If that wasn’t dealt with before, it’s coming round to claim its own now

    And the self-regenerating cycle continues.