In lieu of various infractions against children, Archbishop Kenneth Richards of Kingston says the entire nation needs to be caring and loving of each other, while urging families and adults to be principled in their stand against indiscipline among youths.
Focusing on child behaviours and treatment meted out to children generally, Archbishop Richards made the call while speaking at the thanksgiving service for the life of Jamaican business giant, humanitarian, nation-builder and philanthropist, Lascelles Chin, June 28 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity.
Jamaica Gleaner reported recently, the nation was rocked by the abduction and killing of an eight-year-old girl. Also, there has been a spate of missing children reports for years and a marked increase in fights among children while attending school.
Given these behaviours, Archbishop Richards called for children to behave like children and not adults.
Relating a first-hand example of how some youths lack proper guidance in Jamaica, the Archbishop said that while he was at a gas station, he saw two children sitting in a compromising position, which triggered him to approach them.
“People were just passing them without saying anything, and I said, ‘What is this?’ As I advanced towards them, they came to their senses and then stepped apart and stood more respectful in public with each other,” Archbishop Richards said.
“So often we are afraid of standing for principle, for what is right, so indeed we show due regard and that is what contributes, my brothers and sisters, to the tragedies that we see around us,” he said.
Archbishop Richards encouraged that persons should not point “our fingers at such tragedies, but truly examine how in their own homes, the type of relationships are being had with children”, especially when parents or guardians are busy trying to make a living.
“I know the going is rough. Some of us have to multitask in order to survive, but there is still need for time to be made for children. And can we have a time and a heart for other children? Let us recognise that this is what is required of us. Indeed, if we are not to live for self, but to live for others,” Archbishop Richards expressed.
He encouraged Jamaicans to be like Chin, who, in his own way, played his part in exhibiting love across the nation, through living an extraordinary and visionary life that contributed to the building of LASCO and its affiliated companies, which in turn provided jobs and affordable nutrition for Jamaicans, especially low-income households.
“Of course, he (Chin) was concerned about others’ hygiene, healthcare and financial services for all. A man for others! And sometimes you may ask, ‘Where did he get this inspiration from?’ It is the grace of God, my brothers and sisters, as a man who was baptised, the seed was planted within him and he responded to it,” Archbishop Richards said.