Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded a song some years ago, called Butterfly. The lyrics contrast a woman’s life as a child who was carefree, to her adult life, where she is a victim of an abusive relationship.
The butterfly is symbolic of freedom and innocence. This song always reminds me of the great joy of being a child, where thoughts and emotions are soft and pure. Then we grow up and learn the real truth about life’s hustles and tussles.
A few weeks ago, I visited New Providence to attend the funeral service of a relative. Prior to this trip, I had not visited New Providence for almost a year. The experience was bitter sweet; bitter, as a funeral is never a pleasant experience, but sweet, as I had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. An extension to the bitter was my perception of the state of the island.
During my brief stay in New Providence, there were seven murders and as if that within itself was not frightening, the average resident appeared so anesthetized to the situation, using flimsy justifications, such as, “There is a special group responsible for these killings, or they only target a certain population.” I was so appalled and concerned. In addition to this, the island appears to be very “jammed up,” unkempt and dirty, especially in the inner city. I was sickened.
Of equal concern, was the fact that I was a driver of a rental vehicle, which singled me out to opportunists, as a target.
Although I was happy to spend time with my family, I was anxious to leave this decrepit, washed up little island that I once referred to as my home away from home (Bimini). In fact, this was the island of my birth; my high school Mecca, The Bahamas’ Nirvana. What could have gone so wrong, how did we get here, what are we to do? Things have definitely gotten out of control.
Let us understand a few facts. With development (of which New Providence has had its share), comes population growth, growth brings acculturation, acculturation brings different approaches to doing things, confrontation and feelings of invasion. A lull in employment often leads to desperation and alienation, which can lead to crime.
Crime is rampant in our capitol city; things have changed and this change is having an effect on every aspect of our civilization. Let us live in reality, not denial and then come together to reclaim our country’s precious name.
Every family must take control of its members; every church, its parishioners, every school, its students, every island its constituents and every country its citizens. This is not a simple task, but a doable one.
We have to combine our forces, work with our law enforcement agencies and do our part in making it “Better in The Bahamas, again.”
POINT TO PONDER: Take charge of the madness before it consumes you.
• Askdoctorpam is a column that appears in this journal every week. Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may email your letters or comments to askdoctorpam, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017