Favoritism and corruption
Two of the destroying agents of our country is favoritism and corruption. Why is there so much corruption in our country? It is staring in our faces while we stand by, frozen in the hard ice of favoritism and we think it is just so cool. Is corruption so rampant because to favoritism? If so, where does it start? This article is not intended to be a scholarly work on the etiology of favoritism, nor is it a thesis on creating a non-violent environment. It is just a friendly conversation warning you, dear reader, about the silent Bahamian killer–favoritism. Jay Hailey, an online author states: “Favoritism and nepotism put the favorites and family members in the position to demand cuts, bribes of many transactions. Because you know the leader will not obey the law and will allow his relatives and favorites to conduct shady practices, the amounts of bribes demanded by family members will go up and up and involve more and more.” Favoritism is the feeder for corruption.
This killer of the Bahamian spirit walks the halls of the judiciary system, the corridors of healing institutions, the teaching rooms of educational centers, and boardrooms of corporate establishments, etc. Where does it really start? It starts around the dining tables, in the kitchens and living rooms of our Bahamian homes. It has nothing to do with being single, married, widowed, white or black. It has all to do with personal integrity, a much-needed virtue in modern Bahamian family life.
The sad part about the problem of favoritism in our country is that too many participants think it is normal behavior. In fact, many have been taught that respect for a relative or friend is shown by placing them in front of the line or letting them get away with shady business dealings. Words that can paint clearer pictures of the meaning of favoritism are: discrimination, injustice, prejudice, inequality, nepotism, and partiality. Do you get the picture? Mothers and fathers, are you guilty of any one of these? Remember these negative behaviors start in our home.
A mother and father who have a favorite child cause hatred, jealousy, vicious fights, and sometimes life-long enemies between siblings. Many of these parents often become critical or judgmental with evil motives, not only in their family circle but with others they come in contact with each day. A serious side effect of favoritism is that of covering up. Our favorite person can do no wrong. Or “if I wash his hands one day he will wash mine.” We become dishonest. People who practice favoritism cannot be fully honest. They must lie. The problem is they do it so often that the lie now appears as the truth. To these individuals, the truth does not matter, it’s only what they can get out of it for themselves. At the heart of favoritism is the malignant tumor called self-centeredness.
One of the ways this type of behavior is developed is when our children are told to shut up and not say a word when they have witnessed what has really happened. Another way is expecting a doctor, nurse, or bank teller to break the rules and do a favor just because he is a friend. Another serious way this behavior is learned is when children watch and listen as a parent calls a police officer who is a relative to get their brother out of jail and “get him off the hook” in spite of the broken law. These children grow up to believe that who you are is more important than the wrong you did. More power to the parents who let their guilty sons and daughters sleep in prison cells or police lock-ups. These are the parents that are building a healthy nation.
Do we really want to get rid of violence in our country? Then, peace can only come through sacrifice not favoritism. That is, parents willing to tell the truth although it hurts. Also, parents who have the gumption to call the police when a child breaks the law. It is also a politician, minister of the gospel, and their family members, getting the same prison time for wrong doings as the carpenter or road digger living Over-the-Hill. Parents, we must instill in our children’s minds that the law is no respecter of persons.
We must cease this death-bell activity. There should be no “who knows who” when it comes to violence and crime. If an officer is to arrest her brother-in-law who has committed a crime, she must to do so because the law requires it. She must not do him “a favor” by turning her head. We destroy the community and the law-breaking family member, or friend, by letting him slide. Government officials, community leaders, pastors, and youth leaders are all responsible for upholding the law in spite of the relationship to the law-breaker. Too many people boast of having friends in high places as an excuse for doing wrong. Now we have a nation soaked in the putrefying lies of indifference and passivity. Underneath the surface of our refined protocol of our tourism, church, and school environments, there is a malignant tumor that’s about to crack the skin of national peace and expose its ugliness to the world. Unless we have radical surgery now to remove the tumor, we might see an unexpected death of a nation we once loved.
Our nation is starving for a true practice of justice and fair-play, not just in our courts, but in our homes. This type of justice can only start in the hearts of parents. Parents you are destroying your sons and daughters and eventually the nation when you lie and cover-up for them. Let us all stalk the streets of our national lives searching for the silent killer – favoritism. Let’s be open and honest.
• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to [email protected] or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or telephone 242-327-1980.