Where is the watchman?

Dear Editor,

The recent proliferation of crime committed by adolescents is taking a toll on society. Both young women and young men who look to crime as a way of life are being charged with serious offenses. Youths barely in their teens are committing robberies, murders and rapes, causing mayhem in our communities The sound of gun shots echo day and night.

Crime and the fear of crime have a crippling effect on the country. But the big question goes unanswered. Were we blindsided by this rapid increase in youthful criminal activities or were there warning signs that we failed to heed?

The majority of juvenile delinquents did not wake up one day and decide to commit a criminal offense. No they did not. But just like any habit, crime begins with just the first act and if unfettered it will grow until it’s fertile. Research has found over the years that there are many factors that increase the chances of young people turning to crime. And in most cases the reasons are right in front of our noses.

Unfortunately we the adults, the gatekeepers who are supposed to be the watchmen on the wall for our children, have fallen asleep. As kids growing up in East Street, every parent was our parent and could discipline us whenever we got out of line without fear of being attacked by our birth parent. They were the watchmen on the wall and they instilled that in us. But somewhere along the way we were sidetracked, got lost in the melee and fell prey to the glitter, forgetting what the old people taught us. Now we are paying for it. We can come up with a million and two reasons, excuses, why our children are faced with the many challenges today. And we can say whatever we want. We are just not good watchmen and have fallen asleep at the gate. Their blood will be on our hands – both victim and perpetrator.

These are our children. They are our responsibility, not the teacher, pastor or government (even though we need their help). Youth 15 to 16 years of age with great potential are standing alone without a parent or guardian before the magistrate charged with serious crimes. These are our children. They’re not just the kid up the road. We are all from the same village. Our children are their friends. Does it not matter that they might die in the street or spend the rest of their lives in some dungeon? Marvin Gaye had this to say: “When I look at the world it fills me with sorrow. Little children today are really gonna suffer tomorrow.”

He added:

“But let’s live everybody

Live life for the children

Let’s save the children.”

Let us become the watchman on the wall for our children.

“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more,” Jeremiah 31:15.

Heavenly Father, I humbly ask that you keep our children safe in this increasingly unsafe world. Protect them from danger, harm and the viles of satan in Jesus name I pray.

– Anthony Pratt

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