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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


kids playingPhoto by Diego Cupolo

There are times on the weekends, when I just lounge lazily on the bed with my nephews and just abandon all my daily concerns, and just play.Or I’ll sit and just watch them play, pretending they’re superheros or shooting each other with stick guns.

It never fails to leave me with a sense of wonder, of pure joy, of a return to innocence and a simpler time. As grown ups, we’ve lost this childlike sense of life. And that’s actually a sad thing. As grown ups here in the nature isle, we’ve lost this childlike sense of life. And that’s actually a sad thing.

Being more childlike is not just about happiness and innocence, it helps us to be more creative, more imaginative, more innovative and open to worlds of possibilities. These are some of the qualities we need instilled in many of our Dominican leaders today.

We could learn a lot from children. Sure, they have qualities we might not want, but in my eyes, they are already perfect. We don’t need to mold them into people, nor shouldn’t we abandon our responsibilities as parents, but we can learn a lot from children and be more like them in some ways.

How to be more childlike

We must first acknowledge that no change is immediate, that any change worth keeping takes time. Start by deciding to ditch caution and to give this a try. Start by identifying the qualities of children you’d like to emulate: curiosity, play, living in the moment, abandoning worries, imagination, creativity, pure joy.

Q:Could it be that going back to innocent child like perception could once again make our leaders intelligent, honest and solution focused human beings instead of mindless fearful lemmings?

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What do you call it when an adult snatches a slender 10-year-old boy off his feet, slams the boy repeatedly onto a concrete pavement then punches the boy’s mouth knocking out teeth and leaving other embedded in the boy gums. It is child abuse, pain and simple.

Can you imaging this happening to your 10-your-old child? This was the heinous form of torture is what a man reportedly inflicted on somone else’s child in the heart or Roseau recently.

There is nothing this 10-year-old could have done or said could in any way justify such a sadistic beating at the hands of a full-grown adult. This particular incident might be beyond the pale, but the stunning reality is there are a number of incidents of uncalled-for brutality and abuse against children every day in our society go unreported.

What is especially striking about this incident is that it occurred in broad daylight around lunchtime in one of the most densely populated streets in Roseau (Dominica). Many onlookers just stood there instead of immediately rushing to stop the brutality.

In general, Dominican society seems to be tolerant to physical punishment to children. Many adult in Dominica, and indeed in some other parts of the Caribbean, especially parent who support the use of the proverbial ‘rod’ against wayward children. They see nothing wrong with inflicting physical and psychological violence to discipline children, when they get out of hand. I can openly confession that my mom too believed in the proverbial rod but there’s point where disciplining a child turns to abuse.
And it takes just a single act of physical or psychological violence to turn a child against parents, against adults, or society in general, with far-reaching negative consequences. Sometimes we wonder why our children behave the way they do.

If we continue to have this carelessness forwards all forms of child abuse will give sadists and perverts leeway to do much harm to our children. We in Dominica must strive to live up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by investigating all cases of child abuse quickly and thoroughly, and by ensuring that all perpetrators feel the full hand f the law, otherwise I’m afraid that soon people might take the law into their own hands.

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