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Today, while heading to the bank I walked passed the Offences Court and I was surprise to see the number of youths facing charges. I immediately felt sick to my stomach as one after the other they stood up to be remanded for theft, given bail for drugs, domestic violence, and gun possession – just to name a few. As we say in Dominica, some of these young people don’t know their head from their rear and they’re already pleading guilty to some shocking crimes.

It appears there are too many angry youths out there who are under the impression that there is only one way to resolve conflicts- violence! Too make matters worse, there was several middle aged men (I’m talking about full-grown men) answering to charges. We’re always quick to cry down the youth, but the older ones are too busy being prefect role models for them to follow. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of people out there that youths can look up too.

Looking on, I saw several mothers crying for their sons and I felt some sympathy for them. As I stand there, I could help noticing the absence of these children fathers – which suggests the minimal role these fathers’ play in the life of these children if any. I can’t help wondering about the level of discipline taught in these homes and if warning signs were brush aside because the parent/s could not recognize or simply cast a blinded eye – then we’re truly ‘reaping what we sow’ and it’s quite frightening.

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Photo By:Tatianasapateiro

This article was published in Chronicle Newspaper. Fri, 13 Jun 2008.

No one should underestimate how important it is to observe Fathers’ Day and focus our thoughts on the critical role fathers play in our society as they influence our children’s lives for the better or worse.

A father’s role in the upbringing of children goes way beyond providing the basis of food and shelter. The presence or absence of a father in a child’s home; how a father relates to child’s mother; how a father relates to a child and how a father interacts with other in society all have an enormous influence on the development of a child’s personality, outlook on life, and behavior.

Father’s Day is a day to acknowledge the positive influence of fathers on children, as individuals and collectively. But it is also a day to reflect on the shortcomings of many fathers in society and seek remedies for their negative influence on many children. Unfortunately, many children today do not have a father in the home, yet their need for the influence of a positive male role model remains as strong as ever.

Fathers’ Day reminds us to do everything in our power to celebrate and cultivate caring fathers who make positive, lasting differences in their children’s lives, form which the entire society benefits. Similarly, we must leave no stone unturned to reduce the numbers of fathers who abdicate their child-raising roles, or who are negligent, or abusive —those who create the dysfunctional families that negatively impact our society.

The future of any nation is in the hands of its children, and family stability — or the lack of it — is an important determinant of the children’s welfare. The presence and contribution of fathers in vital to family stability, which determines the welfare of the children who hold the future of the nation in their hands. Therefore, we should invest heavily in policies and programmes that preserve and strengthen the role of fathers.

Authorities worldwide recognize the disproportionate contribution of absent and bad fathers to broken, dysfunctional families and pervasive negative effects such families have on the educational prospects of their children. Many nations are in danger of reaching the tipping point when no matter how much they invest in education and despite the best efforts of schools and teachers; they will not be able to overcome the negative impact of broken and dysfunctional families.

On Fathers’ Day, it is essential to take stock of the growing phenomenon of absent and bad fathers and its deleterious effects on the family structure and the educational achievement family structure or community would often step in and help out children with absent or irresponsible fathers. Nowadays there seems to be general shortage of these positive male role models in society.

Of course, if society continues to produce more and more males who lack the qualities to become good fathers and positive role models, men in general will eventually lose their status. Sustained exposure to an increasing number of males with loose family ties over many years will change the image of the typical man in Dominican society. Instead of being that of an honest, hardworking, caring father who heads a decent productive family, the image of typical adult dominical will degenerate into something unrecognizable.

This Fathers’ Day, as we celebrate the positive, productive, protective dads our society has produced, let us resolve to redouble our efforts to ensure that their gifts are passed on to successive generations. Let us make sure that the wholesome qualities of our best fathers are imparted to all out sons, so that images of the typical father remains as powerful and positive as ever.

Here is to all Fathers’ – HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY

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There are lots of people who enjoy keeping busy and even holding down jobs all the way into their old age years. In a recent post I asked the question “When Last Have You Thought About Your Retirement Income?“, I discovered that a large number of people are considering skipping out on retirement altogether and prefer staying employed for a long as they are physically able. My boss is a perfect example – for the past sevens years she’s been planning on retiring.

Yet around Caribbean there also tons of people who just don’t have a choice but to keep on working beyond the age of 60 which is the average age for retirement, simply because they haven’t saved enough for their retirement or didn’t start saving early enough.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could retire on our own terms to pursue the things we’d like do. Taking on a job in our senior years is something that should be voluntary and not a requirement. And though the idea of retirement may be a big change for many people – many prefer to continue working instead of relaxing – retirement is still a goal that everyone one of us should aspire to attain, just so we get to control whatever time we’ve remaining in this world.

For all those who are not workaholics like me 🙂 and who would like to retire on time, here are some great tips I came across over at TheDigeratiLife.com – a blog which writes about money, personal finance, geeks and cyberspace in the silicon valley.

Start investing early.

This is by far the most important recommendation made to anyone who would like to retire on time. It’s one of the most ubiquitous tips I’ve read about investing, and for good reason: the earlier you start investing, the longer the magical power of compounding can work on your funds, thereby ensuring you a healthy retirement.

Invest with any amount you can afford.

A lot of people make the excuse that they don’t save and invest because they just CAN’T. I know someone who says he just cannot afford opening a retirement account because all of his income goes to supporting his family. Yet he’s a heavy smoker and drives a fairly expensive car that requires some maintenance. With some adjustments and heartfelt effort, he could very well be on his way to building a decent retirement nest egg. Freeing up even just a $100 a month to put in an investment account is really all that it takes to build a simple, diversified investment portfolio.

Avoid procrastination and letting life “take over”.

Let’s face it, thinking about retirement and more generally — financial management — may not be the most exciting thing in the world. We’re faced with distractions on a daily basis and we’re living busy, hectic lives. If you’re like me, you’re constantly wondering where all your time has gone, by the end of the day. So its way too easy and tempting to have our financial matters take a backseat to everything else; but by going along this path, we may eventually find ourselves in our middle age with meager savings. Being more proactive about our finances and taking a more serious look at our long term financial goals should help us avoid this plight.

——- Personal Note ——–
Forget how hard the economy is presently, the early you apply these tips together if whatever ideas you’ve – the better chance you’ll have not to work in your retirement years. Though I believe a lot of people will agree with me – that it will be fun to keep working all the way into grey years. Once you do it on your own terms.

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