The old cliché that we need to get to the ‘root cause’ of various problems is becoming as painful for me to hear as a root canal itself.  ‘We’ — and I use that word cautiously — are the root cause of our problems.   

We’ve become a great disappointment to our forefathers, who laid the foundation for the way we should conduct ourselves through life despite the personal hardships they themselves endured. If they were to revisit us today, they’d go right back to their resting places in sheer disgust. Our forefathers would be appalled at what we’ve become due to greed and selfishness, anger and hostility, and the general behaviour of those they’ve left behind. I refuse to believe this was their plan for us.  

So what will become of those we are raising with the hope of becoming individuals who move through life with integrity, vision, purpose and spiritual guidance? The examples of failure are all around us. Take for example the teenager who becomes pregnant.  “At least she gave birth to a healthy baby” becomes the casual response because it’s far more challenging than getting to the root cause of why that happened in the first place. Very few see the serious, long term consequences that we will all have to shoulder. 

What about the young person who is consistently disruptive in school and chalks up a criminal record by the age of 21?  The rumblings of, “Oh he’s been a nuisance since he was five” is far easier than dealing with all the things that are troubling this young person, such as his troubled and ineffective parents. 

People lie, steal, cheat, destroy, harm, kill, and berate others because there are some serious, underlying issues. Unless THOSE matters are addressed, we shall progress no further.  

Approaching a situation or a person to deal with the proverbial root causes takes courage and an undying commitment toward a resolution. Yes, sometimes it involves getting into another’s business — but it’s necessary. As a community of people known for all the good qualities that tourists speak of, we have got to do better. We have got to stop being talkers and spectators and become people of action. It won’t be a smooth transition, nor will it be readily welcomed.  But when that transformation happens, we’ll begin to move forward — together — in peace and harmony. 

Shawnette Somner is a mother and educator. Email: