The recent drive-by shooting in Bath Estate which has resulted in a fatality, brings to the fore the need for urgent discourse among clergy and civic leaders from the perspective of spiritual and social consciousness. The matter at hand is greater than enhanced community policing, gun control or even the heightened crime activity on the island. It speaks to the mindset of our young men. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7).
Women are leading in almost every sector of Dominican society – the medical field, legal fraternity, business enterprise etc., which speaks to the fact that in some way and for whatever the reasons, men have relegated their roles in the home and in the general community by extension. Hence, the question becomes, “Why”?
I am of the opinion that we – the leaders of the land – need to engage our males, especially our young men, providing them a safe place where they can vent their frustrations, be counseled and mentored and helped on the path to becoming productive citizens. There has to be an on-going conversation, reiterating that given the right structure and support, our young males have the potential to be all that our heavenly Father destined them to be.
Cooperation and partnerships among government, church ministries and spiritual authorities, civil society organizations, the family, the business sector, and private citizens are required given the wide-ranging nature of the causes of crime and the skills / responsibilities required to address them. This is not only an issue for the government.
It involves all of us! Young men, please hear me: there is a better path! You do not have to resort to illegal activity in order to make a name for yourself or even to survive.
There are universal principles which are at work around us every day – they do not change, with the law of seedtime and harvest being one of them (we will reap what we sow). Your actions today determine what your life becomes.
I am committed to helping you and I know that there are others who are too. Let us take this tragedy as a signal to evaluate our lives and make the necessary adjustments. I am here for you!
Joshua Francis, Esq.
On behalf of Garden of Grace Ministries