A native wash woman at Bog Walk, Jamaica, 1899

It is an increasingly difficult endeavor to talk about honesty, integrity, service, honor, and character when people are focused on self and survival.
In this age of “me“, in which wrong is celebrated and right berated, breaking through the noise becomes inherently more difficult.
How do we build a society on graft, corruption, dishonesty, and theft?
How do we turn around a nation’s psyche to a place of majority consensus that honesty integrity and service are elements of virtue and that acts of corruption are degenerative vices?
The breakdown in our social order and the resultant bloodshed and mayhem are stark reminders of this degeneration.

Country life

In this the technological age putting a cop on every corner or better yet on every doorstep guarantees nothing. Crimes are being committed with the click of a mouse, from lotto -scamming, to sex trafficking, from gun sales to underage internet porn and everything in between.
A long list of crimes is being committed without the practitioners showing themselves.
When the nation on a whole celebrates the release from prison of convicted felons and those whose jobs it is to put them away are treated as pariahs who do we expect the youngsters to emulate?
When the people who put their lives in danger to remove the bad guys from the streets are treated worse than the bad guys why are we aghast that many of them choose to become the bad guys, after all, we are all human beings?

The way we were

How do we achieve that better country where peace and tranquility is the norm?
How do we create a society where citizens can go about the business of their lives and their children can grow up to be all they can be?
The glory of justice and the majesty of law are created not just by the Constitution – nor by the courts – nor by the officers of the law – nor by the lawyers – but by the men and women who constitute our society – who are the protectors of the law as they are themselves protected by the law“. [Robert Kennedy]
In a nation that is becoming increasingly corrupt, where we cannot even agree on truth, where wrong is lauded and doing right is ridiculed where do we begin the turnaround?
It seems to be that the public bodies which are supposed to be setting examples for the nation to follow are themselves cesspools of lies, misinformation, corruption, and graft.
Government agencies are individual fiefdoms of political resistance to new administrations, essentially nullifying the will of voters. Entrenched technocrats and career bureaucrats lie, cheat and distort facts all toward the fulfillment of their own agendas.

There is an inherent tragedy in all of this sorry mix which makes remedying our society that much more difficult.
It is that the voices which speak the truth, the ones who know what we need to do to stop the madness has been silenced.
Some have been silenced by death others are too afraid of being bullied or even killed, so they remain silent. Even as the minority tells them that walking over the cliff is good for them.
Too deeply entrenched are the tentacles of corruption, and dishonesty that the mere mention of those vices attracts an immediate backlash from the beneficiaries.

We know we have a problem when as a society we seek to profit from the demise of our fellow man rather than seek ways to stop the wanton destruction.
We have become so desperate for material trappings and the instant gratification derived from ‘things,” we have become disinterested participants in our collective demise.