Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Crime is driven by our belief system

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2020 | 12:10 AM


Every well-thinking Jamaican is pained by the gruesome murders that continue unabated in our country. We need to come to terms with the fact that our belief system determines our actions. Our beliefs are expressed in our everyday expressions and popular sayings.

Let us examine TWO of these.

“Tief from tief, God laugh.” This means stealing from a thief is humoured by God. In other words, there is nothing wrong with stealing from people who steal from us. Hence, the stealing of electricity and water is justified. The providers of these commodities are perceived as thieves. Our Internet service providers are perceived in the same manner; hence, the stealing of fuel and materials from cell sites is also justified. How do we deal with this situation without addressing the belief that is the basis of such unacceptable actions?

“Yuh kyaan ketch Quaqu, yuh ketch im shut.” This says, if you cannot catch the person who has offended you, you catch something or someone that belongs to him. This belief allows people to justify wreaking havoc on anything or anyone close to people that they seek to revenge.

Those attacking family members and burning down houses, and sometimes even killing animals, get some level of satisfaction from doing so. The recent killings of a grandmother and two girls is an example of this belief in action. How do we deal with these dastardly acts without addressing the belief that drives such actions?

In my view, crime is not only a matter for the Ministry of National Security to deal with. Every ministry of government needs to examine ways in which they can help to prevent crime.

Changing our belief system requires conscious effort. Are we willing to change? We are too comfortable with the language of violence and unethical practices.

We will see a reduction in crime when we change our beliefs as expressed in our popular phrases.