It has been evolving slowing beneath our social infrastructure for many decades, and although this happens in many other jurisdictions, here in Bermuda with our rather small population negative, hostile and dangerous behaviour by too many is a something that could harm our ability to build a healthy society for the next generation.
The irony is that Bermuda still is a beautiful spot in the Atlantic with many beautiful people. Our very cultural foundation was founded on good, strong family units that existed even during the dark period of divisiveness, which was spawned by the era of institutional social injustice.
It took many black and white Bermudians through several deeply troubling periods to move the island to the higher ground of diversity, which is needed in a changing world.
There is no denying that there has been progress in many areas of community life, largely because of a throbbing international business sector and our tourism industry. Along with that progress, the island now finds itself trying to cope with an undercurrent of antisocial and hostile behaviour, and a new type of mindset where some feel rules no longer matter. This attitude has been prevalent especially in the area of operating vehicles on our public roads.
Despite millions of words over the years on the subject of irresponsible and callous conduct while driving or riding, the island is still plagued by ruthless overtaking without regard for safety, even though many families have been devastated by tragic incidents.
There seems to be a mindset by too many of not complying to rules. The Government, the Opposition and community groups are aware of this dangerous trend, and most fear that not much will change without stronger legislation that sends a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
That violent incident recently at the bus terminal in Hamilton was indeed shocking to most law-abiding Bermudians, but such violent behaviour in that area has occurred several times in recent years.
In fact, a day after the latest incident I was standing near the City Hall entrance when I heard clearly a female using grossly foul language towards another individual. Although this did not escalate, people began moving away out of concern. The point here is that there were many young people present and one can only wonder the impact this had on them. Some youngsters were giggling as though it was fun. Not good.
Bermuda is facing a tricky period where authorities are attempting to kick-start an economy that has not been in the healthiest state, while coping with negative attitudes by some who threaten such efforts. The old saying of reaping what you sow comes to mind when consideration is given to the weakened family structure, where too many young minds are without the golden rules expected in any decent society.
This is really where the problem lies.
No government or community group can replace what should be a sound strong family unit. Trying to reset a mind heading in the wrong direction is no easy task anywhere in the world. With the illegal drug problem deeply entrenched in Bermuda’s underworld, and massive, negative cyberspace distractions, the task ahead is more than challenging.
Despite the challenge, there are too many beautiful people on this island to throw the towel in. The importance of the family unit for teaching great values is the only real way to hopefully create a better Bermuda for the next generation. Saving young minds is the key.