Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Another Day In Paradise

Image of Rochelle Gonzales

I remember when I was growing up, my parents would always tell me that it is mean to make fun of people especially those who are less fortunate than myself…I’m beginning to wonder if my parents were just part of a handful who brought their children up with this in mind because recent antics have left me baffled.

St. Lucians have built many reputations for themselves, some great and some horrible. Today I’m sounding off about one of those disgusting and horrible reputations…poking fun at the less fortunate.

Whilst we’re known for being a jovial and lively bunch that enjoys spreading a few laughs, there comes a time when morality needs to kick in and we spot and stay away from that glaring line instead of dancing right on over it.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve known many vagrants who have been the butt of jokes and ridicule from people who should really know better who subject them to humiliating measures just so that they could catch their jollies and have a laugh.

This culture was there before I was born and continues to this day. However, the birth of the internet, and especially social media, has just upped the humiliation stake to levels that are out of this world.

What’s the point in laughing at someone’s misfortune when you can humiliate them further by recording them or taking photos of them and posting it online for the world to join in and laugh at?

And hey, whilst we’re at it, share and share alike when you see the footage or photos because the more laughs the better.

I’ve noticed a surge of photos of a young man who is the new kid on the block and he seems to be the hottest craze these days as his photos are plastered everywhere.

I bet you don’t think of the fact that this guy has a name, that he has a family and friends who are all concerned about him and are extremely hurt by the way he’s being treated…including myself, his former classmate. I bet you didn’t know that he was once a “normal” and jovial guy who was the life of the party and was well loved by all those who knew him. I bet you don’t realise that he is mentally ill and needs help rather than what he is currently receiving from everyone.

Yes, he dresses like a woman and does unthinkable acts to get some money to survive and also to feed his drug habit but does that give you people the right to kick him whilst he’s down? How low would you like to see him go?

And people are even saying that he should be killed or that they actually want to kill him because he dresses like a woman…where is the value for life? Why are you people so heartless and cruel and also, so quick to resort to violence for no valid reason at all?

Tell me, when you do that, do you feel bigger? Do you become more aroused with every “like” and “share” that you generate? Has your thirst to feel alive and better than people been quenched? Can you breathe now that people know that you exist? Ahhh likes, likes and more likes…Life is Good! Right?

Sad and pathetic methinks!

You people act like you were hatched or dug up somewhere and watered to life because I cannot understand how human beings can be so heartless to their fellow human beings.

Now to those who think I’m only speaking out because this guy was my friend, you couldn’t be more wrong because I feel that way about EVERY SINGLE PERSON living on the streets. I don’t care what they did in the past…in my opinion, they are suffering enough and paying for their sins enough on the mean streets.

Also, I have been assaulted by a vagrant, but do you think that I want him dead? NO, I want him off the streets where he can’t harm anyone else. I want all these people off the streets where they are safe and also, where they are no danger to the rest of the population. They are still people!

Didn’t your parents teach you what mine did? Did you never listen to the great Phil Collins when he belted out “Oh, Think twice. It’s just another day for you and me in paradise”? If you’ve never heard that song before, then I suggest you run over to YouTube and put the song “Another Day In Paradise” on repeat till it sticks in your head and means something to you!

I always wonder if these people care and how they would feel if it was their child, parent, sibling or heck, them in the place of the people they’re humiliating. Would they smile for the camera? Sometimes I wish the events of the film “Freaky Friday” could become a reality for all those people taking part in this foolishness where they would switch places with the vagrants and would not be able to switch back to their lives until a valuable lesson was duly learnt.

At the end of the day, we are all vulnerable to the same fate and we never know when our luck might change and we end up where they are doing whatever we can to survive.

We are just one tragedy, mistake or mental breakdown away from the streets so whilst you are sitting in your palace and looking down at the people who you think are sub-human, just think, you could easily become the new kid on the block so like the song says, “Think Twice”.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...

 

3 Comments

  1. /
    IGNORANCE !

    I understand your sentiments Rochelle, and would ask you take a more inclusive view of the wickedness practiced by these ignorant Lucians, recalling an old woman, or child slipping on these dangerous sidewalks on a rainy day to the refrain, EEGASS ! followed by amused laughter, even as the child hand is broken.

    When I first began to drive in Castries, I did so without a license until I encountered a problem on the Morne, not an accident, but almost killing a Caucasian resident who reported the incident to the police and I pleaded guilty to driving without a license, paid a fine and proceeded to obtain my driver’s license.

    I say this to introduce the mindset of my driving. No chicken or little animal was safe on these back roads as I ventured into the Lucian communities; it was fun killing roosters and chickens that dared to challenge my driving – how many fouls were ground beneath the wheels of my vehicle.

    Thank Allah I traveled overseas and learned you do not crush animals, fouls, dogs, cats, or people just because you drive a car, and soon learned to stop for the school bus transporting children. From there, I evolved to not stoning dogs, to not throwing hot oil on stray dogs and cats as I had seen so many of my fellow Lucians do. You see Rochelle I had never been taught at home, in the community of Castries, R.C. Boys, S.M. C. and church, to show love and compassion for the Air, Land, and Sea. Today even my wife and children are safe in a non-violent or abusive home.

    I wonder if I had not become enlightened in the U.S.A., would EEE GASSS ! Still be my response to that old woman falling and breaking her hip like the ignorant Christians still do in St. Lucia. Now take a look at this man pounding a defenseless sister and tell me these people are not monsters disguised as humans.

    MAN BEATS WOMAN WITH BABY IN HER ARMS AS PEOPLE PASS BY SAYING NOTHING TO HELP

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=293043794189919&set=vb.100004529021411&type=2&theater

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  2. Nice article. Very much to the point. I strongly commend you on this piece. However, you have simply pointed out one of the many ills that some of us St Lucians who live oversees,
    tried explaining which was misinterpreted as Lucian bashing. However, the joy of living in a friendly society starts with the understanding that we will disagree at time. When we do we should stock to the issues and not make it personal. I did disagree with you on your last article. However, I fully support on this one. That is what is lacking anon us. The reason for the turmoil is our egos. What results in our downfall. In today’ s society, when someone disagrees with another on a simple matter, they seem to take it to a personal level and find ways to constantly disagree with that person. Immature behavior but has been and is still much a main part of society. Politicians are notorious for this childish behavior, they oppose for opposition sake rather than listen and make responsible decisions that would benefit society. Maybe we need to take a closer look as to where some of these behaviors are born and what we need to avoid them. Great article my lady. I applause you for exposing the ills with the hope that our leaders will see this as a major stumbling block that hinders progress. To end I further support your article by saying that we should show more pride, support an encouragement in whatsoever career they choose. For someone has to do it. Be the grungiest job, but someone has to do it. So lend support and make them know that we are proud to have them as a member of our society and even more, a close neighbor. Much love and respect. Great article.

  3. “Today even my wife and children are safe in a non-violent or abusive home.”
    ——————————————————————————————
    I can’t believe SOM has a wife and children.

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