Dear Young Man, Young Woman,
We humbly ask that you take heed of the contents of this letter because it is addressed to you. We know you are fully aware of what is taking place in Saint Lucia, meaning the high level of crime, the economic struggles you and others like yourself are going through, the dangers posed to our country by climate change and other events you have no control over.
This letter’s focus however is on the crime situation in Saint Lucia. Chances are you, or someone you know, have fallen victim to it. We also know that young people like yourself have participated in these crimes which have caused pain and suffering to many families.
How do we know that?
The crime statistics as compiled by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force tell us, unequivocally, that a huge majority of the gun violence and wanton disregard of law and order sweeping the country today are perpetrated by persons within your age group. Forget the police statistics for a moment. The media, both new and traditional, slap us in the face, night after night, day after day, hour after hour with reports of crime committed by young people who are also the ones dying and suffering from those criminal acts.
Are you aware that young people like you are in the majority as inmates at the Bordelais Correctional Facility? Crime committed by persons within your age group (16 – 35 years) is rapidly destroying Saint Lucia’s only hope of progressive development. Yes, persons outside that age group are committing crimes as well, but based on available statistics, a large percentage of crimes are committed by the 16 – 35-year-old age group.
Saint Lucia’s hope for progressive and sustainable development depends on you and other young citizens of this country. You all are the leaders of tomorrow. Think about this: What type of tomorrow will Saint Lucia have if you all continue to kill each other and create enmity one to another?
We are asking you to say no to crime because it is destroying the environment in which you live, preventing you from developing into that beautiful, creative, person you know you can be. We humbly ask that if you know of a friend who is liming with ‘friends’ who are involved in shady dealings or have ‘beef’ with another, to step in and help that friend of yours to extricate himself/herself out of the situation. You will be doing your friend and country a tremendous good. Your intervention may save your friend’s life.
Picture this: What if an army of young people like you decide to say no to crime, to lay down your weapons and participate in the many programmes government has designed specifically for you. You know what would happen? Saint Lucia would move forward in a manner that would grow our standard of living, improve all round conditions in the country and set us apart in our corner of the world. This country would be a much better place to live, work, and enjoy your youthful days and, even more importantly, bring up your own children. And that is what you want, right? Well guess what, you can have all of that by saying no to crime and putting your weapons down and encouraging others to do the same.
Wanting Saint Lucia to be what you want it to be depends entirely on you, hence the reason why you need to start building your character now. How do you build your character? You build it by first understanding that you need help to do that. The first thing you should do in building your character is to seek God’s help. That is step number one, and it is an easy step to take. After deciding that you no longer will participate in a criminal act, no matter how big or small, and you have buried your weapon, sit alone and have that talk with God, reason your situation out with him.
If you believe there is no God, then have that talk with yourself. You will be surprised at how calm and focused you will be after the talk, and, as the dawn, little by little, gives way to full sunlight, so will your new life begin – that is if you are sincere in your determination to say no to crime.
And if you are truly sincere then the character you will build will keep you strong throughout your lifetime. Success will eventually come if you continue in that vein.