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18 February 2013

Grown Up Belizeans

I have a friend. She is a couple of years younger then myself, but not many. She is a good girl. Whenever I see her in public, her parents are not that far.  In fact, I have noticed that whenever they are out and about she is in her parents immediate company. I have never detached any feelings of resentment because I think she really enjoys her parents company. She is a real good girl.

The other day she graduated with her Bachelors of something. I asked her what her next move will be... she claims that she wants to go away to do her Master's in something but she will not because that would be she has to leave the country, and she does not want to go too far from home.

This sounds like a classic case of growing pains among the up and coming young people in Belize. It seems that youths have just as much problems cutting the apron strings as parents have a hard time letting their children go. I wonder about this and I asked a few people about their take. Here are two typical responses:

1. The world is a dangerous place and it is not save for young people to go out on their own.

This response scares me. I am not so scare of vandalism and such. It seems to me that people have let fear box them in, force them to sell themselves short. I know that the reality of murder, rape, and theft is real. I know that bad things can happen to good people, but we cannot let fear of what would happen steal our future.

It hurts me to see young adults continue to act like children. Sure I still lived at home until I got married, but I got a job, lived in my own place part time, went to school, and I traveled whenever I could. The reasons why I never left home were concert, I didn't have the resources to go away, and when I did, my Mom got sick. Then when things were finally set up for me to go, I fell in love with a boy from across the river. So for me, settling close to my mama's house was a choice. I was not afraid of the world.

2. It is the parents duty to make sure that their children behave.

Yes I agree, this is a duty of parents, when their children are minors. In Belize the laws state that a person is a minor until they are 18 years old. After that they are grown up.  Being grown up means that they should take care of themselves. They need to stand on their own feet. Answer to God for themselves.

I think is is very typical for mothers in this neck of the woods to feel like they have to keep mothering even after their children are grown. I realize that it is difficult for economic reasons for a young adult to completely move out of the house and set up their own house keeping. And I realize that while living with parents for economic reasons entails living under certain house rules (I mean really, how would life be if adult child didn't help out even though they lived there???). I am concern about the level of accountability that adult children who still live at home have to subject themselves. As one person said it "parents should not have to give their adult children license to do what they are already doing".

Considering this, I see how the social treads effects society at large. It is hard for Belizeans to be risk takers and to be responsible for their own actions.  I see this when people ask the government to pay their tuition to university, ask the ministers of Government to pay for their children's school books, their land, their houses. Just how are adult children are never taught to grow up and fend for ourselves, the general population is never taught that they can take care of themselves without government assistance.

I don't like to talk politics. I avoid it at all cost. But I firmly believe that people should live their lives with as little influence from the government as possible. Does your neighborhood need a speed bump? Partition for it. Raise funds for it. Ask someone from your town board if that spot is going to be used for something in the near future (is a parking lot going to be build adjacent to it?) then build your speed bump. You think you are paying too much for tuition? Change schools, attend all the cheaper classes, get some scholarships from a third party, get a part time job.... any thing. Even petition the school to layer their fees and run more efficiently.

I personally believe that if we stop asking the government to do things for us, we can demand more from them. Be accountable yes. Support your local government yes. Make sure they use their position to represent you values and your voice yes. But don't expect them to take care of you. No Minister of government should give you a Christmas basket or pay for your house. Do things for yourself

1 comment:

Leonardo Melendez said...

Grow some balls. Well said.