Dear Ric & AP,
As Diane and Olivia prepared for Church, I busied myself catching up on one of my favorite Blogger. I had scanned through the story of Billy Ray Harris (link to previous blog) and something struck me. As a youngster growing up in JA, parents, family, and Community never missed a chance to promote “Good Manners”. The “good morning", "good evening", “say you are sorry”, and "thank you” were all good stuff, though sometimes brutally enforced. Yet we as children never missed an opportunity to abuse the neighborhood animals/pets. Puss and dogs especially, were our primary targets. Dogs were even better when trapped in copulation.
I don`t recall any emphasis on kindness, which should have been extended to all things living. As a kid, I vaguely remember something about the Humane Society of Jamaica, but what it was all about was beyond me and my “bad ass” friends at the time. I wonder now how different it would have been for us children to have been sensitized - taught and made to truly understand the connection between Humanity and Kindness. This, I believe is the bedrock of what it means to love something or someone. Causing pain or hurt via words or deeds would then be automatically checked, corrected, or deleted. Billy Ray Harris' story of honesty sort of brought back a time when things were rough – stealing and begging were unacceptable, but beating up on animals and being overtly wicked towards these creatures was passively accepted. In retrospect, all of our behavior ties in with what it ultimately means to be players on the Human Team. It`s a challenge, but most of us are beginning to “get it”.
The future is most often unpredictable but decent human behavior shouldn`t be. Therefore the time of the year should have little bearing on our civility. Whether secular or religious, our beliefs should never stand in the way of our humanity....
Bless up !!
[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]
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