'Swap cell phone for community service' - Custos of Portland wants spirit of citizens to be revitalised
The Custos of Portland, Lincoln Thaxter, is urging parents to "wean their children from the cell phone, even for a few minutes, to help someone in need."
The call was made as he addressed the awards function of the Buff Bay River Valley Educational Foundation at the Jamaica Bible Church in Rose Hill, Portland, earlier this month.
It was part of the second of three steps he recommended be taken "if we are going to recapture our communities from the clutches of lawlessness".
Reflecting on the strong spirit of caring and service that existed in the Rio Grande valley community when he was a child, the custos assessed that "the citizens of many of our rural communities have become disconnected," and that this "provides fertile ground for the growth and germination of criminality in our living space."
He questioned whether rural folks now lived in "settlements" rather than "communities" with shared interests, purposes, and values as defining characteristics and suggested that "if we want to develop helpful, caring communities, we must develop helpful, caring adults and children."
"The community must meet at some forum and outline a list of values that will be agreed on by the majority of community members with a view to passing them on in a structured way through each other and through their children," he advised.
The second step identified by the custos for the reshaping of the society was for people to show "respect for each other and God."
" If you are in a line, persons will literally push you out of the way to get service before you ... Respect for the elderly is almost dead," he told his audience.
Thaxter also recommended that persons be taught the value of patience.
"They should take pictures and write a report of the various changes in the tree until it bears fruit."
"Watching things grow can teach us that everything needs time and everything worth having takes time. If this lesson is learnt, then perhaps we wouldn't have these child scammers become millionaires overnight not caring that they have fleeced some unfortunate person of their life's saving," he added.