Let’s make our youth great again!

I was honoured to be invited and to attend the “Uprooting Crime and Violence” National Crime Reduction Symposium today. The keynote speaker – Dr Neals J Chitan, PhD – a Crime Reduction Specialist, introduced us to the twelve psychosocial roots that feed prevalent crimes. Also in the breakout sessions, I was in the company of several esteemed ladies and gentlemen where several fundamental issues were raised and discussed.

Although Dr Chitan hinted that almost all of these psychosocial roots centered around disrespect, I had a nagging feeling that something more fundamental lay hidden in plain sight among and under these roots crying out for identification. Although one would have thought that this disrespect originated from the troubled youth onto themselves and society at large, I have come to realize that this disrespect has been projected onto our youth by our dysfunctional economic and political policies and players of that same society.

Let me explain!!

In an earlier blog article entitled, The socioeconomic and geopolitical determinants of crime in the Federation of St Kitts-Nevis, I highlighted the importance of the mental capital in our youth in the trajectory of their life-capabilities and life-capacity development, as shown below. (Please click on the images to enlarge and study.)



Adapted from: Mental capital and wellbeing: making the most of ourselves in the 21st century

I would like to show how all of our physical, mental and social diseases, inclusive of crime and violence, are literally consequences of the uprooting of our life-flourishing from a life-valued ground based on our ancestral (small-band gatherer-hunter) cooperative sensibilities, to one based on Western culture predicated on competitive detachment from nature and each other. (Please see: The 99 Percent—Development and Socialization Within an Evolutionary Context – Growing Up to Become “A Good and Useful Human Being” by Garcia Narvaez and the figures reproduced below:)



Western Moral Life.png

Adapted from: The 99 Percent—Development and Socialization Within an Evolutionary Context – Growing Up to Become “A Good and Useful Human Being”

Garcia Narvaez goes on to show in her presentation Ethics of Early Life Care how our Western culture sets up a vicious cycle of competitive detachment and how this has created a taboo on tenderness.

Cycle of Competitive Detachement_Main.pngcycle-of-competitive-detachment

Adapted from: Ethics of Early Life Care

This taboo of tenderness coupled with the fact that boys need more care (and not less!) than girls may explain why there is more mental illnesses and crimes among males than females. (Please see: Be Worried About Boys, Especially Baby Boys, and Why Worry About Undercared for Males? Messed up Morals!)

In order to break this vicious cycle of dysfunctionality at all levels, we need to replace it with a virtuous cycle of cooperative companionship.


Adapted from: Ethics of Early Life Care

How our mental capital and life trajectory may be compromised and result in suboptimal antisocial behaviour is illustrated below:

Every animal has a nest, humans too!.png

What happens whe nthe next is degraded?.png


Clipped from: Saturday Keynote Darcia Narvaez

Inheritances That Influences How a Human Develops.png


Adapted from: Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom


Clipped from: Saturday Keynote Darcia Narvaez

So, with regards to the psychosocial roots of crime and violence, the fundamental determinant can be placed at the feet of our dysfunctional self-maximising competitive detached unethical culture. Moreover, the lack of political will to deal with the root cause of this disrespect is the mother of all dysfunctionalities that only serves to add more insult to more injury of our youth!!

If we fail to all come together, from the greatest to the least among us to break the vicious cycle of competitive detachment and regain our heritage and help reinforce the virtuous cycle of cooperative companionship, we would have misdiagnosed the cause of this disrespect, miseducated our people, and would have failed miserably in our efforts to rehabilitate our communities and societies in the right direction.

It is time now to make our youth great again by optimising their physical, mental and social development. We have a good grounding and understanding of the fundamentals of optimal youth rearing and caring and we know of the toxic stressful environments that can impede their development. What is left to discern is if there is enough heart and grit to find the political will to implement the necessary policies so as to make it so!


Please find below short relevant videos which throw light and reflect and diffract this deeper understanding of how to break the life-disabling detachment cycles, why we need a new life-enabling narrative to guide and give direction and new meaning to it all, and how and why the adverse childhood experiences, which are manifestations of these detachments, are entangled in all of our challenging physical, mental and social dis-eases.

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