|Dr Teelucksingh: Fathers nurture your sons |
By Joan Rampersad Monday, June 19 2017
DR JEROME Teelucksingh, founder of International Men’s Day, yesterday made a passionate appeal to fathers to nurture their sons. He was speaking at a mass held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port of Spain. Teelucksingh spoke about the number of social problems plaguing the nation.
He said, “We see a world with evil and negativity - racism, wars, religious discrimination, gambling, alcoholism, sexual immorality, murder, corruption, rapes and suicide. These are not new evils, they have been with us since Biblical times. These evils have interfered with the proper nurturing of boys, and prevented boys and men from entering the Kingdom of God.” Teelucksingh, a history lecturer at the University of the West Indies, told the congregation about a man waiting in a long line to buy a Lotto ticket or put money on a Play Whe number while holding a crying young son in one arm.
He questioned the type of nurturing that child was getting from his father, but admitted he chose not to intervene and condemn gambling as he did not want to risk being cursed at or humiliated.
He lamented the language and behaviour of some boys and young men in Carnival and chutney fetes and parties.
“I could intervene but would be condemned and ridiculed as being too conservative, old-fashioned and prudish. Or I would be accused of not appreciating the culture of T&T.
“I have failed in my duty to help nurture boys. But even worse is that I have failed in my duty as a Christian to ensure these boys enter the Kingdom of God.” Teelucksingh added, “It is a slow genocide that is happening now and we cannot continue being Christians who remain in our comfort zones. We cannot continue preaching to the converted.
Now is the time for us to increase our outreach activities in our fragmented, hurting and injured society.
“The soil of our precious land is soaked with blood from gruesome murders. Innocent victims cry out for justice, we ignore their cries! Where are the Christians in our society?” Teelucksingh then raised questions such as: “Why was Fr. Harvey a victim of crime?, Where did the nurturing process go wrong? Who were those boys’ teachers and fathers?, Why did they not receive proper nurturing?” He told the congregation it is not too late “to invite them to your church.” Teelucksingh said the nurturing process is hampered when the male is absent from the home. He cited divorces, separation and death as contributing factors to the absence of men in many homes, while some men are absent because they are hospitalised or have become street dwellers, or because either the father or the son is in prison. He said all those factors have resulted in a breakdown in family life.
“There is another side of fatherhood that we seldom hear about or see in the media.
He cited, as examples, “thousands of caring and responsible God-fearing men in cities, neighbourhoods and villages who attempt to resolve disputes, live a life of peace and ensure boys are on the path to the Kingdom of God, fathers who cook dinners for their families, iron clothes, assist children with homework, and fathers with school bags walking their children to school or waiting for their children to board the bus or taxi.
“I’m sure you know fathers who attend PTA meetings and stay with their children during after-school activities as sports or music. Those are the good fathers who are not highlighted. Illustrations of nurturing are important.” He urged parents to talk to their sons.