The world in which we live has dramatically changed since the days of our forefathers. Science and technology have developed at such a rate that today, through the Internet, television and other media, it is hard for people, especially youth, to discern between good and evil, right and wrong, darkness and light. The propaganda we face daily is so powerful, that the very basis of what we consider the foundation of our lives — our family and community — is under a grave and serious threat.

The harvest of life is character and conduct and it is through family and other institutions that these are cultivated.

In 2004, I publicly spoke about our public education system: “Education is the key to nation-building and the progress of the people, especially the youth.

“In the midst of recent anti-social behaviour by youth, it would be wise for us to re-examine our educational system to see where we can strengthen the areas in which we are deficient.

“Behaviour is the product of men’s thinking, so in this regard, a curriculum that has African-Bermudian history and culture will be effective, in that it would establish in youth a sense of self-worth and respect.  

“The youth of today, very much like we adults, do not love ourselves because we do not know ourselves. Education must fill the gap.

“Education must be used to prepare all of us to be self-disciplined and self-determined. The content of the system must be given precedence instead of the development of facilities.

“In this regard, we must ask our-selves, which is more important, a house or a home?”

Our schools are meant to support and complement our family units — the ultimate source of history, culture and discipline — and not to replace them.

True education begins at home. The truly educated person is not the one who has just stuffed infor-mation in their brain.

It is someone who uses the ideas they obtained  to the best advantage of their country and people. It is they who disseminate new ideas in harmony with the cultural, economic and social aspects of their own community for  fruitful results.

This is the educated person Bermuda needs.

More than ever, our youth must be made aware of their kinship to God.

Our youth must be taught that we are created in the image and likeness of God, so are in actual fact divinity clothed in physical form.

In other words, simply put, we are spiritual people.

We must first look to the family unit, then schools and religious institutions to inculcate this truth.

If we do not have God as the centre and glue of our actions, then the result is materialism, selfishness, greed, disrespect and then  a loss of faith and hope.

Show me a youth at risk and I will show you a youth without faith and hope.

Every one of our youths has natural talents.

Parents, this is how you can keep them interested in school and they might even be able to choose a career based on these talents. If not, they will seek a job that does not offer inner satisfaction and will find themselves spectators in society.

A youth’s talents, when harnessed by education and training, will let them fulfill their life’s purpose.

Marc Bean is the PLP candidate for Warwick South Central.