Analysis

Kumars Of Navua Sets Example, Issues Should Be Dealt With On Basis Of Need Not Ethnicity

The 15-year-old boy and his family must be happy that he will not front court for stealing from the home of Ronald and Sherly Kumar while they slept with their two children.
25 Jul 2019 13:40
Kumars Of Navua Sets Example, Issues Should Be Dealt With On Basis Of Need Not Ethnicity
Sherly Kumar standing in their porch where the burglary took place. INSET: The shoes recovered from the boy. Photo: Ronald Kumar

We should learn a number of lessons from the experience of a teenager and a family that forgave him and offered him a second chance.

The 15-year-old boy and his family must be happy that he will not front court for stealing from the home of Ronald and Sherly Kumar while they slept with their two children.

The Kumars feel at peace that they are able to help an iTaukei boy who desperately needs help.

They have risen above a normal feeling of being a victim seeking justice in the law to a higher plain where forgiveness replaces retribution and love overshadows hatred and bitterness.

Although the Kumars were not physically hurt as it happens in some home invasions, it must be made clear that stealing in any form is wrong, morally and according to the law of the land.

The lessons:

Home and Family

From the account we hear the boy has lived a troubled life. Torn between his father and mother who are separated, he drifts and wanders.

He is a victim of a broken family and a failed marriage. There are many children like this boy who have ended on the streets looking for love and purpose in life.

This boy had even attended Ratu Kadavulevu School in Tailevu. It’s one of those schools that children aspire to attend.

For those who make it there, they treasure the opportunity and make use of the privilege of being selected.

But some are like this boy in question who ran away and opted for a life on the streets until rescued by his father and taken back home to Navua. Their problems can be traced back to the home and family.

On the eve of his crime the boy had told his dad he was going to town to meet his mother. Later he burgled the Kumars’ home and stole clothes and shoes.

He had planned to sell them to get some money for the Hibiscus Festival next month, which incidentally is not happening.

This incident, highlights once again, the importance of the home and the family in the lives of our young people.

When the home/family becomes dysfunctional, the impact can be quite tragic. The victims are the children when the parents split and go their separate ways.

There are some children who are strong in character, weather the storm and go on to succeed in life. They use the family breakup as motivation to succeed and never repeat the same mistakes. Others, unfortunately, find it difficult to cope, like this boy.

The lesson is clear: We must strengthen the institution of the family. No work is more important than the work to strengthen the family. In other words the greatest work we can ever do is within the four walls of our home.

Values and principles that have stood the test of time and brought stability, peace and harmony to the family, should be reinforced. Family interests and welfare should supercede other interests, meaning they should always top the priority list.

Parental Responsibility

Parents must set the example. They cannot expect their children to follow what they teach them if they fail to set good example. Studies have revealed that many children emulate their parents.

They also show that parents who spend quality time with their children usually achieve positive results. Their children go on to achieve their goals and become law-abiding and productive citizens.

The adage that everything starts at home is true. Home is the first classroom and nursery.

When the home/family is strong, the community is strong.

Non-Racial Perspective

The Kumars do not see this boy as another iTaukei. They see him as a young Fijian growing up in a world full of trials and challenges.

Once they do that, they are able to look at the real issues facing our young people. They feel inspired by the right spirit to forgive the boy and help him back into school.

Racial profiling is repugnant and counter-productive.

It gives us a warped view of the situation and undermines efforts to bring change to people so that they can better their lives.

The Kumars have lent credence to the belief that we can achieve much more for our nation if we look at issues on the basis of need not ethnicity.

Second Chance

This boy has been given a lifeline to change course in his life. Thanks to the Kumars for giving him a second chance.

The onus is now on him and his family to use this opportunity to start a new chapter.

His offence is among petty crimes, committed by young offenders, that usually end up in court. If no attempt is made to give them a breathing space to change, they could graduate to become criminals committing more serious crimes.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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