Basseterre, St Kitts; 13 June 2012: Not quite so long ago, people across the world paused, with much moment, to celebrate Mothers’ Day. Much was rightly made of the contribution of mothers, of all descriptions, to the fabric of the human experience. The Jamaican Kittitian (JamKit) Association expressed its greetings and sentiments on that occasion, with emotion deserving of the occasion. With Fathers’ Day now upon us, we similarly wish to pause in saluting the many men who stand in the breach and hold up the beacon for responsible parenting.
The Association expresses unreservedly its solidarity with the millions of people who recognise, with respect, the role played by fathers in the making of a home. We share the belief that for the family to be whole and by extension, for society to be similarly whole, the importance of the responsible, caring, nurturing and disciplining father cannot be overstated. With all of the developments in science, law and sociology that have sought to suggest otherwise, there remains a stubbornly abiding truth: that balance and equality are among the critical attributes that can lead to the development of sustainable family units, which can then redound to sustainable communities.
Of course, the hue and cry that often arises surrounding the role of men and fathers in today’s Caribbean society is substantially well placed. The irresponsible siring of offspring as a token part of masculine bragging rights has, in no small part, been complicit in any number of social problems, ranging from micro-economic dislocation to increasing crime throughout the Caribbean region. Without delving too deeply into the intellectual and statistical perspectives available, it suffices to say that we reiterate the admonition to males everywhere that they take on the role of fatherhood (as opposed to mere fathering) with great sobriety, bearing in mind the seriousness of the task to which they will be called to rise.
Our Association also hastens to recognise those who have, through their lives and works, provided guidance, support and advise for youngsters regardless of any putative connection. By these avenues, they have demonstrated maturity and emotional intelligence that is rightly to be bequeathed to the young. We laud this special calling to care, and anticipate that those who take this approach to fatherhood will benefit from their efforts.
We at JamKit Association trust that this period of acknowledgement will be one of inspiration and encouragement. We affirm the role of positive manhood through this medium, and exhort all fathers to continue or improve their positive impact on the lives of their children (biological or otherwise). May you truly be outstanding role models.