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Let's start respecting our women

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Editor,

We live in societies full of people with bad habits. Our bad habits lead to the destruction of the environment, lost revenues and mismanagement in the working place, breaking down of the family units and to the recent topic of abuse of women in our society.

Take a minute and look around you. You should not be surprised how much money has been spent in our surrounding to avoid the circumstances caused by our bad habits. Millions of dollars are spent every year on trash cans, to counter the bad habits of throwing trash anywhere; side walks, to keep the pedestrian from the bad habit of walking into vehicles lane; fences, to keep people with bad habits of entering premises without permission; hospitals, to cure thousands of people with bad habit of smoking, and the list goes on.

The young students of Tonga, bless their young hearts, have been preaching to the choir all along elaborating on the problems of abuse of women. But very little in the form of addressing solutions to the problems. There are volumes written on why we have these bad habits. Very little is written on how to get rid them. The Eastern cultures argues that the habits are cultural in nature. The West on the other hand scientifically explained how genes and the environment contribute to our bad habits.

Unfortunately, sad to say we seem to be very happy in relegating the responsibilities of our bad habits to others. Blame it on the culture. Blame on the rain for that matter. But what can you and me do in the mean time.

All it takes is one of us, yes you, to take the bull by the horns so to speak and start the journey on the road to kick this bad habit of crimes against our women. In a nut shell, as a father, I’ll start treating my wife as an equal and with respect. I’ll demand everyone around me to do the same. As an individual I’ll treat every other women with respect both in words and deeds and I’ll remind others to do the same. As a mother, I’ll teach respect among my kids. As a women I’ll respect myself and avoid appearances, behavior and activities that would attract disrespect towards me and my fellow women beings.

A catholic priest once remarked, give me the first three years of your kid’s life, and nothing will change his path in life. HMHC Mafi ‘o Amerika Samoa wonders: Mom, mothers, ladies and women of the world, you have us boys for at least the first 10 years of our lives, where did we get and why is it that we are still having this terrible habit of disrespect towards you?

There has been much discussion in our village here about drivers speeding on our roads. Higher speed bumps, stiffer fines, and more police surveillance were among the suggested remedies. I am convinced that we can have all the speed bumps, the highest fines and all the police surveillances we want but until theses speedsters kick the habit, the problem will always be there.

Again, all it takes is one of us to start slowing down and keep the speed limit, others will have to follow.

Let’s start respecting our women.

HMHC Mafi ‘o Amerika Samoa

slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com