Friday, March 21, 2008

Leadership & Wealth Choices

Editor’s Note: The following is authored by a previous child-care giver in BC during the years 1982 –87: primarily, youth 12 –19; and, conflict-with-the-law issues; and, also as a proctor for child-care workers.

The challenge, today, is to create some positive spin out of a needless and violent youth death as caused by a relative child – a 13-year old.

There is no justice, here, in placing blame. Rather, what is necessary, is to hone down onto the basic issues of “How shall we respect our children?”

Certainly, most of us will protest that we cannot dedicate more time to the affairs of our children. But, then, the question begs: “What is too much?”

How do we establish a positive legacy to a needless death ? And, how do we avoid violence begetting further violence ?

Freedom of choice versus gang violence - a thug's tool for controlling the free will of others - this is what has robbed Vincent Benjamin Thorne of life.

This death is an adult's tool against life.

A child should not be forced to choose like this.

And, we all share in this loss as contributors by way of acquiescence. The blade of a knife has denied him this freedom. And, the unfortunate and ignorant decision-making of the other young man who stabbed Vincent now means that there will be two lives lost to teen crime. It will be difficult to restrain retribution - an eye for an eye.

But, there are many in the community who are now struggling to quell this new anger. To maintain calm will be very hard. And, the only likely way that there will not be further violence is for the families and friends of both the assailant and the victim to gather and generate a focus toward some positive spin upon this sad event.

By all accounts, Vincent Benjamin Thorne was making the effort to establish a positive life.

We are told that he had rejected gang association. It was not his choice. His goals were education and sports. We do not know publicly about the lifestyle of the young man who has chosen violence and crime as his expression. We do not know how to regain siem'stum : respect. In the evening of March 14th, 2008, 17-year old Vincent Benjamin Thorne of Cowichan Tribes Coast Salish Nation lost his life to the blade of a knife wielded by another 13-year old youth of Cowichan Tribes. Absolutely sad for two families.

The loss of two sons: one to the crime; and, one to the justice system that will unfold around this death.The Peace & Harmony Trust [Perpetual Bursary Fund] was established in 2006 through a Cowichan Tribes community desire to support the grieving families who had lost two children in a house fire. The families of 4-year old Troy Joe and 9-year old cousin Marrissa Thomas had agreed to the trust fund being established to support aboriginal youth who were seeking advanced education.

And, now this Trust Fund is struggling to find some way of renewing peace, trust and friendship: Gus Wen Tah.Perhaps, the wisdom of Gandhi will help at this time.During Mahatma Gandhi’s hunger strike as a vehicle for India's Independence struggles from Great Britain, he was approached a Hindu man who was desperate to find peace with himself after having violently killed a Sikh child during the street clashes between these two major religions. This was gang violence - the chaos of overwhelming anger by mobs of opposing forces.Gandhi advised this Hindu man that he must now go out and find an orphaned Sikh child and adopt him into his home; and, to raise him as a Sikh.Perhaps, this example of humanity can serve us well at this time as we seek out some form of peaceful co-existence for families within Cowichan Tribes who, likewise, live constantly with a legacy from colonialism.Colonialism is not only the actions of one state or religion against another.More fundamentally, colonialism is the example of loss of respect for the rights of others within the dynamics of humanity and social order.

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked by the birth date of Gandhi. Perhaps the birth dates of young Vincent Benjamin Thorne and the other young man who is alleged to have killed him could be a bi-annual event of peace: a peace amongst youth; when street crime and gang violence takes a holiday.
Perhaps, we need to establish an independent commercial vehicle for youth; through which they might forge new economic policies for humankind,

Certainly, as adults, we have yet to achieve that goal of global peace. It seems to be beyond our individual and combined efforts. There are only a total of 14 years in the combined history of mankind where there has not been some major warfare or conflict being waged some place on Earth.

As adults, we just don’t seem to get it – that peace is achievable and worthwhile to preserve.

So, why not provide youth with some commercial vehicle, through which they might devise an economic impetus toward peace on earth ?

The corporate entity would be a for-profit humanitarian foundation: say that it could be named ‘Youth Wealth Options”. And, that this business corporate entity would be global in nature; and, its primary mission statement would be to create commerce and trade through a focus on sustainability and environmental integrity.

As adults, we certainly talk a lot about these worthy endeavors – but, we are not, yet, prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to establish a general consensus and commitment to achieve these protocols – even, with the overwhelming evident and advocacies of our UN science communities.

Hence, what be the danger in giving our children a go at it ? After all, they will inherit this earth.

Therefore, the challenge offered by this brief introduction is to establish – in short order – a corporate body of hope by witnessing the tragedy of lost youth in a society of our creation; where violence is sport, recreation and education.

Thus, it is now so ordered, by virtue of our mutual guilt: There shall be a global common law trust established named: for its origination purposes : Youth Wealth Options.

Youth Wealth Options shall be initially chaperoned by adults in order to sponsor the infusion of energy and commitment to structure the corporate entity. But, the commitment shall be for youth to take 100% charge at a Founding Convention before 2012.

Your opinions and comments are invited. Please, offer them to us with a positive approach to providing some higher degree of hope for our youth. We are leaving them with a heavy legacy. It is important to balance out this burden with some significant fabric of optimism.

Thank you. The children are worthy of your input.

Comments may be addressed to: : attention Program Coordinator’s Office.

Letters may be addressed to: Peace & Harmony Trust, Program Coordinator’s Office, 5795 Church Road, Duncan, British Columbia, Canada V9L 5M3

Please, note: This is not a religious-based program; rather, it is the initiative of many adults who love their children; and, wish to be involved in providing hope and creative structure to their future.