The social and natural environments into which people are born are determinants of potentials and of realizations of talents.
While the natural environment is the major factor effecting health and livelihood, if the social environment is non nurtured, then, suffering culminating in premature death awaits an organism. In non nurturing circumstances, organisms, including humans - are denied the basic opportunities and the mechanisms to ever realizing full potential of life.
Stephen Goodridge, 50, died in the night of May 25, 2016, on the Caribbean island of Barbados. Flags will not be lowered to half-mast on the tropical isle in respect of his life and his passing, nor will there be any state-funeral or any major mourning over his untimely death.
In announcing his death on her Facebook Page, his sister Ruth Goodridge-Reeves, declared: "Lost the last of my brothers last night RIP bro." Stephen Goodridge was my cousin, the fourth son of seven children born to my late aunt, Carnetta.
Stephen Goodridge was born into a bad social environment - a bad social environment that failed to protect children in the late 1960s and the early 1970s in the Caribbean. I witnessed this environment firsthand. I rejected it. I departed it. But Stephen Goodridge and many others were not that fortunate and I was unable to help them.
Stephen Goodridge could have been something and someone of importance had he been allowed to capitalize on an educational path that was presented to him. However, the social environment that swirled around him, facilitated his dropping out from one of the best Secondary Schools on the island, only to go to work in a sugarcane field in order to supply more cash to his family. Stephen's potentials ended in a sugarcane field in the parish of St. Thomas, on the island of Barbados, and it would appear that nobody gave a damn - as if it was okay and totally accepted as a necessity. I forcefully reject any such reasoning.
Humanity failed Stephen Goodridge when his governmental system allowed his guardians to withdraw him from his education to work instead in a sugarcane field. I too failed Stephen Goodridge because I came to the United States(US) on a self-imposed exile from that said Barbadian governance and I did not return to change that said government.
Yet, in honor of one of the of the few cousins I really liked, I offer My Blog today in memory of Stephen Goodridge...may God grant him eternal mercy and bestow upon him all the attributes he was denied in this life. Amen!