How can we fix the big mess we’re in?

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

How can we fix the big mess we’re in?
By Maramis
Many people realize this country is in a big mess (we’ll just be
talking about this country for now, even as we may believe the whole
world may be considered to also be in a big mess as well). But while
we may all have our own ideas as to what caused it, first we may have
to figure out what it is that is wrong with it (it being the problem
we need to identify before we can attempt to solve it.)
First, we may have to make some assumptions. Some will go along with
the assumptions and some will immediately try to denounce those
assumptions by playing the apologists. The good news is that while
this is still a (more or less) free country, we have the right to have
different opinions, even about how our president is “running” our
country. If we didn’t have that freedom, why would we even have
elections since the person planning to run this country would just
take over as a dictator?
But back to our needing to make assumptions. We all feel that our
country has taken a turn for the worst. If you feel our country is in
a better shape now than it’s been for many years (you may even decide
how long that would be), raise your hand. (Pause…) I don’t see any
hands raised! That may be because it’s really hard to see “better”
after what we’ve just been through (as a country) and as a people: a
couple of years of putting up with home lockdowns, verbal forcing of
the COVID vaccines (some even being fired if they were not vaxxed),
mask-wearing, jobs and businesses being closed down — some to never
start up again—, the closure of restaurants, sports areas or arenas,
churches, and much more, isolating people from each other, to say
nothing of causing isolation-depression from not being able to mingle
and carry on with their normal lives.
And that’s just the first assumption. Isn’t that bad enough? Yet the
assumptions go on.
And while it’s bad enough that many adults—who more or less knew what
was going on — were becoming so depressed that it led them to suicide,
causing yet more depression for their friends and families who were
left behind, it was getting to them too, as they were finding it
difficult if not impossible to pay their rent or their mortgages (or
other bills) no matter what “help” they were ostensibly being offered
by their state or federal government.
As we found out — often too late to make a difference — that “help”
was never forthcoming to many and they suffered the hardships of even
not being able to provide food for their tables. Is it any wonder why
homelessness became more noticeable? and along with the adults being
homeless, their children were now homeless too.
Then, as if the health problem, the lack of a secure home or living
space problem, the lack of work and/or income problem, and the lack of
food problem were not enough, we not only continued to have a crime
problem, which continued to flourish as those individuals so inclined
to steal when and what they could from those who already were losing
everything were taking advantage of the “new criminal justice” system
that seemed to allow just about any kind of crime without stopping it,
arresting the perpetrators, bringing them to trial and justice, and
keeping them away from what we might have called “polite society” (or
today would simply be called the victims in society), so they would
not be victimized over and over again (since when the perpetrators are
free to remain on the street, they are also free to continue their
reign of crime and violence since police are handicapped by their own
restrictions as well as by the desire of certain communities wishing
to defund and even minimize what they are “allowed” to do.)
So those are the assumptions so far; but society at large seems to
forget about the “little” disturbances with our country that are
really so big I can’t imagine how they can be ignored, forgotten, or
even poo-poohed as though they are not to be considered at all. They
concern our children.
It used to be that adults who had deep and understandable reasons to
want to opt out of life were the ones who would choose suicide. It was
still very sad, but often understandable as they had given up on
seeking ways to solve their overwhelming problems. In today’s world,
young children who haven’t even had a chance to “taste” life are also
giving up on life because what they are going through does not feel
good to them and they seem to have nowhere to turn, since their very
own parents are depressed and on the verge of losing everything and
they have not been able to make new friends (or rekindle their former
friendships because of the lockdowns) to share their hardships and
difficulties with and at least be some kind of a support system for
each other. Children as young as in their preteens have been willing
to consider and even follow through with suicide, and after much
research into the matter, it seems that it can be attributed to losing
out on what would have been considered their normal childhoods.
Instead of sharing with and doing things with their friends, they just
went deeper into their solitary armor of self and lost the will to
Have you noticed or even cared that our children have not had normal
childhoods for many years now, and COVID has just amplified and
exaggerated the lack of that precious freedom and opportunities for
expressing themselves what with all the things they have not been
allowed to do? Childhood is about exploring, about trying new things
and even about learning to get along with others that are not like
them. In recent times they have had to be under the watchful care of
their parents or any others in authority so that they would not be
hurt or even kidnapped by strangers or any others that would do them
harm. Contrast that to the past, in which children could do the things
that allowed them to grow up naturally, without fear, without concern
for being harmed by their neighbors, strangers, or those who would
take out their misery and frustrations on them as innocent children
while in their own school. Then along came COVID, and along came all
the “new” restrictions of not even being allowed to see their friends,
or go to school, or go outside to play. While all children were still
growing, they were being deprived of all the things they needed to
grow up normally and it was getting worse as time went on.
Crime and danger were lurking everywhere, and parents couldn’t even
always defend or take care of themselves, let alone being everywhere
their children were, both before and after COVID struck. School
shootings were always in the air; depression was building in the
students; parents were not even allowed to bring up issues regarding
their children at school. Life seemed to be falling apart at the
And we wonder why life is getting so dark and dreary for our children.
How can we fix the big mess we’re in? For starters, we can let our
children have their childhoods back.
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She
writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email
her at

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