AS AN OCTOGENARIAN I often reflect on the progress that has taken place in Barbados, especially in the last few decades. Barbadians are blessed for not only do we live in a beautiful island with good amenities but everybody has a chance of succeeding.
Sadly we have lost the happy spirit of yesteryear. Most of us grumble. Seems the more we are given the more we complain; few of us ponder on the good in our midst. Today, many suffer from self-inflicted stress that is caused from overspending in order to have social recognition.
Others want to destroy our roots but, if we are to rely on tourism in the coming competitive decade, it is imperative that we accept our heritage and preserve our historical sites.
History tells us that life for many of us was inhumane but it also tells us that people of other nations also suffered terribly. Let us move on and reflect on the good in our heritage - namely our governance with sound laws, our architecture and Christian education as well as our varied music and sport.
Let us give thanks for those who built this nation, starting from its discovery until the present day. While the electronic media has been responsible for progress it has also had an adverse effect, especially on our youth.
Now that we are exposed to a more exciting life, most of us want to try everything and often leave out the Christian values of loving and sharing. Unfortunately many young people have strayed and are involved in drugs, not only ruining their lives but the lives of those around them.
This scourge is like a cancer, creating havoc and causing disruption in families. Our challenge is to become more caring, helping each other before problems get out of control.
Today let us try to stem the tide of egotism and materialism and return to a more spiritual plane where we try to live in peace and contentment and build a happier country, loving our Creator with all our hearts and our fellowmen as ourselves. We have a wonderful heritage with a background of mixed cultures, let us build on it with well crafted blocks!