BLP COLUMN – Christmas love and charity
BarbadianS, like millions of people the world over, have come to associate this time of year with the most humane and humanitarian expressions of charity and neighbourliness than at any other period on the national calendar.
The message of Christmas seeks to bring peace, love and goodwill to all mankind in a world that is at times far from peaceful and in an environment which persistently threatens the very foundation on which our Christian faith was established.
Those of us who continue to believe that Christ is indeed the light of the world and that he came, that we might not only have life but have it more abundantly, are inspired by the Christ Child whose message of peace and goodwill has sustained us over so many years.
This speaks to the quality of life which is so necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a healthy, happy and productive existence and by extension, the creation of that enabling environment which translates into National Growth and Development.
We as a nation have endured much duringthe course of this year, for some families and individuals it will be remembered for the great joy and happiness experienced, for others it will be reflected upon with much sorrow, pain and grief occasioned by some emotionally wrenching experience like the lost of loved ones, the loss of a job or some other traumatic event in their lives.
One of the blessings of Christmas is the tradition of reaching out to those who are perceived to be less fortunate than others and the sharing of such gifts as our respective means allow.
The Master Himself has reminded us in the New Testament that “for as much as you do it to the least of these my brethren you do it unto me”.
It is therefore a good and joyful thing for us as a Nation to pause for the celebration of this great Christian festival, knowing that the year ahead will bring into very sharp focus the realisation that (in the words of The Rt. Hon Owen Arthur – Political Leader) “we have a lot of work to do”.
This work of necessity requires that Barbadians take a long hard look at the Socio-economic realities of our times and to determine the best way forward in pursuit of the peace and prosperity to which we had grown accustomed.
This way forward will be an occasion for some profound soul searching on the part of each and every adult Barbadian, and a willingness to be more action oriented if those hard fought gains are to be restored and maintained.
When Jesus made reference to “the least of these” he was no doubt referring to the most vulnerable in our midst, namely the sick, suffering, unemployed, those stigmatised and discriminated against. The proverbial widows, orphans, socially isolated, the differently-able and those with no one to love and care for them.
Our country deserves to be restored to the level of functioning, which will see it discharge its mandate with the efficiency and effectiveness so necessary for the restoration of that level of economic growth and development which fosters a good and decent quality of life for all Barbadians.
The Barbados Labour Party’s Family takes this opportunity to extend best wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a happyhHealthy and productive New Year.