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DLP COLUMN – Giving the ultimate sacrifice

marciadottin, [email protected]

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The Democratic Labour Party extends seasons greeting to all. This season culminates against a heavy year of sacrificing by our people. The ability to negotiate the turbulent tides brought to shore by the external shock of the financial meltdown has exposed our vulnerabilities once more as a small, open economy.
This, however, has not dampened our spirit of giving or our resilience as a community of people. This capacity to survive was borne out by our collective will to respond to the vagaries of the financial crises.
The willingness to give, at this time, has been illustrated by the business sector, whose decision to hold strain has been taken as a sign of understanding this dynamic economic environment. Sometimes, in our quest to point fingers and apportion blame, we forget that giving is a virtue that is heightened at this season. The challenge for our society is to acknowledge that the ability to give is the ultimate sacrifice we make as a people and  it should be a perennial undertaking.
In our society, too often the elected politician’s capacity to give is defined as infinite. He has to be on call 24 /7 /365, as the parliamentary representative. This is a reality for those who take their role seriously. The parliamentary representative in his/her tenure has to give all to ensure that the constituents are not disadvantaged.  
They can be no doubt that giving by Members of Parliament is heightened around this time as they host Christmas parties for children and seniors. This requires a tremendous effort, in terms of mobilisation on the part of the representative, sponsors, business and friends.
The distributing of hampers and hosting of parties with the presentation of gifts is equally a costly undertaking that requires giving. The business houses or sponsors must give in kind or monetary contributions to make these activities a reality.
At this season, the representative must ensure that no one is left behind for fear of getting a good tongue lashing for discriminating. We must be aware, as participants in a parliamentary democracy, a heavy toll is paid by the representative in the quest to fulfil the mandate of securing a better life for all.  
Too often we assume that because the person signs on for the job of parliamentary representative, that the job description is a matter of public knowledge. We must acknowledge that each person will have a different experience on the job and the journey as a parliamentary representative is one of unchartered waters only to be defined through the eyes of the person living the experience.
To those persons who have served as Members of Parliament and who currently serve; we salute you for the decision to plunge your life and fortunes into a life of giving. They can be no doubt that too often too little is made mention of the sacrifice and life altering experiences that visit upon those who have served and continue to serve.
This new government in just less than three years has taken to heart the virtue of giving without condition. We have attached no expectations other than to see a better Barbados for, no matter what colour, class, creed or political persuasion. We are committed to ensuring, we survive and exist knowing that we are truly our brother’s keeper.
From the family of the DLP, we wish all those who have served and continue to serve all the best. To the country of Barbados and its peoples, may the season bring you your heart’s desire. Enjoy the holidays.
 Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.