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EDITORIAL – We must pull together

luigimarshall, [email protected]

EDITORIAL – We must pull together

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In three days we shall celebrate another anniversary of our Independence, having survived a year of serious challenges to our economy, as well as to our society. Indeed, the latest change in our economic outlook by one of the rating agencies reminds us of the path just traversed and the need for further resolve in the face of continuing international turmoil.
We recognize the resignation of Sir Clifford Husbands as Governor General and enter upon a new year grateful for his public service, and are uplifted by recall of his many inspirational addresses to us.
Long may be his years of restful retirement.
We have also come through a year without the leadership of the Honourable David Thompson, snatched from us in untimely fashion by the hand of death; but our political institutions have shown they can accommodate changes of leadership on either side of the fence, and that their flexibility allows them to bend; not break even under the greatest strain.
But this resilience is not confined to our structures. It extends too to our people. It helped generations of our forebears to confront and challenge the dark and iniquitous depth and degradation of slavery.
It has brought us through the murky and choppy waters of colonialism into the relatively calm river of our Independence.
Once, the challenges we faced were of an intensely political nature, and many were our travails with the demi-gods in distant lands; but with persistence and fortitude we have, to use the words of John Bunyan, “come hither”.
Of recent times, the challenges have been different. They have been external and internal, direct and often insidious; but they have been severe, and they have tested our resolve in new ways.
France, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the recession continue to test our national will and ingenuity to mitigate – by our domestic policies – some of the more serious impacts of these exogenous threats.
If our political parties differ on the nature of the appropriate initiatives, we can rest assured that in our peaceful way of resolving issues they are all interested in the welfare of the people.
The other threat is internal.
We are witness to an erosion in our values-based socialization, which hither has helped us weather many a storm. Some of our homes are the more influenced by foreign and destructive cultures than by our traditional and cohesive behaviour, and the public display of these countercultural practices strain the sinews of our tradition almost to breaking point.
There is thus a constant battle between opposing forces of good and destruction. The battle is for the minds of our young people.
As part of the Fourth Estate, and therefore guardians of the public interest, we recognize our duty.
We stand on the frontline seeking always to exhort those principles which exalt our nation, putting the searchlight of truth to the darker aspects of our existence.
At this time, more than ever, we urge all Barbadians to gird up their loins, to put their hands to the plough. We need not, nor must we, be of the same voice, for there is strength in our diversity.
But we must all pull on the same rope with the same aim of lifting our country up.
In this way we may continue, as Kofi Annan said, “to punch above our weight”, and to honour the words of the Father of our Independence who urged us to be “friends of all and satellites of none”.
Happy Independence!