BLP COLUMN: Hope for a better future
Barbadians, like the rest of the Christian world, have traditionally looked to the Yuletide season for relief from the day-to-day stressors of life and for the spiritual refreshment and motivation which the spirit of Christmas brings to our challenging world.
One cannot but be inspired by the simplicity of the message of “peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind” and the fundamental difference it has made to the lives of millions the world over.
At the centre of the Christmas story is a humble God-fearing couple who were blessed by the Holy Spirit in a way which has changed the world forever. For more than 2000 years, the story of this virgin named Mary and her husband to be Joseph, has captivated the world and the fascination with their transition from the relatively unknown town in Galilee called Nazareth, to Bethlehem in Judea where the baby Jesus was born in the most humble of circumstances possible to a historic prominence as the most famous couple the world has ever known.
Mary’s advanced pregnancy did not prevent them from undertaking the long and dangerous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to discharge the obligation imposed by the government of the day.
A level of uncompromising faith and obedience to God’s holy word characterized their way of life and their parenting of this special Child without whom there would have been no Christmas. This season is of exceptional significance to those for whom Christ devoted his life and earthly ministry.
As Christian believers, we can be more Christ-like by seeking out the poor, dispossessed, disadvantaged and the socially outcast. In the context of today’s 21st century world, we are in danger of becoming insensitive to the needs of several subsectors of our society. These vulnerable and at risk groups are seemingly invisible in broad daylight as a consequence of societal denial, ambivalence, spiritual and emotional detachment and that holier-than-thou attitude which threatens the cohesion that has been the life’s work of generations of our foreparents.
Every effort must be made to ensure that prevailing social and economic conditions do not contribute to the development of two Barbadoses made up of the haves and have-nots.
Unfortunately, this Christmas finds some Barbadians experiencing deep and persistent concerns for the preservation of the quality of life they have come to expect as their right.
Some Barbadians are confronted this Christmas with unprecedented levels of uncertainty and despair given the hopelessness which overshadows their present and future prospects. It is reasonable for citizens of this country irrespective of their station in life to be predisposed to the enjoyment of the Yuletide season by the presence of an enabling environment which makes possible the generation of an attitude where peace and goodwill can flourish.
Hope for a brighter and better future must be within the spiritual and emotional grasp of every citizen of this country.
As the joys of Christmas beckons and as we accelerate preparations for this great festival let us, in our own way and as our means would allow, seek to bring cheer to those who are lonely, depressed and in need of that peace, love and goodwill which have traditionally characterized the celebrations of Jesus’ sacred birth.
The family of the Barbados Labour Party extends best wishes to all Barbadians (including our neighbours on this page) for a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party