EDITORIAL: Recalling the true meaning of Christmas
Irrespective of their political affiliation or persuasion, Barbadians could be expected to celebrate, as best they can, this Christmas Day, taking comfort in the fact that for all the problems and challenges they face, they are part of a global family embracing this occasion as the historic birthday of Christ, the Saviour.
This attitude, such a spirit, after all, would be consistent with the culture of Barbados as a predominant Christian society, one that continues to cope with the powerful influences of international commercialism’s constant erosion of a joyful birthday celebration, rooted in a “peace-and-goodwill” message, to a now expanding bland “happy holidays” slogan.
Cuisine, customs, music and forms of worship may vary in observance and celebration of Christmas. But for Christians, the true believers of the historic Christ, the world over, the challenge remains as fierce as ever to avoid supplanting the spiritual and moral values of Christianity with the intoxicating commercialism of the “happy holidays” spirit.
This Christmas, amid the very depressing international reports of wars, bloody tribal and religious conflicts, the shocking slaughter of children in their schools, multiple rapes of teenage students and mothers, we Barbadians, like our fellow CARICOM citizens, also have to contend with the daunting global financial and economic recession.
For governing parties within our Community that continue to experience much difficulty in steering the “ship of state” out of dangerous waters, the global economic crisis offers a handy reference in explaining multiple problems of fiscal management and economic policies gone awry.
In the circumstances, it becomes even more challenging to maintain a fair balance of judgement in response to the conflicting messages coming from governing and opposition parties. Moreso, as in the current case of Barbados, when such parties are in a competitive battle for a new government, with the election date to come very shortly.
We sense a growing bitterness among the electorate as they struggle to keep faith and lend support for maintenance of a rule of law environment. It is, therefore, a time when the essence of the “peace and goodwill” message of Christmas needs to be given tangible expressions to sustain a spirit of respect and tolerance.
“Dems” or “Bees”, whatever the party political affiliation or persuasion, it is incumbent on all citizens of this nation to display a sense of patriotism that elevates country to first place and helps to maintain a climate of peace and stability, as the competitors for state power debate and plan for the coming new parliamentary elections.
Comforted in our own feeling that such a mood will triumph among the Barbadian people, we are encouraged to extend a warm Merry Christmas wish to all on this wonderful day that marks the birth of Jesus.