Peace and promise by God’s power
IT?IS?THE?DUTY of us all “to promote peace and goodwill every day, of every month, of every year”, says Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. And we take special note that he holds it incumbent upon the state “to care holistically for all of its citizens”. Naturally, as he enjoins us also, citizens must “play their part in the development of the nation”.
In a very real and practical sense, the Government of the day and its citizenry must work hand in hand towards this holistic cohesion, which will be of little avail if both sides do not “ensure that the less fortunate among us can also have a level of social, economic and psychological well-being”, as Mr Stuart suggests.
Of like mind has been Leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur. The Christmas story for him is “an example of the remarkable capacity that resides in human beings to do that which is good and noble; and that which is generous and meaningful in the lives of others”.
One salient lesson to be learnt from it all, Mr Arthur says, is that amid “large and insurmountable problems” we can still tap into that tried and tested human spirit to bring us through.
The Christmas Messages of these two leaders have been inspiring. And the absence of the usual acid put-down between their partisan political positions was refreshingly welcome. But the more challenging test of this maturity and greater resolve to be level-headed will come once the general election date has been announced.
The Anglican Church’s Bishop Dr John Holder hopes for the cleanest campaign ever, urging candidates to be humble and to avoid character assassination. He wishes that our politicians will not take the electorate for granted, praying that they will grasp that at this time, “more than ever”, they are in fact the servants of the people.
A tall order, the cynics will say. But we must be hopeful, desiring nothing less. For sure, much will rest upon the tone and fibre of our political leaders. We must hold them to the peace and goodwill and noble human spirit of which they have spoken. We need to work more towards the common good; not less.
We need a more caring and considerate society; less of an adversarial one. We may begin by starting with ourselves individually: those of us wiser and better positioned showing charity.
Giving needs to become again a star feature of our Barbadian culture. The tradition of sharing with our neighbours used to be engraved in our national DNA!
While holistic care of its citizens may be the responsibility of a Government, political direction must not be so skewed as to instil in our people that their every ambitions, dreams and accomplishments repose in the hands of politicians, for they are not the omnipotent ones. As Bishop Holder has said, the power is God’s only – to give or to take.