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EDITORIAL: Innate desire to help less fortunate

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: Innate desire to help less fortunate

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It is good to know that even in these hard times, Barbados is still a caring society. Despite the trials and tribulations of many as well as the hardships some are facing, especially these days, there is no doubt that Barbadians can still be their brother’s keeper.
This was borne out as recently as last week when the NATION highlighted two women who told stories of poverty and need. Their fate resonated with some readers and tugged at their heartstrings, even to the point where they not only commented on the NATION’s Facebook page but were also moved to give assistance.
Tonia Scantlebury, a 29-year-old mother of three, told of spending three nights sleeping “under the cellar” of her mother’s St James home. Her situation was one where she and her boyfriend had to give up the home they were renting after he lost his job.
Our readers were touched. “This story brought tears from my eyes. I am praying that things in her life would turn around for her. This is not fair, not right, but you know what? God is greater and stronger and all things work together for good,” was the sentiment of a reader.
Some even offered to make donations.
Another story that tugged at readers was the National Conservation Commission worker Judy Archer who was recently laid off. The timing couldn’t be worse for this woman who was about to send one daughter to the University of the West Indies, is taking care of her own children plus her grands who she took in.
These stories aren’t unique, nor are these women alone in their experiences. Still, they are gripping and heart-wrenching.
Humankind is such that we have a desire to help, especially those who are less fortunate.
Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves recently wrote about the idea of Barbados. He couldn’t be more true when he said the idea of Barbados was a shared experience of Barbadians “which belonged to them” and flowed from a national community.
Gonsalves said the idea of Barbados had saved the island in the past and would enable it to meet successfully its current economic challenges.
These words should hearten us as Barbadians as we hold true to our national motto Pride And Industry.
It is the idea of Barbados that allows us to dig into our hearts and even our pockets to help others who need it most. Instead of focusing and bellyaching about our own individual hardships and misfortunes, we recognise that as a country, every individual matters and the chain is as strong as its weakest link.
It is, therefore, good to see that despite not having it all, some of us are still willing to give freely to others in need.
And that’s the idea of Barbados.