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EDITORIAL: Don’t neglect plight of others this season

Barbados Nation

EDITORIAL: Don’t neglect plight of others this season

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THE CELEBRATION of another Christmas reminds us of some of the deeper meanings of life, even as we come to the close of one calendar year and the commencement of another. We are necessarily focused on renewal for the birth of the Baby Jesus, reminding us that our Saviour came to us as a baby whose life story is recorded in the Gospels.

As Christians we can draw deeper meanings from the simple nature of the birth. For there is hardly a more lowly place than in a manger for this important person to make His entry among us. In understanding the message of the birth, we are therefore not to allow our achievements to be defined by the circumstances of our birth.

The optimism that each of us can be a success in this life is therefore one of the more important messages of His birth, but that success is not to be selfishly enjoyed, for the admonition that you must love your neighbour as you love yourself is one of the more important messages of the Christ child grown into manhood. It urges us to consider our brother’s plight even as we may enjoy our blessings from life.

Particularly at this time when austerity measures have caused many of us to tighten our belts and when many families are hard-pressed to keep body and soul together, we ought to remember that what we may see as a small contribution to someone else’s happiness may make a mountain of difference to that other person’s joy at this time.

We are all very much aware of the role which the Salvation Army, in particular, and the other service organisations play in trying to eliminate the scourge of desperate want and need at this time, and we encourage all Barbadians to continue to support such worthwhile efforts to make sure that the less fortunate among us are taken care of.

We have noted that the idea of philanthropy has been sanctioned by legislation within relatively recent times and we encourage our legislators to make it easier for those among us, both visitors and locals, who are so disposed, to share their financial success with the defined objects of their generosity. Such philanthropic activities carry within them the idea of the Christmas message as much as the Salvation Army kettles.

The letters reaching the radio stations with children making Christmas wishes shows that there are still some severe pockets of want and poverty. Some of these instances are temporary, brought about by temporary unemployment, and many they are who fall through the cracks in the social welfare net.

Perhaps as we approach the New Year, we may wish to start our period of reflection about our future resolutions. There must be something which we can do as individuals and as a country that will enable the Christmas spirit of giving perhaps on a much smaller scale to make life a little less grim for those among us who are constantly pressed by the ravages of this life.

The breakfast clubs, for example, have identified a niche of need and have done wonders to solve that problem. Meanwhile, we wonder how many more niches of need exist.

Identifying them and carving solutions would enable the Christmas spirit to spread throughout the year.

Merry Christmas everyone!