A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.
When we reflect this long weekend –– Monday, April 28, to be exact –– on our National Heroes, as we gather with family and friends, let us take time out to be thankful for all the blessings we have received as a nation and as people. And as we give thanks to God for the resilience and determination of our forebears, and those representative of them –– those whom we hail as our National Heroes –– let us do so with deference, civility and reverence
Let our memory of our National Heroes be sculpted in joyful respect, ever aware that our present challenging circumstances and hard times hardly matched theirs, coming out of the sometimes torturous 1930s and 1950s and before. Ever aware that the comforts and standard of living we have grown accustomed to, and we now fear we may lose, many of our foreparents never had, yet willingly sacrificed their time and what little they possessed for our advancement as inheritors of the future.
We owe it to them to sustain what they laboured and died for on our behalf and in our name and destiny. We owe it to them to call forth that resilience with which they imbued us, and working together as a true nation, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and with prudence and honesty position ourselves into a state of continued developing strength. We need to be as determined and as undaunted as our ancestors were in doing the greater good.
We need to be as clear-eyed as our National Heroes Bussa, Sarah Ann Gill, Samuel Jackman Prescod, Dr Charles Duncan O’Neal, Clement Osbourne Payne, Sir Grantley Herbert Adams, Errol Walton Barrow, Sir Hugh Worrell Springer, Sir Garfield St Auburn Sobers (our only living one), and Sir Frank Leslie Walcott were about the destiny of Barbadians, when significant others had their doubts about our march forward.
We were and have been blessed by leaders and role models who often publicly reposed good sense, fortitude and courtesy in the Barbadian populace, for they were fully cognizant of our courage and and our practice of maintaining boundaries. Boundaries engendered respect of ourselves and others. Those of us of the old school know when we set limits, we allow relationships to stay in a strong place. When we set no boundaries respect and considerateness suffer or are taken advantage of.
As we reflect on National Heroes Day, let us endeavour too to speak with positive intention; not turning a blind eye to wrong, or being silent on it, but so addressing such infelicity that we might encourage its amendment, correction or elimination. It helps for a whole positive mood, which our country so badly needs now in the face of these trying economic times.
Let us ever remember that emotions are contagious –– positive and not.
Law and order remain in place for the most part –– but, of course, we have every right to rail against any deviation whatsoever from this zone of security. Our cultural industry, we are advised, is being revitalized –– and promises jobs; and our tourism, for all the challenges it faces, is said to be being repositioned to face any new storm fury.
Meanwhile our education institutions, faced with youthful trials and tribulations, need to be restored to the seriousness and high reputation for which they have been known and to that scholarly application, which is now being undermined by abuse of the social media.
This weekend as we muse before all the the heroic paraphernalia, let us resolve to take on even more the responsibility that our role models and our National Heroes would demand of us: industry, pride, prudence, boundary, considerateness brotherliness and self-respect as worthy citizens.
A blessed National Heroes Day.