Archbishop of the West Indies Dr John Holder is appealing to Barbadians not to become a people who see violence as an easy and acceptable option to solve their problems.
Speaking against the backdrop of a recent violent attack on a Lester Vaughn Secondary School student by a mob of schoolmates, and a rise in gun violence, he called on the country to search for alternative ways to deal with contentious issues.
“Let us work hard to reach that stage where offence does not automatically generate a violent response,” Holder said yesterday afternoon in an address at the annual synod at the Cathedral of St Michael and all Angels on Roebuck St, The City.
“Those of us who carry the burden of leadership at all levels in this society must never lose sight of this. We are the ones who must work to convince our fellow citizens that better is possible. If at the present time this may seem distant and impossible for many persons, we must do all we can to make it a reality for all whom we can as soon as we can,” he stressed.
Without making any links between violence and the state of the economy, the Anglican cleric pleaded with the country not to lose hope despite the difficult circumstances.
In fact, he called on the population to draw from the strengths of the slaves who never gave up despite their situation.
“They hoped beyond hope that their descendants will one day experience their God given freedom that they themselves may never experience. They hoped beyond hope that one day the shackles will fall off and they will be experiences of freedom, wholeness and comfort as never before. And here we are today the products of this hope. We must believe as Barbadians that we will weather the present difficult conditions that confront us and move on to better times. But to do so we have to search for the best way forward. There are hardly any paths to a better life, to better conditions, that are painless,” Holder warned.