CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STAFF ASSOCIATIONS DENNIS DePEIZA.
As the spirit of Christmas fills the air, Barbadians are once again forced to celebrate this festive season against the backdrop of prevailing harsh economic times.
The phenomenal response of the nation to the economic distress which has severely impacted on Barbadian businesses, families and government’s economic and financial management, is in large measure a testimony to the fortitude and resilience of the nation.
Amidst all adversities, our people have and continue to live by faith, with the hope of a better tomorrow. As a country, we have done well to maintain our basic standards of living. As many bemoan the fact that they are unemployed or heavily indebted to financial institutions, and so unable to provide for their families, let’s us continue to live with the hope of a brighter and better tomorrow.
In doing so, we can be inspired by the utterance of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who advised that “We must accept infinite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
The message of Dr. Martin Luther King is akin to the message found in the Holy Bible, Luke Chapter 2, Verse: 10, which reminds us that God promised to bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
This Christmas, there may be many sad faces around the Christmas table, but it is for all Barbadians to come to the realization that we are all in this conundrum together. In these perilous times, it is for each of us to be our brother’s keeper. In living the true spirit of Christmas, let us show love, care, affection and understanding.
Christmas is a time for celebration, and to all intents and purposes, the nation is expected to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus under the banner of peace and good will. If as a people we are to do justice to the celebration of the birth of Christ, then let us use the occasion to promote sharing over selfishness, unity rather than division, replace tensions with peace, and to commit to working collectively rather than against each other.
As the nation commemorates the birth of Christ Jesus, it is timely to remind ourselves of the real reason for the celebration of Christmas. It should be known that Christmas is a season and not a day. It is the most popular season of the year. The two weeks prior to Christmas Day is called ‘Advent.’ The term advent means coming, and is a season of expectation and hope. As we celebrate, let’s reflect on the fact that the true meaning of Christmas is about possibility in the midst of the impossible.
Therefore the greatest gift that our nation can give to itself this Christmas, is simply one of hope. The realization of our expectations and hope for a change in fortunes, will rest on the understanding and willingness of our people and leaders to working together for the good of the nation. We must not only share this belief, but live it in our daily practice. It must be emphasized that this practice which lends to the engagement of consultation and dialogue, is what is required in these times.
The social partnership mechanism to which government, labour and the private sector subscribe, is a model which if embraced in our institutions and workplaces, can make a substantial difference to what we can achieve as a people.
As we celebrate this Christmas, it is imperative that our people remain positive in their outlook and attitudes.
Let’s commit to being industrious and productive, and to do so in the hope that our individual and collective efforts would lend to a turnaround in the economic challenges facing the country this Christmas.
We therefore must keep hope alive. In the true spirit, let’s us give thanks to the Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed on the nation over the past year, and more so, the last fifty years of its existence as an independent nation.
On the behalf of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB), I extend best wishes for the Christmas season, to all Barbadians both at home and abroad. D
ENNIS DE PEIZA General Secretary