I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is a Grinch and that he lives in Barbados. They say with all the people going home without jobs to come back to, that the Grinch is to blame. Mummy says, “If you see it in Barbados TODAY, it’s so.” So, please tell me, is there a Grinch?
Second Ave Anywhere Land
Nicole, your little friends are not wrong. They have been jaded by the cynicism of a cynical age. Many do not believe except they see but that is because of so many promises made and not kept. Those who possess great power may think that nothing can be unless their minds comprehend it. But it is not the powerful who are great, Nicole, for great are the People, and the People shall prevail. All of us, Nicole, whether they be grown men or women or children, are not small and are worthy of respect, dignity and positive regard. In this little island of ours, where too often, human beings are treated as mere insects, ants, especially those who do not possess great wealth, their collective wisdom is as great as the boundless world about us, a wisdom borne of centuries of survival through settlement, slavery and the long struggle for the rights and dignity of all.
So yes, Nicole, there is a Grinch. He exists as certainly as greed and selfishness and a lack of empathy exist. There are Grinches who have grinned and gloated as hundreds of workers are let go from their jobs. They are Grinches who, like all cynics, see the cost of things but the value of nothing. They may abound but they cannot steal your joy – unless you let them. Alas! how dreary would be our nation if there be only the Grinch! It would be as dreary as if there were no little girls and boys, the hope of generations past and present. There would be no faith, then, no justice, no peace and blessings to make our lives tolerable.
If we let the Grinch win, we should have no enjoyment, not even in sense and sight. The eternal flame with which the hope of our ancestors illuminated our land would forever be extinguished by the dark gulf of debt-service ratios, deficits and austerity measures.
Not believe there is hope! You might as well not believe in the birth of a newborn child. You might get your mummy or daddy or the International Monetary Fund to hire men to watch in all the houses on Christmas Eve to see these things called Faith, Hope and Love pass by, but even if you did not see them tonight or tomorrow coming down, what would that prove? Nobody actually sees Hope, but that is no sign that there is none. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor women nor men can see. Did you ever see Love dancing in the Parliament Yard? Of course not, but that’s no proof that it cannot ever reside there. There are wonders that years ago no man or woman could conceive or imagine and yet the unseen and unseeable in the past are with us now – human rights, rule of law, democratic freedoms. Yet more is possible – if we give the Grinch the heave-ho.
You tear apart a party noisemaker and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man or woman, nor even the united strength of all the strongest people who ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, hope, love, kindness, dignity, freedom, can push aside that curtain and display the incredible beauty and joy that still stalks our land, more than all the tiny points of light that twinkle from all the Christmas trees in all the land. Is it all real? Ah, Nicole, in all this world there is nothing more real and abiding.
So, don’t let any Grinch steal your hope for a brighter tomorrow! May peace, joy and goodwill live and live forever. A hundred, nay, 300 hundred years from now, Nicole, nay 100 times 300 years from now, may the spirit of He in whose name we celebrate Christmas continue to make glad your heart, and all our hearts.
A Barbados TODAY response to “Is There a Santa Claus?” from the September 21, 1897, edition of The New York Sun, considered the most famous English language editorial of all time.