Just as Christian hope of resurrection replaces the grim visage of Good Friday, so are we thankful that It has been the kind of Holy Week that could do with a happy ending.
Easter is regarded as the holiest holiday on the Christian calendar. It doesn’t come with the fanfare of Christmas but it has an even deeper meaning for practising members of the faith.
This weekend provides an opportunity to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the symbolic message of hope, rebirth and a brighter tomorrow.
But surely, this message of renewal is not restricted to believers.
Whether or not you will be in church on Good Friday or Easter Sunday, whether or not you opt to fly a kite, hunt for Easter eggs, watch the Passion of the Christ, share lunch with family or friends, or simply take a well-deserved break, Easter offers all of us a fresh start, a chance to rewind and do better.
For Barbados, we hope Easter will be a turning point in several areas given the challenges confronting us.
Three developments this week spoke to the themes of change, rebirth and new beginnings.
The week began with the results of the one-week gun amnesty announced by Government to help clear the streets of illegal weapons against the backdrop of an unprecedented 20 murders so far this year. Guns were used in 12 of the homicides.
Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith reported on Monday that 32 illegal weapons and 1,758 rounds of assorted ammunition were handed in.
We accept, as Commissioner Griffith concedes, that a gun amnesty was always a hard sell, especially for criminals, and therefore the number of weapons surrendered was not surprising.
But, since criminals have forfeited the opportunity to put down their guns, Barbadians have to put aside the attitude that “if it doesn’t affect me and my family it’s not my problem”. We need to resurrect a zero-tolerance approach to the lawlessness of any kind, particularly to those bent on brandishing their weapons.
And whether it is the ever-elusive Mr Big or the boy on the block peddling weapons, Barbadians have to stop closing their eyes and ears when they see and know that sons, daughters, nephews, cousins and friends are trading and playing around with deadly firearms.
Amendments to the Bail Act in a bid to keep potentially violent offenders away from society won’t be enough if we continue to aid and abet criminals with our silence and indifference. Serious change is in order.
Then, lessons for rebirth came to the fore as chaotic operations in public transport dominated headlines.
As the new $3.50 bus fare took effect on Monday, the persistent problems plaguing the system went viral. Weary passengers loudly protested against the fare hike in the face of the abysmal service and operators noised their complaints with the current system
By Wednesday, the Prime Minister had intervened. The fares for school children travelling on PSVs were lowered and commuters received word of discounts.
The challenge ahead is developing an efficient, viable system where the consumer is king and queen – and treated royally.
It is simply unacceptable to have commuters waiting five and six hours for a bus. It is equally ridiculous to stuff people in a vehicle that plays loud, lewd music and puts passengers lives and limbs at risk by flouting traffic rules.
Tough decisions have to be made on all sides and there will be discomfort. But a rebirth can no longer be delayed.
And then there was the story of Tiger Woods and his spectacular win of the Masters for the fifth time to end his decade-long major title drought.
What an example of new beginnings.
After suffering embarrassing marital turmoil and injuries that marred his career and personal life in recent years, Woods stood his ground.
His victory was a clear lesson that no matter the difficulty, hard work, grit and determination will lead to success and rebirth if we never lose hope.
We believe that is the message of Easter for all of us.
This holiday, may you experience your own moment of change, rebirth and a new beginning.
Our nation needs it as much as you do.