Reviewing the year that has passed, 2018, I recall the incidents, both local and foreign which made the news. Some were horrific, unprecedented occurrences which were disastrous bringing physical, emotional and mental trauma to those who fell victim.
Here in Trinidad, the image of the flood victims and water, water everywhere, will stay in the memory of citizens for quite a while.
The news reports of the crime situation which seems to be so out of control, also served to add to the darkness of the cloud which seems to be hanging over this twin-island state.
It’s no longer just robbery with aggravation but with atrocities meted out to the victims. Not only material things are lost but in many cases, self-esteem, self-respect, dignity, etc., surely leaving lifelong scars. These actions can only be viewed as man’s inhumanity to man.
Even our education institutions were not exempt from the madness. It seems as though fights among and bullying of fellow students, disrespecting teachers and flouting of school rules, unacceptable behaviour on the school compound and on the streets have now become the norm.
Then there were the reports of tragic situations in the health-care institutions, in many instances resulting in the loss of life, and reports of negligence and less-than-caring bedside manners by those entrusted with the care of the sick.
Our protective services came in for their share of negative news reports, from “undue excessive force” in the execution of their duties to the general disregard of care and maintenance of the vehicles used in the fight against crime.
There were the issues of closing down and retrenchments: Petrotrin, Trinmar, TSTT, etc., where many lost their jobs and their future thrown into uncertainty.
And then the whole political rhetoric from government and opposition alike, and the blame game taking precedence over the welfare of the citizens.
The Church too, both home and abroad, had its fair share of negative publicity, with reports of one type of scandal or another. The Body of Christ on earth is really being shaken from its foundations. And the list goes on…
But all was not negativity. There were those moments, those instances, those situations, where the goodness of humankind was experienced so positively that it facilitated change in the lives of many.
It proved that we are still a blessed country with kind-hearted, generous, loving people whose giving knows no bounds. This renewed the faith of the citizens to keep hope alive, the hope that God will heal our land!
And so, a New Year is upon us, signifying new hope, new expectations, new successes, and with renewed faith, we look forward to new joy.
The word from the scriptures which encourages us to “walk by faith, not by sight,” and puts things into a different perspective for us. Mahatma Ghandi advised that we “Be the change we wish to see”, and so it really begins with each of us who has the desire to see our country rise from the abyss of doom and gloom and become once again, the paradise we know it can be.
Crime, violence, selfishness, spiritual apathy, poverty—all these will always be with us, but the effects will be greatly reduced if we were to take a different approach in trying to alleviate the situation.
As we enter 2019, let our personal resolution be ‘Effort’—to be the change we wish to see in our lives, our service, our generosity, our kindness, our relationships with God and each other.
All God’s blessings for prosperous New Year!