Resolving to do more for 2012
So Christmas has come and gone and while the memories remain with us the other sure thing that will not go away as easily are the bills we racketed trying to make our Christmas merry and bright. And bright it was for some but from a quick survey of the damage on the ground the majority did not feel the joy. If the external look is to serve as a meter, clearly the lack of lights hanging from the walls, fences, roofs and trees in many yards and homes is already an indication of how dull and dread things were for many residents of the old capital. This lackluster however was evident countrywide by all accounts to this desk.
But for some, the gloom was beyond not having lights hanging around the house; ham and turkey baking in the oven and colour gifts wrapped under a Christmas tree, yes for some it was tragic.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” Martin Luther King Jr.
Some really disturbing and tragic incidents took place over this Christmas season that surely took Christ out of the word Christmas. So while I tried to be joyous with my family, my happiness could not be complete knowing that such suffering and pain were being experienced by my own brothers and sisters.
The Pech Family in Carmelita Orange Walk are living through a nightmare and I could only imagine the agony of the children who were around when Anacleta and Anna Pech were fatally ambusehd and the pain in the life of the daughter of the shooter, who reportedly killed himself thereafter. But the family of Lorne Libey too are suffering from this experience. But the tragedy did not end there, since in Cayo the Family of Sylvan Roberts lived through a nightmare that may seem never-ending. Sadly on the eve of the eve of Christmas their world too was shattered in their very own home when home-invaders ended the life of the lab-technician and father of two. I cannot even start to comprehend their pain, but must say I mourn their lost with them
Now don’t get me wrong, this tragedy around any time of the year would have still been tragic but what makes it so cruel is that consciously or subconsciously as Christmas comes around we all get merrier and we seem to be on a high of joyousness as we go about preparing for the festivities. It is as though we will ourselves to be happy – so imagine this being shattered by the shots into your family yard and home…hmmm too painful.
My take on all this is two-fold. Belizeans let us resolve not to be silent on these atrocities in our society. Firstly, Reach out to the Pech and Roberts family; assist the police with their work; keep an eye out for your neighbors; and most important lets unite to speak up and work against the social-ills in our country which have bred what we are now reaping. Secondly, lets work to go back to recreating and patching up the moral fabric of our society. We are becoming a lost, Godless; immoral, unethical; callous society and thus we must recalibrate our moral compass if we are to survive freely and happily as a nation.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Now, if the killers of the Pech and Roberts had any compassion in their hearts and if they lived by genuine faith in God and honoured the ten commandments there is absolutely no way they would have found it in their is heart to kill these people. The Biblical and our man-made law calls on us not to kill another human being so for those who now reject our Christianity and our God-fearing teachings as a nation, they cannot condemn this law for the sole purpose that it is in the Bible, which they reject as genuine.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, when one of the scribes who was a lawyer ask Jesus Christ which was the greatest commandment; “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and all they mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbours as thyself”. Matt 22:37-39
This teaching is clear, because when we keep Christ in our life we keep the door of love open – yes we must love ourselves, our family, friends and neighbours…if there is love there is not room for hate in our hearts. Lets resolve to live by and spread the Lord’s greatest commandment to others and lets show love for others in words and deed. No law we change, not punishment we institute nor no government can legislate against the hate, envy and greed circulating amongst us … but love we all have the capacity to do individually. All the hate being spouted on the media houses each morning turn it off; all the nasty name-calling, undermining gossiping and back-stabbing being encouraged needs to be neutralized and each individual can do their part in this. Positivity people! Positivity!
“The mother of revolution and crime is poverty” Aristotle
Of course the ills will not change over-night; but we got to start and it is imperative that each person believe he can be the change he wants to see. Now, while I have addressed the spiritual and soul therapy and rehabilitation that needs to take place, it is also imperative that the bodily needs of each person be addressed. As we can clearly see there is a correlation between crime/ violence and poverty, thus we must also realize there is a need to also look after the physical needs of our brothers and sisters if we are to mitigate and reduce these.
And so as we end the year I have resolved not to stop talking and acting against the very bad and incompetent decisions made by leaders in the private and public sector… since these are the very same decisions that have led to the over-exploitation of our resources; the displacement of our people; marginalization of our men; unemployment and un-empowerment of the masses and yes the 43% of Belizeans living below the poverty line!
How can we be silent when we know that right now as we go into election season the legalized and illegal versions of vote buying will be taking place. Imagine how the PUP started the hand-out mentality under George Price and such legacy is still very much alive and perfected under the leadership of Dean Barrow and the UDP – only Goldson and Esquivel sought to fight it and eradicate it, but their own worked against them since it was imperative to buy votes to win elections, they say. Now it’s our tax-payers money that is being used to bribe the masses who are being lulled into laziness, unproductively, materialism, and complacency at the expense of the hard-working ones. Elections cannot be won on issues but only on who pays the most, Jules Vasquez says and Dean Barrow says the patronage system cannot be stopped…but the masses desperate for good leadership cannot be blamed because it is the leadership of our country that is telling them that hand-outs and laziness is good for them.
Belizeans we must fight back individually and collectively as we are now becoming bankrupt for good leadership; for honesty and integrity in public office; true love and compassion for our Belizeans brothers and sisters; and bankrupt for the commitment and will-power to develop Belize for the good of all, not the enrichment of a few! The issues of our country are many and we must resolve to keep tackling them one at a time!
Happy New Years – 2012
As 2011 winds down, I must also take time to give gratitude to God for his continued guidance and inspiration that allows me to keep writing this column. I thank Him for giving me the time and strength to meet my weekly deadlines no matter what else I am doing.
Thank You too to the Amandala newspaper and its publisher and editor for giving voice to my thoughts, views and opinions, which are solely mine, but which are respected and given wings to fly in the pages of this prestigious newspaper. Last but not least thanks to my many faithful readers who have shared their comments on facebook or personally when they meet me on the street, in the stores or whom just called to offers support to my work. To my critics thanks as well, your views are heard and respected and unlike what is being said I am not paid by any piper to sing their tune. This service I do free of cost and out of my love and passion for writing. But since I get so many comments for 2012 I have opened a special account which you can use to send your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from anyone who wishes and weekly I post my articles in my notes section of facebook so feel free to access it there and post your comment. Do have a blessed and prosperous 2012! God loves you!
Author: Audrey Matura-Shepherd