Sacrificing for others: the true way to celebrate Christ
THERE'S no shortage of goodwill in Jamaica, especially at this time of year when we observe the birth of Jesus Christ who eventually made the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, the true reason for the season.
Just turn the pages of this newspaper for the past week and you will appreciate our point: stories of people giving to the less fortunate, the elderly and to children saturate the news.
We are heartened, for instance, by the story of 73-year-old Mr Keith James who will today enjoy the comforts of his new home built by Food For the Poor in Hector's River, Portland.
Mr James's story in Monday's edition of the Observer North East is particularly touching, given that for more than a month he had to be sleeping in a sitting position on two chairs inside a makeshift structure he occupied after Hurricane Sandy destroyed his house in October.
In that same publication, we also saw where 10 residents of Alexandria in St Ann were fitted with prostheses by the United States-based charity Mind, Body and Soul Ministry last Saturday.
The joy expressed by Mr Winston Davis, who lost both his legs eight years ago, is indicative of the general feeling of Jamaicans about this gesture. "It is a great feeling, receiving prosthetic legs just in time for the festive season," Mr Davis is reported as saying.
On Christmas Day, Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, a man whose commitment to improving the lives of the poor cannot be questioned, will deliver meals and toys to 5,000 inner-city children and golden-agers for the 17th consecutive year. Remarkable!
There are many more acts of kindness being displayed throughout the holiday season. To those who are extending a kind hand to others, we say well done. For if that show of human compassion helps to change the life of just one person for the better, it would have been worth the effort.
We acknowledge that the spirit of giving has not been made easy by the unhealthy state of our economy. In fact, we would not be surprised if some people who wanted to, were not able to provide for others.
We would be remiss if we did not express deep concern for our future, especially for the fact that the Government has very little choice but to enter into an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that will most likely impose austerity measures on the country.
It will be difficult for the Government to implement these measures, given that it has not, so far, led by example in keeping a tight rein on spending.
For instance, the Government can't reasonably ask the country to sacrifice after its untimely spending of $60 million to purchase high-end sports utility vehicles for Cabinet ministers, then slap the people in the face with the kind of insensitive defence articulated by the prime minister and a few of her ministers.
That response will no doubt return to haunt the Administration. However, we urge the Jamaican people to focus on the larger picture and recommit to the construction of a country where we want to live, love, work, raise our families, do business, and serve our fellowman under God.
Let us also take this opportunity to give God thanks for guiding us through a very tough year, and pray that He will be with us throughout 2013.
We extend our best wishes for a safe and blessed holiday season to all Jamaica.