Our political leaders should show the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ one to another all year round
More than at any other time, Christmas is a reminder of the need for peace in our lives and the nurturing of goodwill for all.
It does, after all, commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, who embraced friend and foe and who, Christians tell us, made the supreme sacrifice for the good of all human beings.
True to the season, there is marked similarity in messaging from our national leaders as they reach out to their fellow Jamaicans.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness urges us as individuals to, “Remember the elderly lady down the road who has no one to take care of her, share what you have with her… Remember that brother you argued with over the family land, the one with whom, in rage, you exchanged violent words; call him up this Christmas and talk it over in peace. That anger that is inside you because of an abusive parent, jilted love, disrespect from a friend, over being overlooked by your boss, free yourself of the burden and let it go. Forgive!
“Let us all vow to make definite steps towards peace in our life by being courteous in our interactions, showing concern and empathy for persons around you, sharing with those who are in need and, above all, forgiving those who have trespassed against us. These are practical steps that do not require Government. It requires a change in our attitude and behaviour towards each other. These are indeed the teachings of Christ…”
Opposition Leader Mark Golding reminds us that Christmas is a time to “embrace the spirit of generosity and compassion, and to extend a helping hand to those who reach out for help and those we know may be facing a hard time…”
And that, in “the spirit of Christmas”, we should all recognise that “despite our differences, we are all part of… one family with the common goal of witnessing the progress in our beloved Jamaica”.
Further, said Mr Golding, Jamaicans should allow the spirit of Christmas to “guide us toward a future where unity triumphs over division, and where our collective efforts propel Jamaica to becoming a better, more just and caring society”.
Also, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen — whose office symbolises national unity — argues that generosity, compassion, and goodwill should be a way of life for every Jamaican, way beyond the Christmas season.
Said he: “It is important that we show goodness during Christmas, but it should not be confined only to this season; it should be a guiding light throughout the year. Let us carry the spirit of Christmas into each day, making compassion, generosity, and kindness our constant companions.
“Even in these challenging times we can make the spirit of Christmas a beacon of hope and a reminder of the resilience and strength that lie within each one of us.”
It seems to us imperative that Messrs Holness, Golding, others in political party leadership, activists and followers should recognise that all those wise words also apply to them.
They, too, must show the spirit of Christmas through empathy, due respect one to another, and a desire for unified action as they strive to resolve the nation’s problems — not least crime — after this holiday season, throughout 2024, and beyond.