Governor General, Sir Clifford Husbands????
Christmas is a time for rejoicing and so it should be, marking as it does the celebration of the birth of Christ.
It is also a time for remembering, especially those who are less fortunate than ourselves and others, who for one reason or another are no longer with us.
We remember too and give thanks for events that did not take place this year.?? In this context, I remember the hurricanes and storms that we were spared which may have done us serious injury at this time of worldwide economic uncertainty.
We remember too our good fortune which, despite our meager natural resources, permits us to hold our heads high and face the vagaries of the future with resolve, purpose, and confidence.
This confidence, for the most part, is grounded not only in self belief but in the conviction that those who follow us will be equally committed and even better equipped to tackle the challenges ahead.
I have great faith in the ability of our young people to shoulder the burden, but they must be trained and prepared mentally, physically and spiritually for the task.
Parents and guardians must assist, daily, by sharing and demonstrating in a practical way, the morals and wholesome principles that are to be found in such tenets as the Ten Commandments. ????Also, parents and guardians must assist School and Church by constantly reminding and explaining to their charges the wisdom apparent, on close examination, of often quoted passages such as "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven".
Too often today, at every season, young people – and some older ones too – are to be seen indulging themselves in seemingly senseless repetitive rituals of phrenetic unuseful activity.?? This wasted time and energy could be put to better use.
However, my faith in the youth of the region is affirmed by the thousands of students who every year graduate with pride from our University of the West Indies and other tertiary institutions.
Certainly, I do not share the cynic’s view that youth is wasted on children.?? It is a wonderful thing to be young and the young must be made aware of the tremendous opportunities and possibilities that are within their grasp.?? We must constantly remind them of the wonders, the precious nature and brevity of their condition and encourage them to make full usage of this period of their lives.
If we take but a moment to look around us, we will see young people busily employing their skills as independent contractors in many fields in the service industries;?? many others at middle and top management level, competently directing the fortunes of successful companies, and other young professionals and specialists, in the words of a former Governor-General, "punching above their weight".
The older among us must be exemplars and with our experience and maturity demonstrate that the life skills which have served us well, will also serve them; that dialogue and communication are essential; that no man is an island; and that we all need each other; that caring for others and sharing are but the keys to self preservation and that by the use of these and other such devices, resolution may be brought to the most complex problems.
As one of our National Heroes was wont to say, wryly, "It is as simple as that!"
The young, as leaders, will see visions of the time when all of our people will be able to develop to the full the potential with which they are endowed; when character and merit will be the only standards used for preferment and when the ugliness of racism in all of its forms is eradicated and expunged.
Exciting times are ahead for the youth of Barbados.???? With the rapid developments of technology and the competence of the young in this area, more will be achieved in less time and more time will be available for productive endeavours.?? Poetry, the arts and crafts are still to be seriously explored in Barbados and I believe there are many fine pieces locked away in the semi- consciousness of our people.?? We know what is fine in the artistic world and must not settle for less.
And while the young will see visions, an old man is not precluded from dreaming and I dream of the Caribbean one day being A creative art centre, if not The creative art centre with Barbados occupying a significant part of that centre.
Our youth will do it.?? They have the aptitude, skills, imagination, freedom, several abilities and an almost perfect environment in which to ply their craft.
I have no fear.?? The future looks bright.?? With God’s guidance, our youth will go for and achieve the gold.
Fellow Barbadian and visitors to our fair island, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, let me wish you all a blessed Christmas and a New Year of hope, peace, prosperity, happiness and good health.??????????????????????