Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, shares a light moment with Rev. DeVere Murrell, Rector at the St. Matthias??Anglican Church, last??Friday at the??close of the two-day consultation, "The Changing Barbadian Society: Shaping a Brighter Tomorrow" held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (A.Miller/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is calling for "all hands on deck" to assist government and interested groups in their efforts to preserve the society, whose transformation has resulted in some instances, in a loss of its shared values.

He made this appeal recently while addressing the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth’s two-day consultation entitled: The Changing Barbadian Society: Shaping a Brighter Tomorrow. It was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Emphasising that one could not prevent a society from changing, the Prime Minister pointed out "where we are today and where we go from here is very much in our hands."??

"If the society is to survive and to change for the better, there are a few things which we have to recognise.?? We are not going to lose Barbadian society because those who are against it get stronger; but, we will lose the society because those who are for it get weaker," Mr. Stuart remarked

He further stated: "Two constant factors in social formation are the environment and the spirit of the people.?? Therefore, when the spirit of a people weakens, the enemies of society don’t have to get stronger because the society is doing a very good job of destroying itself."

Mr. Stuart also cautioned about discarding those norms and values that have helped to preserve the society over time. "Let us, therefore, be very careful about those values, norms, aspects of behaviour and those standards that we appear to discard because we may, to our chagrin, discover that they are irreplaceable," he warned.

The Prime Minister suggested that the society could also change for the worse if persons were willing to absolve themselves from the responsibilities of leadership.

"Wherever you are, freedom from responsibility is not an option.?? You have to accept responsibility that comes with the positions which you hold either as parents, teachers, priests…if the freedom we seek is freedom from responsibility, we can lose the society this way," Mr. Stuart cautioned.

The Prime Minister also expressed concern about the number of Barbadians who were willing to take from the country rather than contribute to its development. "I have a troubling sense that, that number of people willing to say ???give me, give me or take from,’ instead of saying what they are willing to contribute in order to make the society better. ??Unfortunately, that number is getting disturbingly large and we are not going to build a society and take it to higher heights, if the number of people who want to take from it?? gets larger than those who are prepared to give to it," Mr. Stuart warned.


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