Find new ways to share joy


Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his wife Sharon are surrounded by their family (from left) son-in-law Kareem Cuffy, daughter Tonya Rowley-Cuffy, grandsons Lucas and Liam, daughter Dr Sonel Rowley-Stewart and son-in-law Stephan Stewart. – Marlon Rouse

THE Prime Minister urged people to find new ways to share Christmas joy – despite the physical distancing restrictions of covid19 – especially towards the society’s less fortunate.

Offering Christmas greetings on behalf of the Government, his family, and himself as PM, Dr Rowley said in this season we can see TT is still blessed.

“Here at home this season is embraced, shared and openly celebrated among Christians and their non-Christian brothers and sisters alike.

“Yes, there are socio-political divisions, and tensions, but this has to be seen as a tribute to our peoples’ tolerance of each other and a display of our common, appreciable values, understanding and respect for peaceful co-existence in our multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation.”

The PM urged citizens to hold on to Christ’s teachings of love and hope in these very challenging times, as this message now resonates with more potency and relevance than before.

“As you know, the past year has been very testing for the entire world and no less for us here, as a people.” He said the challenges were the decline in global energy prices, followed by the covid19 pandemic in March, joining the old threat of the HIV virus.

“Our lives have not been the same since then, but the experiences of the pandemic have revealed a reality, which Christ preached, that we are one people in the eyes of God.”

Amid TT’s modernisation, he warned that modernity can bring a decline in the spirit of community, and the rise of individualism, selfishness and disconnection.

“The message of Christmas is one of love…Here then is an opportunity for us all to pause and extend our hands to each other.”

He said his Government, in doing its part, was maintaining the socio-economic measures to secure the lives and livelihoods of all people in TT via the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, so no-one was left behind.

“Let us as a people use this season of good cheer to continue to impact our homes, communities and society at large by sharing that message of hope in spite of the various challenges that we face.”

Rowley said we must still social distance in this festive season.

“I know that this Christmas will be unlike Christmases of times past, with many away from family members or forgoing the traditional visits in attempts at social distancing.

“However, let us hold to the tradition of giving, of charity to the less-fortunate. Share a meal, buy some groceries, extend a helping hand, or a kind word of encouragement to all you meet. Let us all find novel ways to celebrate and spread the Christmas joy.

“Let us all be our brother’s keeper, sharing the Christ’s message of love and hope, and ensuring that ‘No one is left behind.’”

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