Greetings my fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora:
The Christmas Season is usually celebrated with the expectation that each one of us has an obligation to be actively engaged in promoting peace and goodwill in our speech and conduct. We are therefore expected to let both the beauty and duties of our life be seen in who we are and what we do.
At the heart of our reflection this season, is the need to build our lives on values which endure, it calls us to identify more fully with God-given humanity within us; to renew and sustain our better selves as we go forward.
At this time in our country and in the world, there is a need to create and sustain a kinder, gentler society in which we can celebrate a blend of individual uniqueness and common purpose. As Jamaicans it is within our capacity to be the change we want to see.
So, despite whatever negativity, tragedies, and challenges we experienced during this year, there is so much for which we can be thankful:
• We were spared any natural disasters
• Our country is steadily making progress in many different areas
• We were encouraged to take greater responsibility for our health and wellness programmes
• The Government and the Security Forces are working to combat crime and violence with the support of our citizens.
On the Global stage we have seen, this year, among others:
• Our indefatigable Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce returning to her winning ways, and in the process is mentoring our next generation of athletic stars, along with their coaches and managers;
• And in a December to remember, Miss Toni-Ann Singh placed the icing on the cake, lifting the spirit of all Jamaica by winning the Miss World Contest in London, with beauty, grace and poise.
I thank every citizen who makes special efforts to bring joy to others, especially to those who are less privileged. We owe it to ourselves and succeeding generations to be the architects, builders, and protectors of our people.
I invite my fellow Jamaicans to move beyond a ritualistic or overly sentimental approach to the Season, as we strive to establish our country on the firmest foundations. I hope the spirit of Christmas will move us to share even more than before, and we will enjoy the satisfaction that comes from giving.
I believe that with determination in our hearts, we can ‘light candles of hope and courage’ to sustain us even in the darkest of times.
Lady Allen joins me in extending to each one of you, our sincere wishes for a peaceful and happy Holiday Season.