A time to refresh our attitudes
We are drawing close to the end of a year, with much to cheer about and also a great deal to be concerned about as Bermuda continues to move towards a new era of development that will demand our very best in attitudes and a collective calm-thinking posture from our leaders in trying to sort out controversial issues.
Those in leadership positions, especially in the political arena, have a responsibility to ensure that words are not used simply for political gain to encourage any type of negative response from even their most ardent supporters. No one is perfect and some of the most influential politicians in free societies have stumbled with badly chosen words.
When that happens, the real test of character is to recognise the error and offer an apology, which is not always easy. During the recent presidential election in the United States, there was more than enough stumbling to go around between the Democrats and the Republicans. The mood deteriorated to a point where the nation is now preparing to inaugurate a new president, with an inquiry under way to determine what, if anything, the Russians had to do with the election outcome by way of hacking into the e-mail system of the Democrats.
What is clear here is that in the political arena, even with the free press trying to stay on top of things, they often become targets for simply demanding truth and accountability when there is a stumble of significance. It is sad when some politicians resent being questioned on matters of public importance. We have too many problems to tackle in the new year, with gun violence claiming yet more lives; growing concern about young people being molested; bold robberies; improving care for the elderly; trying to find ways to strengthen the family unit; and improving our education system, to name a few.
There can be better progress in most areas of concern, even as we embrace positive developments such as the America’s Cup and other sporting international events that hold promise of boosting the economy, along with tourism. In other words, Bermuda and the people could be winners if only we could refresh our attitudes towards one another.
Political divisiveness will remain a serious challenge on this lovely island until we learn how to disagree respectfully and use the best of our skills to engage in debate or discussion without sliding below expected standards.
The Christmas festivities and what the celebration really means, hopefully, may help in restoring values and dignity that have been pillars of our infrastructure throughout our history. The problems mentioned will not fade with time. Victory could depend on refreshing our attitudes in dealing with controversial issues. This is not to say one has to go along with a policy to keep the peace. Democracy provides for healthy exchanges and that must continue.
At this time, you could feel warmth seldom felt at any other time of year. This is the spirit we should try to keep alive as 2017 beckons, and the potential for success is quite hopeful. That is something to look forward to.
Merry Christmas to you all.
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