PM: Use Christmas to reflect on self, national challenges
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has urged citizens to self reflect in his Christmas day message.
Acknowledging that the season marks the birth of Jesus Christ, Dr Rowley says it calls for charity and encourages persons to express genuine love while stifling egos and selfish self-esteem.
This, as he pointed to Proverbs (11:24-25) which says that those who give freely grow richer while those who withhold suffer want.
"In this moment, I urge, that we all reflect upon our personal, spiritual journey, and our inter-connectedness with that larger force, which stands beyond our daily lives, for it is also a time when we all should seek purification in which we confront, and dispose of the distorted realities in our lives."
"We should pause, asking ourselves how far we have drifted away from the significance of the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem? Let us look inwardly, asking ourselves how have we allowed our instinctual needs, and those toxic aspects of our cultural conditioning to dominate our daily lives? Or how many times we have placed our personal gain, the interest of our friends, contacts, race, even religious beliefs, beyond the collective societal, and national good, and how do our individual actions measure up against the essential message of Christmas."
Dr Rowley further calls on the public to reflect on one's interconnectedness with the creator and to celebrate the things that unite rather than divide.
"This is the reason for the season of Christmas. As we celebrate this birth, let us pause, and give thanks in Trinidad and Tobago for a season which so effortlessly brings people of all faiths, backgrounds, races and religions together in a celebratory mood of unity."
The Prime Minister's call for reflection was not limited to self, but the nation's challenges as well.
"While Christmas is a time for festivity, it is also a time to reflect, on our many national challenges. And it is also a time that we consider our individual roles in Trinidad and Tobago, accepting our personal responsibility in the country, and envisioning, as citizens, how we can improve our quality of life and our individual roles in nation-building."
He went on to advise that citizens let the message of Christ encourage every creed and race to live in peace, joy and harmony.
"We should continue to go out and show concern for the less fortunate so that they, too, will not feel the curse of loneliness. At this time, I appeal to citizens to try to become more Christ-like, in their daily lives; not only adopting the spirit of giving, in this moment, but displaying, in their daily lives, that spirit, which the Christ embodies and encourages us to possess."