Light a candle Editorial
Stabroek News
December 25, 2003

Related Links: Articles on rebuilding a nation
Letters Menu Archival Menu

A thought for this Christmas day, light a candle don't curse the darkness. There are hundreds of volunteers for the latter task who do it with some regularity and even relish. Indeed we all do it from time to time, you know the line, everything is hopeless, the situation is beyond redemption, there is too much corruption, incompetence, ethnic distrust and so on.

Everyone can make a difference, not with the moral wisdom or authority of a Jesus Christ, but in their own limited way. For example, some Israeli commandos recently refused to serve on the west bank and the Gaza strip because they felt that was wrong. That was an act of enormous moral courage which will probably cost them their jobs and could lead to them being charged. Why not refuse to take an easy `ethnic' position the next time you are involved in a discussion. This can be done with courtesy and dignity and would also be an act of moral courage. Don't assume one side is always right and the other side wrong. Try, for a change, to see it from the other side. Look at the situation as dispassionately as you can. So many assumptions about people and their behaviour are wrong, or only partly right. Take a stand, be human, be compassionate, perhaps even try to see beyond `sides.'

It is our country and we must do what we can to improve it. Rather than complain about illiteracy, arrange or pay for some children to be taught English. Visit the sick and the imprisoned. Help the poor and the hungry. That is the timeless message of Christmas. As Christmas cheer is spread and you enjoy the company of family and friends remember that you are your brother's keeper and that every man is your brother.

Light a candle, a little flame however small.