Christmas Messages
December 21, 2007
Let us pray for peace and goodwill for all


by Dr. The Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The season of Christmas is the especial occasion for the commemoration and celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is a time of joy and happiness; it represents peace, good neighbourliness, justice, love, caring, unity, and a hopefulness for personal redemption. Unfortunately, we do not all act in accordance with the true values of Christmas. We ought to try and do better for Christmas 2007.{{more}}

Too often the season of Christmas is seen as an opportunity to indulge in excessive eating and the imbibing of alcoholic beverages. We all know that the excesses are wrong; so, let us eat and drink in moderation. An improvement in our economic condition ought not to push us to spend excessively. To be sure, we buy gifts for our family and friends, and we make our homes more beautiful than usual. But we should keep a proper balance; we ought not to overdo it.

Our people have embraced the Wellness Revolution. We know that what we eat and drink, and in what quantities, affect for good or ill our health; thus, this Christmas, we ought to resist the bad habits and begin to adopt the good habits relating to eating, drinking and smoking. It is a fact that chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes are directly connected, to a greater or lesser degree, to our lifestyles. This reminder is not meant to take any joy out of Christmas. It is simply a plea to be sensible.

Most of all, though, for this Christmas we ought to enrich our spirit of love, good neighbourliness, and peace. All this is personal. Love, goodwill to all, and peace begin with you and me, individually. It does not start with any government or church. It is true that these institutions, and others, may help us to do better, but this is essentially a personal matter. There is good in everyone of us; so, too, is the human capacity for evil. Each of us has a choice to make; and there are consequences to our choice. Let us make the goodness prevail; that the good sine; and we conquer the evil. If this happens there would be little or no crime.

Our nation has had a good budget presented for the fiscal year 2008. Opportunities abound. But each of us must make proper use of these opportunities. Again, it depends greatly on how each of us responds.

On behalf of the Government and People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I wish all Vincentians, at home and abroad, and all our visitors a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas. And please remember, always, to help the poor and marginalised in our communities. Let us pray for peace and goodwill for the inhabitants of our planet, earth.