Editorial
November 29, 2022
This busy season, let’s exercise patience and tolerance

This week, as the month of December is ushered in, we enter the homestretch towards our largest cultural and religious festival, Christmas.

The Christmas Season is also the busiest time of the year in St Vincent and the Grenadines in relation to commercial activity. It is still by far also the time of the year which draws the widest participation of the Vincentian people, including those in the diaspora.

Central to this hive of activity is the heavy commercialization of the Christmas festival. In turn it means that a lot of emphasis and much time and effort are expended by families and individuals seeking to increase and maximize their earnings over the pre-Christmas period.

As persons become more desperate to earn enough to “enjoy a good Christmas”, they also become more vulnerable to all kinds of seeming attractions. Financial institutions make apparently attractive loan offers, even credit unions, which traditionally ought to be savings-oriented, not agents for consumerism.

The pressures, especially on low-income families which nevertheless wish to provide some “Christmas cheer” to their members, grow as the December 25 date approaches.

The busy season also provides a flashpoint for tensions and conflict. There is the traffic situation in a congested Kingstown, always a provocation to road rage. The street vending issue has long been a sore point and it will be interesting to observe to what extent the government’s recent initiatives to solve the problem will help.

There will still be disagreements and tensions but at least we should try to make it work — vendors and consumers alike. Always make room for considering the needs and feelings of others, not just our own selfish desires. It calls for accommodation and adjustment.

One particular area of tension is at the port and customs. This has become even more so over the years with the annual “Christmas barrel” concession by the government. The closer we get to Christmas the greater the possibility of tensions flaring up into confrontations, mostly verbal, but it can be worse sometimes.

This is where patience and tolerance, as taught by the One whose birth is the genesis of all the activity, must be invoked.

It is also important for us to be our “brother’s and sister’s keepers”, looking out for the interests of the less fortunate among us in particular. The season also brings with it the attraction towards criminal activity and while we attempt to put our own safeguards in place, let us keep an eye out and provide a helping hand to the aged, the infirm, the children, the disabled and the homeless.

A collective effort in this direction will go a long way towards ensuring the realization of our sometimes empty, “Merry Christmas to all”.

Let our deeds, not just words be the Hallmark of Christmas 2022.