A call for together now towards a kinder and gentler society
October 26, 2007

A call for together now towards a kinder and gentler society


Independence message by Bishop Sonny E. Williams, Presiding bishop, Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (St. Vincent and the Grenadines District)

Independence is a time for deep reflection. In retrospect, there is much to give God thanks for. We have been spared again from the direct impact of a catastrophic Atlantic Hurricane.

Our island is home to an active volcano that has not erupted since we gained National Independence. When one considers the experiences of Montserrat, we have much to praise the Almighty for. Introspectively, where are we as a nation? For some time, I have been troubled by the quality of our sense of community. Sugar Aloe’s song “Nobody loves Nobody” seems to be a fitting commentary of aspects of our current community experience.{{more}}

There is a growing culture of selfishness that is so often manifested in the many social ills of our society. My grandmother would have described this tendency as “Every turkey fight for he own craw”.

Is the growing gang, gun and drug culture a manifestation of this phenomenon? Who could have imagined that there would have been the need for Secondary students to be searched and scanned with metal detectors on entering school compounds?

What is it that is fuelling this culture of selfishness and violence? An observation of our institutions can provide helpful insights. The media is one of those that have a powerful influence in shaping society. It is not surprising what captures the headline or front page as there is “money in muck”. There is far too much violence in many of the songs and movies that make up the daily menu of our children and young people. The objectification of and violence against women are reinforced by some of these popular songs. Men are encouraged to become “suicidal” when a woman exercises her choice to say it is over.

For political gains, leaders and supporters have walked by on the other side as political talk radio continues to malign and traduce others and promote a culture of gossiping. Prime Minister William Gladstone is correct when he said, “Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right”.

The Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies, St. Vincent and the Grenadines District, joins the call to a return to community: A call for together now towards a kinder and gentler society. Let us all become a part of the solution and not the problem. If we are going to win the war against gangs, violence and crime, drugs, ignorance, poverty and HIV/AIDS, all hands are needed on deck. We call on all Vincentians at home and in the Diaspora to renew our vow to our country. The words of Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, written the night before he returned to England, knowing he was fatally ill, can inspire us.

“I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above

Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love

The love that asks no questions; the love that stands the tests,

That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;

The love that never falters, the love that pays the price

The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice…”

The Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies, St. Vincent and the Grenadines District salutes the nation and reminds us all that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” (Isaiah 33:12).