Creating a better Bermuda is everyone’s responsibility
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”— Mahatma Gandhi
Love itself is one of Bermuda Is Love’s guiding principles. It directs our action and helps us dream of a better world. But we can get there only if we, the Bermudian population, are all committed to and believe that a better Bermuda is not only possible, but is everyone’s responsibility to create.
Bermuda Is Love argues that in order to create a better Bermuda we must:
• Advocate for a Bermuda where everyone loves and cares for each other
• Inspire change and be inspired by other change makers
• Highlight injustice and do something about it
• Tell all those who will listen that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a better Bermuda
Advocate for a Bermuda where everyone loves and cares for each other
“Bermuda is love” means creating a Bermuda where everyone loves and cares for each other. But love, in this sense, is more than affection, it is about advocating for change by standing against injustice, and not accepting things for the way they are. For us, love is both spiritual and actionable. Love transcends different races, religions, places and times. It is also a cultural force for good that has the power to sweep through our island, carrying hope to those who have none. The love we have for Bermuda exemplifies our mission to create a Bermuda where everyone can thrive and feel valued. The love we have for Bermuda is unlimited; therefore, Bermuda’s potential as a country, as an intellectual, human rights-driven, egalitarian society, is similarly unlimited.
Love also has the power to unite us all as we build a pathway forward for Bermuda in the 21st century and beyond. All Bermudians must be united in this cause to move Bermuda forward into a better world. It is our common purpose; it defines who we are and what we will become. In addition, love also gives us direction. Direction for a better Bermudian society; a society that is more driven by collaborative action than by individualistic, materialistic wants; a society that comes together not just in times of crisis, but instead sees community and collaboration as a bedrock of a functioning society; a society where no one has to worry about their own survival, wonder where their next meal is going to come from, or whether their landlord is going to evict them.
Inspire change and be inspired by other change makers
How do we create this vision of a better Bermuda? The answer for us, partly, is to volunteer and inspire change. We volunteer because we want to find and connect with other individuals who are themselves inspired to make change. We volunteer because we want to inspire and give hope to a new generation of Bermudians and promote the idea of a better future. A future, for example, where there is no trash on the ground, where no one is hungry or homeless, where everyone has good clothing and decent healthcare, etc. We believe that it is our responsibility as Bermudians to make Bermuda better, and to dream of a better future. A future where we can all live with our basic needs met and without the threat of discrimination, and can participate equally in society and in democracy.
Bermuda is a paradise, and its beauty knows no bounds. We want the Bermudian people to also know no bounds, to dream of endless possibilities, and to not feel limited by our isolation or size. But to take pride in our uniqueness and our pristine but fragile place on Earth. If every Bermudian took responsibility to commit to making Bermuda a better place, every person, place or thing would benefit immediately, and more Bermudians would be allowed to dream of a better tomorrow. But how do we get there? And how can an individual ever commit to dreaming of a better world if they are more worried about their own survival, ie, about having to work to make money in order to pay for food to eat or a place to sleep? And what exactly does a better Bermuda look like?
Highlight injustice and do something about it
We believe that a better Bermuda is a Bermuda free from injustice. Eliminating injustice creates a fairer Bermudian society where we can all equally thrive and feel valued. In order to do so, however, we must first raise awareness around the problems of injustice in Bermuda and, second, do something about them. Many Bermudians recognise trash pollution, homelessness, hunger, poverty, economic inequality, consumerism, fast fashion, climate change, biodiversity loss, poor education and discrimination as problems. Further, many of us recognise the problem of gang violence, road fatalities, and poor governance on our island. Each of these problems is in fact an example of injustice that we must face together as a country, as one people. One individual, one company, one charity, one political party cannot do it alone. We need everyone’s help to succeed.
To be clear, we believe that the examples of injustice mentioned above are societal problems. Therefore, they will be solved only when our society decides to come together as one to actively tackle each of them. Individuals drink and drive. Individuals litter and dump trash. Individuals suffer from homelessness. Individuals get discriminated against. But these problems are not individual problems. Rather, they are societal problems. These societal problems reflect Bermudian cultural norms. And these cultural norms help to proliferate our acceptance of drink-driving, littering, homelessness, poverty, homophobia, poor governance, etc, from generation to generation.
It is everyone’s responsibility to create a better Bermuda
As a population, as one Bermudian people, we must say “enough”. We cannot allow things to continue as they are. It will lead only to more inequality, suffering and injustice. We must come together to stand for change, stand for love. It is often said that Bermudians have no real culture, that we do not know our place in the world, because our history has been lost. Well, we say, let togetherness, community and our love for one another be our defining cultural movement. Let us all, from this day forth, recognise that each and every one of us represents our shared Bermudian cultural identity, and that for our culture to change, each and every one of us must stand for and be the change we want to see. It is not just the responsibility of the MP, or the employer, or the pastor. We are all responsible for what our country is and will become. And we must hold each of us to account.