Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
What is the purpose of our existence here in Bermuda? What do we want Bermuda and Bermudian life to look like in the year 2023 and beyond? What values do we want our people to hold? What kind of lives do we want our people to live? These are the fundamental questions every Bermudian should be asking themselves. In short, what kind of society do we want to live in? And how should we go about creating it?
By asking these questions, we can begin to think about the society we live in and how we can improve it. We can discuss goals that we should be aspiring to and implement steps we can take to achieve them. Steps that will improve our lives and help us realise our dreams; steps that will allow us to succeed and thrive both locally and globally.
Bermuda Is Love believes in fully realising the pursuit of happiness for every person in the country. Every person deserves to be happy and fulfilled. Every person deserves to live a meaningful life. To be able to laugh and have fun; to create and imagine; to compete and strive for greatness; and to be able to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don’t do anything illegal or violate the human rights of others. As a society, we must recognise that our collective responsibility is to build a fair, equal and free society. A society that is the pride of all humanity. A society that resembles what it truly means to be human.
However, we recognise that the problem of fully realising the pursuit of happiness is that the world is not a just, equal or free place. Poverty, inequality and injustice are issues that we must confront on a daily basis. But each and every one of us has the power and responsibility to make a change, to make a difference. Each of us has a responsibility to reduce and eradicate all forms of injustice in our own life, and within the larger context of the world — injustice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We must realise that each of us has power as political actors. Every act is a political act, and all life is controlled and influenced by policy, laws, regulations, customs, culture and religion. Every part of life is political: from what you buy, to where you live, to how you think, to who you think you are. However, we are all complicit when we sit back and let decisions be made — without our input — that do not uphold justice, equality or liberty, and that do not ensure the pursuit of happiness for all.
Moreover, the pursuit of happiness is never won. It is something we must continuously strive for and endeavour to provide to each generation of humanity. Institutions and political ideas such as democracy, capitalism or freedom from slavery have not always been guaranteed. For example, democracy is not an everlasting edifice that defines human existence. Instead, it is part of a larger tradition of modern political ideology that values human equality. To uphold democracy requires dedicated servants to defend principles of justice, honesty, integrity and equality. And it is a tradition that must be continuously expanded and defended to include all peoples.
Ultimately, it is up to each of us to defend justice, equality and liberty.
But how do we create a Bermuda that is just, equal and free? Bermuda Is Love believes that such a society can exist only if every individual takes it as their own moral responsibility to improve society and uphold rights to justice, equality and liberty. Any society that does not afford such rights to its people is an unjust society. Not advocating, supporting, protecting or speaking up for human equality is the greatest offence against our collective conscience. We all deserve to be equally respected and guaranteed equal opportunities in life.
Practically, as a society, our focus should be on ensuring that every person has access to an excellent moral, cultural and scientific education. An education that opens their eyes up to the greatest potential for all human existence and experience; that creates a boundless endeavour to curiosity and progress; and that highlights the untapped resource of human love that each of us carries within our own hearts and minds. To start such a journey we must believe in ourselves and each other.
We must teach and communicate that even though Bermuda is a small island nation, the dreams, aspirations and goals of our people are beautifully large. We do not simply exist to survive. We exist to thrive. We exist to be better, to do better, to make Bermuda truly another world where everyone is valued; where everyone can contribute, where everyone can achieve their dreams.
That is the world that we must build together. That is the world we deserve.