Building a moral society
Bermuda Is Love’s philosophy is that we believe everyone has the capacity for goodness. We believe everyone has the natural desire to do good and to be kind. Therefore, if people can be encouraged to be good, selfless and virtuous persons, then they will naturally end up living good, selfless and virtuous lives. However, such lives need to be educated and nurtured. Being good is not what someone is, but rather what someone does. A virtuous person, therefore, is defined by the virtuous actions they do. Thus, building a virtuous character requires that persons learn how to be virtuous by doing virtuous actions.
Bermuda Is Love provides individuals with the opportunity to cultivate a virtuous character by volunteering at community events. Every event we organise acts as a lesson in building a more empathetic, selfless person and community. For us, volunteering is not something we decided to do because we thought it would be nice or because we wanted to give back to society. Rather, volunteering is a way in which we can help influence Bermudian society to become more morally inclined than what it is today. We can change the narrative from a society that takes pleasure in vanity, material wealth and competition to a society that values solidarity, community and co-operation.
As we have moved from organising trash clean-ups and blood drives to free clothing giveaways and volunteering at various organisations, our goal has always been to help ensure that a person’s basic needs are met. At the heart of it all, we are advocating for a person’s basic needs to be viewed as a human right, something that we are all entitled to. As a result, each event is chosen in so far as it speaks to the particular right to food, housing, education, healthcare, clothing, justice or a healthy environment. Organising events in this manner ensures that we are connecting with marginalised groups and/or collaborating with other organisations in our community, providing direct help to those in need, and providing new experiences and perspectives to volunteers, as well as allowing persons to consider not only their own perspective but the perspective of others.
For example, during our free clothing giveaways, volunteers come in contact with people from various walks of life. This kind of interaction builds empathy and understanding for how other people live as we discuss the style, comfort and use of clothing. In addition, during our monthly blood drives, we educate donors on the importance of their sacrifice in giving up something for nothing, simply because it will save lives and is the right thing to do. Blood drives are a powerful tool in showcasing the importance of community responsibility in ensuring community health, and represent an example of an individual action that helps to ensure that our population is as healthy as it can be. This philosophy can be applied to all our events, as by volunteering you are giving up the most precious gift anyone can give — your time.
There is something profound about one’s service to others, other than simply knowing that you are doing the right thing — which makes volunteering so important. When we volunteer, for example at a food programme, we are indirectly stating that no one should starve, and we are proudly advocating that, “I will freely give up my time and energy to make sure that people do not starve”. Therefore, every time we volunteer, we are helping to change the narrative about how people in society should be treated.
Further, in order to foster the right kind of atmosphere at our community events, we decided to organise noncontroversial activities. Such volunteer events were created to be as open and accessible as possible to the public so as to encourage people from all walks of life to become part of the movement advocating love and virtuous action. We wanted to create a safe space where everyone is accepted, based on the idea that any person can help another. We pride ourselves on equality and inclusivity in the belief that “all are welcome” and “all are valuable”. Thus, our ideology is collectivist, viewing every person as having something of value to offer.
In this regard, collaboration is one of our most important beliefs. Only by connecting and working with others can we ever hope to build a society that is based fundamentally on principles of justice, equality, freedom and love for one another. Only by joining hands with other people who share our ideals can we ever hope to create real, long-lasting change that has the potential to transform Bermuda as a place where everyone’s basic needs are met; where all persons are treated equally, fairly and with respect; and where everyone is truly free to become the best version of themselves.
This is a reminder that you are valuable, that change is possible, that together we can accomplish wonders. The first step is deciding to do so. Be good, be courageous, love one another and do not forget to be yourself.
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