Beyond April Fools Day
Albert Einstein once said that “coincidence is Gods way of remaining anonymous”. It is therefore truly poetic that the first 100 days of our new government would finish on Easter weekend a time for spiritual healing and new beginnings. It is even more fitting that the rest of their term in office begins on April Fool’s Day.
The ancient history of April Fools is obscure to me, but I fully appreciate the modern sense this is a day for practical jokes. The expectation is that we have to be on our guard against becoming a subject of someone else’s sense of humour at our expense. On the other hand, your own joke has to be effective or you will be labelled as the victim of your own inept attempt at foolishness.
You have to wonder why our system of government with all of its regard for pomp and circumstance chose this day to commence the budgetary year. There are no coincidences in life. The “powers that be” may indeed have their own sense of humour.
April Fool’s Day makes it official we are all “on notice” to pay attention to the details. Every dollar issued from this day on is part of a grand design that is an opportunity for future comedy or drama based on the choices we make, whether wittingly or otherwise.
Like many Bermudians, I voted for a change on December 17, 2012 not because I am “pro” or “con” any particular party but because I have a vested interest to represent UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY WORLD VIBE, FIGHTING WITH PEACE AND NOT FOR IT.
I have always chosen to declare my interest publicly to each administration so that there is no uncertainty about where I stand on the issues of the day. I also have my own sense of humour about the practical game of truth and consequences, so every day is like April Fool’s Day in my world.
I predicted both the arrival and the exit of the Progressive Labour Party Government long before it seemed possible on both sides of the equation. I also played my part in the outcome; I wasn’t just a bystander.
My high point was realised in 2009 when my team was able to orchestrate the official visit by Minister Louis Farrakhan for a national address based on my vested interest in unity. We secured a broad consensus among Government, the Opposition, business and the media to avoid any potential controversy. And we set the tone for the gang leaders to consider a path to peaceful resolution of their hostilities. No small achievement by any measure.
Time does not stand still, however. Neither can we presume that everyone understands the influence of leaders on their followers. We can choose to follow wisdom or to pursue a path of folly. The fate of the United Bermuda Party and the PLP since 2009 speaks volumes in this regard.
Earlier this year I cautioned the new One Bermuda Alliance Government directly and in these editorial pages, that there would be no “honeymoon period” for them. Their first 100 days were already over on “Day 1”. Neither will they have the luxury of the 14 years of trial and error that were available to their predecessors.
I also challenged the PLP directly to come to terms with reasons for their election defeat. The path ahead in Opposition involves learning the lessons of humility that the UBP failed to consider, to its own demise.
The community has matured significantly on the periphery of party politics, especially on the front line of the generation gap. We have an unprecedented opportunity to chart a new beginning to the social contract that is written in the hearts and minds of “Joe Public” rather than in the letter of the law. As we take the full measure of this April Fool’s Day, I encourage all contenders for the mantle of leadership to remember the wisdom of the ages, “Only fools rush in where angels will not follow”. The electorate has fallen in line with this sentiment far beyond the limits of the House of Assembly.
The sooner our leaders truly learn to “fight with peace and not for it”, the sooner we will come to terms with the root cause of our rampant social disorders. It takes wisdom to know the difference between comedy and error. April Fool’s Day is a reminder not to be deceived by appearances to the contrary. If we find ourselves stuck in a cruel set of political circumstances, the joke is probably on us.
GLADWYN S SIMMONS
Unity in the Community, World Vibe — –Fighting with Peace and Not for it
6 White Hill Lane
Sandys SB 01
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