The true meaning of love
“We've been down in the valley much too long.
For the sake of the younger generations,
Putting hearts and minds to brotherhood and unity.
So rise and shine!”
Season’s greetings and happy new year to you and your respective families at home and abroad.
One year ago, we all took part in some form or another of what used to be our traditional new year's celebrations.
Some went to church services, some went to house parties, others went out to massive gatherings in Hamilton or the Town of St George.
We went house hopping around to different friends and family. Large gatherings were always filled with hugs and sitting closely next to each other, while eating the varied dishes that our diverse culture has produced.
We exchanged gifts, eggnog and other island concoctions.
Individuals planned for new year’s resolutions, families planned for trips, businesses planned for profits and governments planned budgets.
Then came 2020.
With the onset of an unplanned global pandemic, all plans and predictions, by individuals, families, corporations and governments went out the door.
So much, undoubtedly, too much, has changed over the past 365 days.
There have been so many changes that we can no longer envision those seasonal traditions of the past.
Rise and shine
In some ways, it can be said that things have taken a negative road. Massive unemployment, stalled tourism seasons, rising government deficits and uncertain futures for more than seven billion human beings.
However, truth be told, the year of 2020 has taught us, or should I say, reminded us, of the true meaning of love.
Even in the midst of having to be physically farther apart, Bermudian residents of all walks of life have learnt to be closer as families, organisations, communities and as an island.
We shopped for neighbours, helped those made redundant, fed the elderly and rejected age-old philosophies of division.
Yes, we have much to be proud as residents of this small rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
So, as we reflect on the momentous and ever-changing events of the past year, each of us will know inside of ourselves that the greatest gift of this season is not what is contained in any wrapped gift under a tree.
No, the greatest gift that we have is the strength of centuries of weathering each and every storm that has come our way.
Indeed, the greatest gift is the God-given love that we have for each other as a people.
So, let us individually and collectively exhibit those precious gifts even more in 2021.
Let us resolve individually and collectively that those who are hungry we feed, those who need to retool we teach, and those who are lonely we show love.
In doing so, we honour the one who was given unto us some 2000 years ago.
Happy 2021, Bermuda. Continue to rise and shine.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com