A time to pause and reflect
Bermuda, like many countries large and small, is in the grip of a crisis that has shattered what most would feel is a life of normality, even though much of that normalcy has changed over the years, especially when it comes to basic values such as respect for truth and decency.
This not an issue with any one country, but worldwide. People are struggling to cope with what too many feel is a losing battle against negative elements that destroy so many communities. No one, or any country, has the answer to a growing problem that has even the most powerful countries in the world scrambling to find ways to bring peace and harmony to deeply troubled regions, where people experience a life of terror as a daily part of their existence.
The United Nations is anything but united in the effort to bring about justice and peace on this planet, where everyone should be entitled to smell the roses, instead of the scent of gun powder, with innocent victims crumpled on the ground in some areas, wounded and dying.
The pandemic which has impacted so much of life on Earth, after so many lives have been lost by a virus that remains a deep concern. Here in Bermuda, we too have challenges and some are not directly linked to the coronavirus.
The constantly widening gap between values that promote harmony and those who choose their own set of rules — right or wrong — is a big test for all leaders in democratic jurisdictions.
While Bermuda is blessed with a small population, we have not been exempted from problems faced by leading nations — including our nearest neighbour, the United States of America. Apart from the health crisis from the pandemic, that nation is confronted with issues over justice when it comes to police and their actions in dealing with people of colour. Much of the nation is uneasy over what they feel is a system in America that allows the White population to escape treatment so many people of colour are subjected to daily.
There are good Black and White officers risking their lives daily in protecting the public. However, it takes only one or two to cast a dark shadow over the entire force by taking action outside of expected protocol.
A glance around the world and it is clear that hatred and bigotry against people for just being who they are is part of today’s world. Although diversity is unstoppable, getting the world to embrace what should be a positive approach to sharing life on the planet remains a challenge for all.
Violent crime in Bermuda in recent years has impacted communities throughout our beautiful islands. There are no easy answers to an underworld of activity where some people choose to operate as though they are immune to laws of the land. When guns are involved in a small community, fear has a way of having people look the other way. It is sad.
No Bermudian who loves this country and believes in decency and truth condones any negative actions, gang-related or not. The entire island feels the pain when families are shattered by a life lost through violent crime.
Although the Government was forced to implement a seven-day lockdown to halt the coronavirus spread, it also creates an opportunity for all Bermudians to use the time to pause and reflect on how best to move forward as an island community.
There are going to be many tough days ahead and no sugar coating can change that. A crucial factor in dealing with challenging problems is that should we ignore values such as decency, truth and respect, the future could be far from bright.
Political divisiveness or finger pointing will not bring solutions. We must see ourselves as a caring community willing to to do whatever it takes to make Bermuda a place admired by the rest of the world.
It can be achieved only if we are willing to work together. The future rests with us.