Focus | Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year

For almost 52 weeks now, we have journeyed together through the articles of this column. Thank you for your readership and feedback, positive and critical, on the thoughts shared. I thank The Nassau Guardian, its publishers and editors for allowing me the space to contribute in this way. I especially thank them for their patience when I tested the limits of their waiting power on my pieces. They are all professional people who dedicate themselves to excellence in the important work of journalism.

This year for me has been an interesting one. It was filled with achievements, challenges and learning. Through triumphs and defeats, I have been made better off because of all I experienced in 2019. I tried to make this column one that could inform, inspire and encourage us to better living. At times I critiqued our leadership and ourselves, but never out of malice and always out of a deep desire to provoke us to higher heights. Where I have succeeded at this, to God be the glory; where I have failed, lay it to my charge as an imperfect human being. If at any time I have caused offense, please forgive me, it was not my intention and I shall strive to do better in the future.

To the leadership of this country; when I say leadership here, I mean both the governing and opposing sides; please know that nothing about what I do here or anywhere else is intended to harm you. To be sure, I will continue to comment on your deeds, good and bad. When you do well, I shall say so and when you do not, I shall also say so. I want you to succeed because in your success is the success of our country. I have said often, the success of both the government and opposition improves the prospects of our nation. Yours is a difficult task and no one should take it lightly. I certainly know that it can be a thankless task. That notwithstanding, this is the duty for which you signed up. Take it all in stride. Be proud of your opportunity to serve. In humility, acknowledge your shortcomings as a human and work daily to overcome them. Be honest in dealings and authentic in your service. Work for peace and build unity always. This is your highest calling as a leader. If you do this, it does not matter what I or anyone else thinks, you will be great leaders for our nation.

To my fellow Bahamians, what a blessing is this place we call home. What a greater blessing it can be if we learn daily to love one another. The love I speak of here is not a feel-good fairy tale affair, rather it is a commitment to the virtues of patience, kindness, long suffering, mercy, fairness and caring toward each person no matter how they make us feel. The Bahamas is as good and bad as we make it together. Yes, there are things beyond our control that impact us – the world economy, the hurricanes, and forces in the universe. We can, however, control our thoughts and emotions towards each other; and if we can do this in a positive way, this almost physical paradise of ours can most certainly be a social haven as well.

Whatever your experiences this year-learn from them. Think positively about what is to come. Work now in a way that sows seeds of better for your future.

Next week this time will be Christmas Day. I hope it is as merry for you as it can be. The week following that will be New Year’s Day. I trust that it will be the beginning of a more fantastic times in your life. God bless you all and God bless The Bahamas.

• Zhivargo Laing is a Bahamian economic consultant and former Cabinet minister who represented the Marco City constituency in the House of Assembly.


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