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Appreciate the importance of God-given health and strength

Appreciate the importance of God-given health and strength

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Fri Dec 21, 2012

by: Honourable Arnhim Eustace, Leader of the Opposition, St Vincent and the Grenadines and President of the New Democratic Party

On November 8 this year, as I gathered with supporters of the NDP for a peaceful march, I dislocated my left shoulder in a freak accident. It was no one’s fault, really. One week later, my shoulder was the least of my problems, as my arm swelled to three times its size. Tiny bruises I sustained when I fell had become infected. I was hospitalized.{{more}} Roughly six weeks after the accident, while I have made great progress, thanks to my attentive doctor and nurse, I have a lengthy period of physiotherapy ahead of me. For the first time I can remember I will not be carving the turkey on Christmas Day.

I appreciate anew the use and importance of my arm; I profoundly understand the importance of God-given health and strength.

It would appear that we never miss the water until the well runs dry. Christmas, a season typified by lavish consumption through eating and shopping, has been whittled down perhaps worldwide, but certainly in St Vincent and the Grenadines, to a season of “remember when…” Having precious little with which to shop or feast, we simply remember better Christmases past.

We appreciate anew the importance of a little extra cash to buy a ham for Christmas lunch, a little extra space in the budget to buy toys for children who cannot and should not understand terms like “economic recession” and “fiscal mismanagement”. We appreciate the little extras that made it possible to send a hot Christmas meal to that elderly couple nearby who are too arthritic to cook for themselves. We appreciate now those years when we didn’t harbour private terrors at the prospect of what the coming January held in store.

It is, in one important respect, a good thing that we must sacrifice at Christmas. Christmas is the observation of the birth of God’s gift to us, His son, who in turn sacrificed Himself that we might have everlasting life.

Loss forces us to value what we have. The sacrifices necessitated by such loss will not be in vain if we apply ourselves to restoring, rebuilding and reclaiming. We have lost our homes, our livelihoods and our nation. As we face 2013, let us apply ourselves to recovering all that we have lost in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We in the New Democratic Party have pledged to return our country to positive growth, increased employment and incomes and better social conditions.

On behalf of my family, the executive and members of the New Democratic Party, I wish Vincentians the world over the best Christmas possible and a 2013 that changes the course of our nation.

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