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Let’s learn the art of listening and waiting



As we celebrate 30 years of Independence, it is a good opportunity for us to reflect on our history. Neglect of the past impoverishes our lives and without it we lack perspective and rootedness. Something shrivels in us when we live only in the present. Those who inherit confront the world with a confident eye for they know that they have “a place in the scheme of things.” The future, too, is there to claim.{{more}}

As a people we must see ourselves as the recipients of a tradition, which we are to enrich with our own peculiar emphasis, and re-express who we are as a people and nation. We are to see ourselves as entering into a rich and comprehensive tradition of which we are not the owners. Our learning and understanding is to be collected, assimilated and shared, transmitted to one another and to succeeding generations. The idea is one of coming together as community, being ever conscious that we are heirs of the past, accept the responsibility to propagate and pass on the accumulated wisdom to future generations.

This process demands creative skills and a generous spirit. For we are a people of different backgrounds, ideas, ethnic origins, intellectual and social levels, and political persuasions. Loyalty to the past calls for discernment to recognize what is of permanent value, and then see how it can be translated into terms that will touch contemporary life. This calls for rootedness and openness. It is true to say that we live in the present, but that does not entail the dismissal of the past. We can succumb to the temptations of living in the present to the loss of what has gone before. There must be a continuous conversation between the past and the present. This speaks of living together in community.

In spite of our knowledge and propagation of history, the present political divide that encapsulates our nation as we celebrate thirty years of independence is destroying our living in community and retarding our development as a nation.

As we journey as a nation, let us encourage and instill a spirit of generosity in one another, acknowledging and respecting our differences, being open and receptive to the sharing of diverse ideas, backgrounds, intellectual propositions, political and religious persuasions and resources. In short, let us learn the art of listening and waiting, so together we may discern, from the past, that which is of permanent value and that which needs to be transformed to satisfy contemporary needs and circumstances.

The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Christian Council believes in a triune God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet one God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in communion with each other. Communion is the expression of love and life in relationships. Love and life, by their very nature are dynamic and overflowing. Therefore ,the Communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit becomes the prototype of the human community dreamed of by those who wish to improve society.

As we celebrate our thirtieth anniversary of Independence, may we endeavour, in spite of our differences, to live together in community, to the glory of God and the betterment of this nation. Happy Independence!

Rev. Victor H. Job
President (Methodist)

Fr. Pio Atonio
Vice President (Roman Catholic)

Rt. Rev. C. Leopold Friday Anglican Bishop of the Windward Islands

Major Henry King
Salvation Army