“But there was also rivalry among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest”.
Trinidad and Tobago is multicultural, multiethnic society -this should be our pride and joy. Our diversity in culture and perspectives should be harnessed as an example to the world of unity and national pride.
Note well: Our watch words, motto, Independence pledge and National anthem all call for national unity.
In the Independence Pledge, honesty in our thoughts, words and deeds come before the call to work together. Dishonesty, nepotism and racism destroys trust and severely hinders national progress. It is very easy for us to label each other and list each others’ flaws. But just as we all have flaws, every creed and race has something good that we each can learn of the other.
There are creeds and races that are known for their unshakeable family values, strong loyalties, business acumen, plethora of skill, focus, thrift and ability to weather difficult situations, discipline, punctuality and more. To be sure, each of these attributes can be found in all creeds and races, but some are better known for consistent display of these attributes from generation to generation.
Let us practising speaking about the things are of “good report” of different creeds and races especially in the presence of children. Especially in the presence of children and young people we must never, ever give voice to negative racial sentiments. We must strive to banish these sentiments even from our thoughts. The root of this dissension is rivalry as to which creed or race “should be considered the greatest”.
Take a look at your hands. I appreciate having all my fingers and my thumb on my left hand as much as I value those on my right hand and I am sure you do the same for yours. Even from one hand to the next corresponding fingers are not identical. The index fingers are similar and quite useful but I would not want to replace my thumb with another index finger. The ring finger is somewhat physically weaker but useful all the same, I would not want to cut it off for that reason.
If the littlest finger sustains an injury, the entire hand is less capable than it was before the injury. I can live without any or all my fingers but I would not seek to handicap or get rid of any of them simply because the have different strengths, shapes or sizes- that would be foolish and insane thing to do. Even if one finger is injured, due to neglect or circumstances, my first and best efforts are centered on saving it.
So it is with us in a multicultural, multiethnic society; like the fingers and the thumb on our hands we need to work together to build our nation. Whenever you are tempted to give in to racist sentiments, look at your hands, clasp them and pray for wisdom and a sound mind.
Be the change you want to see in T&T