Speech

My Fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora: 

A New Year is upon us, and we are all breathing a collective sigh of relief that 2020, the year that re-shaped our lives in so many ways, is behind us.

As 2021 dawns, we are stepping into the unknown with some trepidation, with as the COVID-19 pandemic continuing unabated. Having settled into the realities of pandemic life, we must continue to make the difficult adjustments guided by our many experiences in 2020.

Let us embrace the challenges as we move forward while keeping the positives of the past year in perspective.  I think all of us can agree with the advice of the late Bob Marley who said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

We all should adopt a positive mindset, as we persevere in the battle against the darkness and fatigue that we experienced in 2020. It is easy to become preoccupied with negative thoughts and outlook, however, we have many positive and innovative ideas emerging from our various experiences with COVID-19, and for these we are grateful.

In moving forward, I offer words of hope, reassurance, and courage.  Let us not allow our fears to overwhelm us.  Difficult though it may be, we must press on to embrace faith over fear. 

 Many years ago, I taught my students that if they have faith they would be winners.  Those who believed and adopted the mantra became very successful entrepreneurs and professionals.  Now, I commend the same to you:  Do not lose faith!

Let 2021 be the year when we move forward and demonstrate again, the great potential of our Jamaican people. Let us affirm our commitment:

  • to development,
  • to celebrate life, and
  • to believe in ourselves.

Minnie Haskins in her famous poem “Gate of the Year” wrote:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

We must remain supportive and caring of each other in this New Year, with renewed strength, and the resilience that define us as Jamaicans.

Lady Allen joins me in wishing everyone a healthy, safe, productive, and happy New Year.

 

 

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