Morning has broken, like the first morning Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird Praise for the singing, praise for the morning Praise for the springing, fresh from the word. And I might add, praise for the New Year!
Another eventful year has passed by and here we are at the start of a New Year with its customary promises of a brand New Day.
As individuals and as a nation, we must step forward boldly to grasp the opportunities that this year will present to us.
As we take stock of the year that has passed, we must personally and collectively assess what should be put aside, what needs to be improved upon and what new endeavors we must undertake.
We must purpose in our hearts to make this New Year better than last year.
Inevitably, some of the challenges will remain with us.
Often, in difficult times, some of us may be tempted to close off and become selfish and uncaring.
These approaches will only serve to build up hostility and animosity and destroy us as a nation.
As a people we must focus our minds and energies on the possibilities and the potential for progress and advancement.
This year, let us identify and build upon the positives.
Let us continue to work tirelessly to minimize the negatives.
I call upon every Jamaican: let us pull together for the benefit of all.
We are one nation, one people under God. No one is an island. No one can stand alone. An often quoted maxim reminds us:
“United we stand; divided we fall”. We must continue to work together. We must continue to approach our challenges with the commitment to improve our condition.
We must find the will to work harder and smarter.
We must seek to increase our levels of productivity and profitability.
Jamaicans are not unaccustomed to challenges.
We have shown time and time again that like ancestors; we possess the capacity to stay the course; that in the end, we always overcome – we always triumph.
For generations, our nation has produced outstanding sportsmen and women, musicians, cultural icons and indeed men and women who have excelled in every field of human endeavour.
Let us as a nation live and reflect the perseverance, discipline, responsibility, determination, indomitable spirit, courage and respect that they represent.
Our people show us every day that we have the tenacity, the will and the character to stride forth and defy all odds.
I challenge all of us to adopt those characteristics in everything that we do.
In particular, this year, we must strengthen our resolve for peace. Beginning in our homes, let us invest the time and effort to improve the relationships with our loved ones.
We must make the effort to show them they are loved, respected and appreciated.
Within the wider society, let us commit to be more caring and courteous to one another.
We must reject the coarseness that has been seeking to overtake our nation.
Let us demonstrate our humanness and hospitality in all our interactions with each other.
Let us reclaim the politeness and the friendliness for which we became known as a nation.
Indeed, let there be peace in Jamaica, and let it begin with each of us.
In 2011, we must make much of the things that really matter.
. The decency to pleasantly greet those we meet, and to reach out to those in need.
. The discipline to wait our turn and be courteous – on the roads, in our places of worship, study, play and in our businesses.
. Reflect on how our words and actions will affect others.
Let us strive for honesty and integrity in all our dealings with all those with whom we interact.
As the Cat Steven song continues:
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the New Day!
My fellow Jamaicans, let us all step forth bravely as one people and become that agent of change for a better year and a better Jamaica.
And as our National hero the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey had proclaimed:
“We can accomplish what we will”
This year, let us endeavour to work in unison as one Jamaica, one family shaping our future together.
And may our.
Eternal Father, Bless our Land; Guard us with his mighty hand.
Have a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
May all your dreams and aspiration come true!
May God bless you all!
May God bless Jamaica, land we love!