Learning from 2018

On the eve of the New Year, a new consciousness dawns on earth. God once again inspires each human being, each creature, with new hope, new light, new peace and new joy. – Sri Chinmoy

2018 began like any other year – a dreadful reminder that the festive Christmas season had come to an end, with adults heading back to work and children preparing for school. Race, religion and wealth continued to define us, as politics dominated the news and we all went about our busy lives.

In August an earthquake struck our region, violently shaking our twin islands for 90 seconds. It was perhaps the most frightening experience that our people faced in recent times and for weeks to come we would be talking about it – or at least until the disastrous flooding in central and east Trinidad occurred.

On that day in October, thousands safely tucked into their homes woke up around the country to photos and videos circulating on social media. It was heartbreaking, to say the least, and we all witnessed old and young, rich and poor, house pets and wild animals, all desperate for safety; some escaping through ceilings while some waded through murky waters in the dead of night, hoping, praying and awaiting help. It was a weekend that will never be forgotten.

Through it all, something truly spectacular emerged. Trinidadians showed their resilience and love for country, and ordinary people become heroes. It was undoubtedly, a most profound lesson in humility and the indomitable power of humanity. Once again, we trusted and had faith that there were still good people in the world.

Gandhi taught us to never lose faith in humanity, to watch our thoughts, to remake ourselves, to empathise with others, and to learn to forgive. When tragedies happen, we unite, we show compassion and we share love.

It is our hope that 2019 brings us all continuous compassion and forgiveness, and that we continue to stand together through the good times and the bad.

May 2019 bring new happiness, new goals, new achievements and many new inspirations into your life, with resounding success, light and prosperity. Have a happy and blessed New Year!

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