A Christmas message from our Governor
At this special time of year we look forward to enjoying the company of friends and loved ones, and to sharing with them in the traditional joys of the Christmas season. It is natural, too, for our thoughts to travel back over the year that is about to end and to ponder the New Year that is about to begin.
Each of us will look back on 2009 in different ways and with different feelings. Yet behind those differences, we see common themes and shared experiences. All of us have known both hardship and joy in some measure this year. All of us have been impacted by the worldwide economic recession – the worst for 80 years – longer than most of us have been alive. Many of us are still suffering the effects of this global recession, whether through the general business slowdown, or more personally, through the loss of a job or a business – be it our own or that of someone close to us. Yes, it has been a year of unusual challenges.
Yet amidst these challenges we should also remember the blessings and successes of 2009. When the hurricane season began, for example, we were still smarting from the trauma of Hurricane Paloma in November 2008. The weather experts called for the Caribbean to experience an above average hurricane season with several major storms. It seemed a lot to hope that the Cayman Islands would feel none of their force. Yet we were spared, and now that the hurricane season is over we can count this as a major blessing.
Amidst the many other blessings and successes of 2009 are some that belong to the realm of government. Whatever our politics – and any year with a general election will see plenty of politics – we should never lose sight of the tremendous fact that we live in a democracy where the transition from one government to another takes place – as it did in May this year – in a peaceful, orderly and democratic fashion.
Alongside the election, of course, there was a Referendum that was a first for all Caymanians – and a further expression of our democratic way of life. And this was no ordinary referendum. Its subject was one of the most important any nation can decide upon, namely the political constitution that undergirds and shapes the actions of leaders and people alike.
As we look ahead to 2010, therefore, we do so in the confidence that the same ability to shape our future that we expressed this year in our democratic institutions can be demonstrated again in the way we use the new Constitution to advance our best interests as a people. A Constitution is really a living covenant of who we are. Let us therefore harness the resources of our new Constitution to become the best that we can be.
In closing, let me encourage all of us to enjoy the simple gifts that are always close at hand during the Christmas season, whatever our circumstances. Let me encourage each of us:-
To be energized by the exhilarating Christmas breezes;
To open our doors and windows to see and hear our neighbours, so that we give the words ‘open-house’ its true seasonal meaning;
To reconnect in new and lasting ways with our friends and family;
To ignore the size of the gifts and the tree. Instead, to focus on and be uplifted by those who join us around the family table; and finally
To choose someone to be our ‘mirror’ this Christmas – and to see our own true beauty reflected as we bring a smile to that person’s face!
May God richly bless you and yours this Christmas, as you treasure the peace and joy of this special season, and may He continue to prosper and guide the Cayman Islands in 2010.
Governor Donovan Ebanks