We find ourselves once again at the time of year when everything and everyone is just a little more special. It’s Christmas.
There’s a magic in the air as we bustle about in search of the right gifts and food. But today I would like us to slow down just a little and consider all that we have to be thankful for in Cayman.
Today the world around us is filled with news of doom and gloom from terrorism attacks to countries facing serious financial hardships. We hear and read stories of people fleeing their homeland because of wars or injustice and of countries that are overwhelmed with the burden of the refugees.
In a world where so much seems to be going wrong, we sometimes don’t appreciate how blessed we are in the Cayman Islands.
That’s what we should be doing this Christmas season; counting our many blessings and being thankful for them.
While we are not without our own issues in Cayman, we have most certainly been richly blessed as a country.
Christmas is a time that reminds us to be thankful for our families and friends and the many opportunities to gather for food, fellowship and making memories. I know that I am thankful for my wife, my two sons, my father and sisters as well as my extended family and the many people I am fortunate enough to call friends.
We can be thankful that once again God has spared us the wrath of another devastating hurricane this year and we pray our good fortune and blessings continue into the upcoming New Year.
In Cayman we are blessed with a sun that is constantly kissing us and we are surrounded by the most beautiful water in the world.
We are also blessed and thankful that we are a country that, as it says in our Constitution, is “A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values, tolerant of other religions and beliefs.”
I count as our blessings and am thankful for the many businesses that have chosen the Cayman Islands as their home base and for the tourists who find our homeland as appealing as we do.
We are thankful for the farmers and fishermen whose provisions we consume year-round, but especially at Christmas.
I do believe that sometimes we forget, in the grand scheme of things, that Cayman is blessed beyond measure. So let us turn aside the tragedy, turmoil and treachery we see the world over and instead dwell on thankfulness.
It is my hope that during this special time of year you take some time to reflect on your personal blessings and those of the Cayman Islands and offer thanks.
It is my sincere hope that each of you has a joyous Christmas and that these feelings of goodwill to our fellow man will carry over into the New Year.
Today many will unwrap their Christmas gifts and receive nice surprises. But there are still gifts we can give. I have a few suggestions made by Oren Arnold, a novelist, journalist and humourist:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
On behalf of Government, my family and myself, I wish each of you a very blessed Christmas season.
Premier Alden McLaughlin