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NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE - Let's make it a year of productivity, prosperity, peace

Published:Thursday | January 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Sir Patrick Allen

GOVERNOR-GENERAL - Sir Patrick Allen

My fellow Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica, some of you are in the habit of making New Year's resolutions while others have abandoned the thought of doing so. Today, though, I encourage each of us to make two resolutions:

1. To develop an attitude of gratitude and

2. To reach out to others with truthfulness, respect and human kindness.

As we reflect on the year that has passed, we can perhaps remember situations which could have turned out better, if we had shown or experienced those virtues. Let us begin writing the first chapter of our life in 2015, using a different language of hope, faith, forgiveness and love, and be the change we want to see in Jamaica.

In this new year, we can find new strength and new thinking, when we accept our responsibility to break the old habits and actions which pull us down.

This kind of change takes courage as it can be unsettling, but we, our families and our country, will be better for it. As the Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, said: "Once we're thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it's only here, that the new and good begins".

That new and good beginning will happen:

  • when we decide to stand for what is right;
  • when we throw off the shackles of mediocrity and negativity;
  • when we work, not only for selfish purposes and self-aggrandisement, but for the good of all;
  • and whenever we emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, and determine that we shall be the best that we were created to be.

Today, at the dawn of the New Year, we can be grateful that life gives us yet another opportunity to try to make things right.

A wise person once said: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams". We dream of a bright future for Jamaica, so let us start this new year reflecting on where we are in relation to our dream, knowing that we must persevere beyond failure to achieve our objective.

Our path to success will demand self-sacrifice, willpower, focused, effective work, and partnership. So, we press on, knowing that our individual character and national image, will be strengthened and burnished as we pool our energies and intellect to achieve the great destiny of our homeland.

I wish that 2015 will be a year:

  • Of breakthroughs and individual achievements for the thousands of Jamaicans who dare to dream;
  • A year of productivity and prosperity, of peace and reconciliation, all across our nation;
  • A year of caring and helpfulness in our communities, where our children and the vulnerable feel loved and protected;
  • A year of safety for all on our highways and byways;
  • And a year of good health, and of protection from deadly diseases and natural disasters.

Most of all, I pray that Jamaica, land we love, will become our place of choice, as we draw closer to realizing our dream of increased "beauty, fellowship and prosperity".

Happy New Year, Jamaica, and may God bless you!

At the dawn of the new year, we can be grateful that life gives us yet another opportunity to try to make things right.