Lennox Linton
Lennox Linton

Greetings in the timeless Christmas tradition of love to all the "sons and daughters of this gem beyond compare".

Regardless of the challenges and difficulties in our social and economic circumstances, Christmas remains a favorite time of the year for the Nature Island people of Dominica. Once again, this year 2018, years since the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill to men accompanied the Christ Child to Bethlehem, we embrace the blessings of family and friends with all the joy that characterizes the season.

As we close yet another year in the struggle to build an ideal nature island society and a sustainable nature island economy, we join the millions of Christians of good conscience around the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the values that defined his remarkable life.

In humble adoration, we reflect on guidelines for joyous nature island living that have emerged from His teachings:

"Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruits; the sun does not shine for itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We were born to help each other".

Let us therefore continue to strengthen our commitment to treat one another with love and compassion; care for the sick; feed the hungry; look out for the poor; and stand up for the victims of injustice and persecution. For it is these acts of human kindness that will continue to bind us together as God's beloved soldiers in the advancement of global civilization.

As we join hearts and hands in celebration this Christmas, let us ponder the importance of making our "Isle of Beauty" the Nature Island of the World. This national collective effort that patiently awaits us with understanding. In the next few years, we can… and therefore we must:

 Create a success story of nature island citizen engagement and participation that brings government, people, businesses, civil society groups and neighborhoods in a collective effort to make Dominica the real, authentic, one and only Nature Island of the World

 Establish a nature island context for education and health care and ground them in the scope and human development benefits of our natural resources

 Infect the culture with the values, attitudes and behaviors that will allow our ecosystems, our biodiversity to support our sustainability

 Establish disaster prevention and management systems to prevent loss of life; avoid fatal damage to administrative, social and economic systems; mitigate damage to public and private property; and achieve speedy recovery and reconstruction

 Set and achieve aggressive targets for water quality, food security, clean air, green businesses, green jobs, climate resilience, minimizing our carbon footprint, reducing consumption and eliminating waste

 Complete the shift to renewable energy technologies

 Connect the transportation sector to renewable energy through electric mobility

 Place priority attention on environmentally friendly design and construction of buildings that will minimize environmental impact and allow nature to work for us instead of working against nature and thereby driving up energy consumption.

The Christmas story guarantees the Christian people of good conscience in this Isle of Beauty that God will implement his plan for change, not by force from the outside but from His spirit that dwells within us all. The more we do His goodwill, the more he abides with us and the more He will move to perform His wonders driven by the pace of our interest and commitment.

Let this be the Christmas season in which we make doubly sure the alignment of our inner selves with what famed civil rights activist Martin Luther King described as an outside force dedicated to driving change and speeding up the course of justice:

"… there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows." This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we stand on the blessed assurance that we can and will reform the broken electoral system that threatens to deform our freedom and democracy; we can and will stamp out the abuse of public office for private gain; we can and will end poverty; and we can and will secure the greatest good for the greatest number.

Happy Holidays in the love and blessings of His marvelous light.