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DFP Column strip

We are social beings. We are not meant to enjoy this world all by ourselves as individuals. As for that matter, many of us love an audience. For instance, many people like to be complimented on how beautiful their homes are or on the outfit that they wear. The truth is that we don't live just for ourselves and we desire and need interactions with others. But in as much as we want our lives to be enjoyable or fulfilled, we should also want the same for others. Why? Because those who don't live satisfied lives can act in ways that can adversely impact our own enjoyment. For instance, someone who can't feed his family may be tempted to steal and in so doing violate our personal space and affect our sense of security. Take another example – a person who feels unappreciated may not extend road curtesy, thus making the use of the public road less enjoyable.

There are various strategies that a government may implement towards fostering a socially cohesive society – one in which there is a strong sense of belonging, which we will talk more about in another article. But beyond government strategies, much rest on each individual to make his community a pleasant place to live. And I wish to encourage each one of us to search our hearts and play our part in making our country a better place. As for that matter, this is one of the ways we can overcome bad governance, by each individual being his brother's keeper! I find that in my own life I am most at peace and happy when I am contributing to the lives of others including that of strangers. Sometimes, for one reason or another, people find themselves in circumstances in which they can do with help. The circumstances of people's struggles varies - some elderly person may need help with cleaning their yard, garden or home; a mother may be overwhelmed with caring for young children and may need a break to rest or recharge; a family may be struggling to put food on the table; a father may be struggling to construct his own home while seeking to "make ends meet"; someone may be on the road and need a lift to get to work; some people simply need a smile or interaction with others so that they do not feel isolated; and there are many other circumstances that you are personally aware of. Many suffer in silence and they may not voluntarily indicate their struggles. If we dig deep and help, we may just find that we will be contributing to the liberation of our country from dependency brought about by bad politics.

But we all have our own burdens and many of us can avoid helping others by resorting to the familiar excuse that we don't have enough time or resources or that everyone should look out for themselves!

But in spite of our busy schedules, I challenge every one of us to dedicate one day in every month to help someone else. If we do that, we will be contributing to making our communities better. This is a kindness challenge; this is a love challenge – love for our fellowmen. This is a challenge to all patriots to lift our country higher. This is a challenge to all those who love God to also show love to others.

This is something that I have already started and I would like the nation to join me in this pursuit. Some weeks ago, I was moved by the plight of a senior lady who needed help with her living circumstances. I therefore reached out to the men's Ministry in the church that I attend and the men decided to take up the project of helping that lady. But we decided to go beyond helping just this lady and extend a hand of love to others in need. When we sat and discussed the matter, we realized that we are all busy but that this is something we must do. We decided to dedicate one Saturday per month to volunteer together as a church group to help others with our time and resources.

But many may think that helping someone would deprive them of something – time and money to attend to their own matters. But while that is the case, the benefit we receive ourselves from helping others can far outweigh the loss! Most of us are familiar with the scripture that says (in Acts 20:35) that it is more blessed to give that to receive. Many people find that hard to digest because many of us have gotten so wrapped up in our own desires and needs. But I have found that when you show genuine kindness to others, it not only brings joy to them, it also benefits you.

In the next article we will continue with that discussion and provide some guidance towards what we can call "the Hands of Love" Challenge.

Kent Vital Political Leader Dominica Freedom Party.


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