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Friday, July 3, 2020
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Mystery: common good

“Out of evil cometh good.” May we contribute this most profound idea of perhaps the greatest Christian missionary who ever lived and travelled to the ends of the earth to spread the message of Christianity? Wherever he preached he proclaimed the wisdom of the cross, crucifixion then being regarded by the Romans, the rulers of the world, as the worst penalty for the most wicked enemies of their system. Less than a century before, they had crucified Spartacus and countless other gladiators who had rebelled against Roman slavery.

When the Roman governor declared: “I find him not guilty of any crime”, the high priest and countless others clamoured, “Crucify him, Crucify him.” Might not Saul of Tarsus been one of the Jewish power structure supporters bellowing out hatred against a mere human being claiming to be the son of God?

“If you are the son of God, come down from the cross. Save yourself and save us.” Jesus ignored him and died on the cross.

What is the wisdom of the cross? Saul himself may have been a scoffer, for he was a fervent Pharisee who expected a messiah that would overthrow Rome and liberate Israel. Some weeks later, on a mission of persecution of Christ’s followers, he was struck blind as he heard the voice of Jesus Christ, who had died on the cross. A few days later in Damascus, he recovered his sight after a believer baptised him in Christ’s name. Henceforth Saul, now Paul, would testify to salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

About five years ago a former representative of Lake Independence proclaimed, “winning is the only thing.” He was talking about elections. I don’t know, but hopefully he now realizes how anti-the-Belizean-Constitution his political position was. As one of the founders of the UDP, shock waves shivered through me, down to my toes.

“What had possessed me to be a part of this craziness?” I wondered: has anyone ever told this bally about the common good? Actually, it was popularized by one who had no respect for Christianity and had taught in speech and writing that humanity needed no saviour. His name was Jacques Rosseau (18th Century).

The Preamble of the Belize Constitution anchors firmly Belizean politics into article (b), which affirms the concept of the COMMON GOOD. It says: “respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good…”

It was a glorious moment for our Belize when the Right Honourable Prime Minister indicated in addressing the nation that he was in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. Kudos to him, for admitting that this land belongs to him and us, to UDP and PUP. It was inspiring to witness him renounce partisanship to embrace nationalism and the COMMON GOOD.

What can we do to keep our nation on this solid ground of good political behaviour?

May I be spared the affliction of sentimentality and blindness, especially as I encourage the Leader of the Opposition to review his party’s support of the Equal Opportunity Bill, which if passed into law will destroy the moral fabric of our nation. It is obvious that divine enlightenment shall help us reject the sin while empowering us to honour the person who strays from moral behaviour.

Corona may teach us another extremely important lesson!

I shall refuse to go out and spend what little I have to purchase canned goods. Instead, let us shop for eggs, beans, rice, flour, corn, fruits that don’t rot quickly.

Our Central American neighbour, El Salvador, some days ago closed off all its borders to encourage self-reliance and consumption of local goods and neglect of foreign ones. Hopefully those will also include addictive substances.

Our present crisis should encourage the revival of subsistence farming — only improved to enable village people to pool their resources to make marketing efficient. Maybe in the name of the COMMON GOOD public financing should assist with transportation. Perhaps we should encourage all indigents to form brigades to keep the whole Belize clean and neat. This aspect of quality of life is totally neglected by politicians across the board. Are they only interested in votes, or are they promoting the dignity of every single Belizarian? (What’s this word? When I was a kid this is what we used to call ourselves. I am still very proud of our special language — Creole!)

If we really start to focus on PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT, instead of teaching our children nonsense about sex, we should teach the avoidance of vulgarity, especially in small children whose vocabulary is fifty percent the F word… with patience and good humour teach them a better word.

During my experience as Ombudsman of Belize, I travelled to various large cities. The city I liked best was London. It was really impressive that on crowded streets Britons would actually make space for you on the sidewalk; doors would be held open for you to proceed. Even if you showed excitement during a sporting event, they would smile with you. The British are remarkable!

When Belize gets back to normal, let us start by promoting, each one of us, a better quality of life… quietly, easily. Remember, the days are no longer when children on the streets were corrected by complete strangers. Any rudeness to a concerned disciplinarian would merit a parental whipping. But, please, let us preserve a winning balance!

Finally, what’s with the religious opening paragraphs?

May I be heard… with more than tolerance. If you do not understand the MYSTERY OF THE CROSS, Western Civilization will always elude your approval and acceptance. It will also elude your approval and acceptance if you do not comprehend that suffering through the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” most often purifies the soul of man, making us merciful and compassionate… and this in the final analysis is what makes us choose to serve the COMMON GOOD rather than only self!

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