One of the most wonderful things about life is that no matter how bad things get there is always an opportunity to start afresh.
And so as we prepare to say goodbye to the old year, today we should think and be inspired by hope. We’re talking about hope in the things that are not seen.
We need to because without hope in this day and age where there is sorrow and suffering everywhere, there is nothing to cling to.
Without hope, the body shivers, the mind stops, inspiration ceases and we become too busy worrying about things that are beyond our control.
Ladies and gentlemen, injustice does different things to different people. It angers, frustrates and pains deeply. It is without a doubt one of the more cruel realities of life, especially for people whom are robbed of the justice they rightly deserve.
And there is plenty of injustice everywhere we look in the world today.
Here in Samoa, the stench emanating from the government, the Church and villages’ failure to address some of the more pressing issues confronting this country is hard to accept.
We’re talking about rising social problems and inability to address incidents of corruption and abuse that are hurting the most vulnerable people in our community.
When it comes to the government, these incidents have been highlighted by the Controller and Chief Auditor as well as the Officers of Parliament Committee (O.P.C) reports to Parliament. They have been told in detail on the pages of this newspaper time and time again.
Transparency? Accountability? Good governance? We think not.
Inside the church, there is reason to believe that some shepherds are doing more harm to the flock, leaving them in sorrow and suffering.
Love? Care? Tender mercies? Absolutely not.
As for the villages, we believe the matai system can offer a lot more to help the government and the churches address the problems of today. It involves using the immense power they have to influence young people positively. It also involves them leading by example by doing what is right.
The bottom line is that everyone has a role to play.
Yes the government has a responsibility but they too need help.
In other words, we must all do our best to make sure that laws and systems put in place to ensure there is fairness all around are respected. These laws and systems are vital so that the less able among us are given their fair share in life.
With a new year on the horizon, there is reason to be thankful; there is reason to be optimistic.
Yes we see a glimmer of hope. Even if it’s just a small flicker, we believe that a little light is better than no light at all. And that comes with the arrival of a new year.
Indeed, it is good to be reassured that despite the political squabbling and the nasty name calling that has been going on for years now, democracy remains alive and well in Samoa. We must never take peace and freedom for granted. We should treasure and value it as if our lives depend on it.
So let’s not give up.
Let’s continue to take things one step at a time and believe for the best.
That’s to say we must consider the developments from this past year as vital steps towards the right direction, praying with confidence that we will eventually get there.
While at it, let’s also not forget to pat ourselves on the back. While we are not exactly where we want to be, we are also not where we used to be. Indeed all the negative experiences have taught us a thing or two about getting better each time.
We’ve said this before and we will say it again today; think of people with character and courage being strategically placed everywhere in the public and private sectors who are beginning to rise up against corruption and acts of wrong doing that are hurting the most vulnerable people of this country.
Think of the young people coming through the ranks who are beginning to question the status quo where collusion, favouritism and nepotism were regarded as the norm.
Today, let us once again remind our leaders in government, churches and in the villages that they are occupying those positions for a reason. That reason is not to protect wrongdoing but to uncover the truth, bring about justice so that the blessings from God for Samoa are equally shared among all.
And since many of them love claiming that they have been put in their positions by God, let them also be reminded that it is God who gives authority, he also removes authority. In his own time.
So while they are in a position of authority, we urge them to use it well, use it wisely because one day we will all be called to account for every little thing we are doing.
Have an awesome Wednesday Samoa, God bless!