Message to the Nation from Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of New Year's Day 2020

Fellow Citizens,

I bring you greetings on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and from myself, and my family.

As we close 2019, opening a new year, and poised for a new decade, some may greet the cross-over with religious solemnity, and family gatherings, others may choose to continue with the merriment of the season. It is the time, when we all tend to come together as a community, when our year-round differences disappear, replaced by expressions of intimacy, care and love for all those we meet.

Unfortunately, in a few hours, a few may revert to cold, indifferent lives, communicating mainly with their distant, on-line friends, rather than extending these warm, genuine, human feelings to their children, their partners, persons on the street, or those sitting next to them.

It is said that one of the greatest tragedies of modern-day life is that humans have become disoriented, alienated from themselves, and deep down they are lonely.

As we, in Trinidad and Tobago, greet a new year, which promises a New Society, New Future, the immemorial question about life’s meaning will continue with us, but it is up to each one of us to answer the question, and the roles we must play, in his or in our own way.

But let us all start with our children. Yes, our jobs demand most of our waking hours, but we have to be concerned with those we have brought into this world.  The human infant of all the mammals is said to be the most helpless, therefore, from early life a child’s first need is to bond with its parents.

As such, much of the crime and violence we see today can be traced back to persons carrying emotional wounds, with vague feelings of unwantedness in their early life.

So, from today let us all return to our human hearts; let this be the period when we all return to our homes, giving our children their needs, preparing our families, with daily, emotional programmes of love, joy and happiness.

In this new year, as the Calypsonian, Merchant sang some thirty years ago, “Let’s all think about the children”.

As Prime Minister, I plan to reach out more, making further appeals that families pause, and pay more attention to both their children, and the elderly.

At the same time, let us pledge, in 2020, to reduce our differences, our prejudices, instead reaching out to everyone we meet, with civility, seeing them as living human beings, a brother, a sister, and fellow citizen of this great country.

May God Bless you all, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

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