Fresh hope – Nov 2


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REGENERATING THE MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES OF OUR SOCIETY

By Vernon Khelawan

Two things struck me last weekend which gave me renewed hope that Trinidad and Tobago can indeed be returned to a high level of moral and spiritual mores.

I was heartened by a statement made during a valedictorian’s address at a graduation ceremony at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus. It was an indication that in spite of all the problems we face in Trinidad and Tobago today, all is not lost. There is still hope that we can pull back from the edge of the abyss where we are now poised, albeit slowly.

Valedictorian Nickysha Jogee told her fellow graduates, “We must be committed to living a life that is filled with the kind of humanity that engenders honesty, kindness, integrity and empathy to our fellow man.”

Coming from a young UWI graduate, such a message carries much weight since what it means is that our young people are ready to engage in activities that can make significant changes in this country as it moves forward. The older folks must do everything in their power to engage and connect with this generation, encouraging them to be the start of a social and cultural renaissance that would be an example to the world.

Ms Jogee may have had nothing to do with our Third Pastoral Priority – Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of Our Society – but what it shows is that even in the hallowed halls of academia, there is concern about the state of our society. And, there is a willingness to initiate change, based on the realisation that our society has lost much of its traditional values and the time has come to retrieve them.

She appealed to her peers to go out into the world and use their skills to persuade others to do the right thing and to lead more fulfilling lives, which would be beneficial to all.

Ms Jogee’s remarks were in consonance with those of Archbishop Joseph Harris who, speaking to a group of Sixth Form girls and boys recently, said, “The gifts and talents that God gives you are meant to help this world become a better place for everybody.” He challenged them to consider “giving their skills to God” after completing their university stint and having acquired qualifications in various disciplines.

The word is out. Let’s make every effort to have our society return to its once high standards.