BEACON OF HOPE: Kamla Persad-Bissessar

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'Reach out to the less fortunate'

This Christmas, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on citizens to reach out with the spirit of goodwill to the less fortunate in our society.

"Today as you move around, choose someone whom you do not even know to show some act of kindness, no matter how small. It could be a smile to someone who seems to need the reassurance, a cold glass of water to another who is thirsty, a meal to someone who doesn't even know it is Christmas Day. Find one kind act that represents who you truly are and what Christmas is really all about and share it. That is a Trini Christmas expressed best," Persad-Bissessar said in her Christmas message released yesterday.

"When we share our blessings with those who are poor, those who have nothing, those who do not know where their next meal is coming from, we bring happiness and hope to them. When we give toys to needy children this Christmas, we bring joy to their hearts that can never be described or measured. This simple act reinforces what humanity is all about. It reconnects us all with our true nature, to be compassionate and concerned for others. This is the true spirit of Christmas that we acknowledge today," she continued.

The Prime Minister noted that the message of peace inherent in the story of the birth of Christ is very relevant in the world today, where there is so much conflict.

"We painfully witness children having to grow up in war-torn countries without ever having any real chance to enjoy their childhood and to realise their true potential. Families being wiped out by bombs and acts of terrorism, children being orphaned, maimed or killed and, ironically, sometimes religious differences and intolerance create this violence.

"As citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, we can feel a sense of pride that, in our diverse nation, we all celebrate or recognise Christmas as we do all other religious occasions. We are a beacon of hope to the world in the way we respect and acknowledge each other's religious festivals and traditions in peace and harmony. And for this we give praise and gratitude to God," she said.

"Christmas provides us with the opportunity to bring out the best in ourselves and to give meaning and action to the message of Christ today and every day by the way we live. We have so much to be thankful for and to appreciate. Please take the time to reflect on it all and to cherish these blessings, large and small.

"And in this season of goodwill, let us resolve to be messengers and bearers of peace; to choose the path to peace and holiness rather than divisiveness; to renounce all that goes against the spirit of the season; to give wholeheartedly and unselfishly; and to be the best that we can be... Enjoy yourselves, but in moderation. Please exercise extra caution on the road, remembering always that you have loved ones waiting for you at home.

"Merry Christmas everyone and may God bless you and God bless our Nation," she said.

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