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A Love Message to the Nation

By Barrington H. Brennen, February 7, 2014

For all residents of The Bahamas during February 2014, the month of love.

Published in The Nassau Guardian on February 14, 2014

 

 

Are we a nation torn apart by violence and crime or are we a nation filled with love, compassion,

Barrington H. Brennen

and understanding?  Some of us are grasping feverishly to what’s left of a sense of national love, compassion, and understanding.  All is not lost.  For almost two decades I have been writing in this newspaper about romantic and marital love.  In this article I’ve decided to talk about our need for “national love or “neighborly love”   Yes, it seems as though love is fading away, but we must not let go.  In 1965 Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote these words:  

“What the world needs now, Is love, sweet love,

It's the only thing that there's just too little of.

What the world needs now, Is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.”

Isn’t it interesting how poet Hal David almost fifty years ago was also concerned about how love was fading away in the world.  He saw the world then filled with plenty—everything it needed, but one thing it needed the most of was love.  He saw then national and international violence, prejudice, hatred, and war.  That was in 1965.   It’s the same or worse today.

 

The two stanzas of the song are:

“Lord, we don't need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb,
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last 'til the end of time.

 

Lord, we don't need another meadow,
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow,
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine,
Oh listen Lord, if you want to know…oh…”

Here is a stanza I just penned with the same theme in mind:

“Lord, we don’t need another white sandy beach,

Or groupers down deep in the sea to reach.

We do not need more warm sunny days for tourist to bathe

Nor first-class automobiles to drive down by the bay.

 

What The Bahamas needs now, Is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.”

I found it also fascinating that it was also in 1965 that Jamaican, the late Bob Marley wrote the song ,“One Love—People Get Together.” The song was released as a single in 1965 but used later on his album “Exodus” in 1977.   He also wrote out of a need for his country to live in peace and not in war.  The central theme of the song is also love, peace and harmony.    Here are a few lines from the song:

“One love, one heart

Let's get together and feel all right

As it was in the beginning (One love)

So shall it be in the end (One heart)

Alright, "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."

"Let's get together and feel all right."

One more thing . . .

 

Sayin', "One love, one heart

Let's get together and feel all right."

I'm pleading to mankind (One love)

Oh, Lord (One heart) Whoa. . . “

 

TRUE LOVE FOR EVERYONE

True love dispels hatred.  True love neutralizes the need for war and violence. True love crosses racial and ethnic barriers.  True love is blind to the physical make up (color, size, height, accent) of the person but opened to the hearts and feelings of everyone—black or white, Bahamian or Haitian, Jamaican or Greek, American or German.    Decades ago (between the 40s and 60s) countless persons came from other Caribbean Islands to work in The Bahamas.  They came from Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad, (etc) to be police and prison officers and teachers.  We needed them, so we invited them to come.   They made The Bahamas their home.  They got married here and now know more about this country than their own birth country.    They love being Bahamian.   Why then are we allowing xenophobic behaviors to overtake us?  Is that love?  Have we forgotten where we came from?  Most Bahamians have another nationality in their heritage.    Let’s not forget that The Bahamas is a tiny melting pot of nations where the energies from each culture merge into what should be one national force of love, compassion and understanding. That’s our nation.   Do not let our nation become a brick oven of hatred, anger violence, racism and sexism.  “Let’s get together and feel all right.”

 

HOW CAN WE LOVE MORE?

What can we do as individuals to change our nation and let more love permeate our hearts?

  1. Each individual must be determined to show love, respect, and appreciation to everyone, whether on the bus, in the workplace, church, sport center, or home.

  2. Each individual must value everyone as 100% equal to him or herself, regardless of color, nationality, language, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religious belief.  Respect the right of each one to be different.

  3. Each individual should make it a point during the remaining weeks in February to reach out to someone unknown and say something encouraging and uplifting to the person.  Make sure it is a person of a different race, language, nationality, ethnicity or religious background, etc.  Whatever you say, say it sincerely with meaning.

 

Let’s get together and start loving everyone unconditionally. 

 

 “Let’s get together and feel all right.”

 


 

Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit  www.soencouragement.org  or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.

 

 

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