At the stroke of midnight, on July 10, 1973, a new nation was born. Her proud parents called her, The Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
As is customary with all newborns, there was jubilance, exuberance and high expectations of what this child would become. Thousands from across the archipelago, gathered at Clifford Park, to witness her birth as an independent nation and to observe the lowering of the Union Jack and the raising of the gold, black and aquamarine Bahamian Flag.
Tomorrow, July 10th 2023, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas turns 50 years old as a free and sovereign nation.
50 years of mastering our own destiny, charting our own course, and developing our own culture on this road that’s designed to lead us to our God.
As we critically evaluate the past and look toward the future of our country, discovering what it truly means to be Bahamian, I encourage all of us to do that which is appropriate on birthdays and anniversaries: Reflect. Objectively consider to what extent we as citizens of The Bahamas, are moving forward, upward and onward and to what extent we are doing them together. As we celebrate this major milestone, I invite you to kindly consider these thought provoking questions:
How does the future of our country look to you?
Where do you see it going?
What do you aspire for it to become?
What contributions are you prepared to make towards its future development?
Our National Motto, in spite of its brevity, it’s message speaks volumes: Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.
These 4 words speak to the direction and spirit in which our Country should be going.
Four words but fundamentally two significant themes:
- Forward. Upward. Onward speak to Movement….depicting the spirit of this year’s theme.
- Together speaks of unity.
In the context of our national motto,
FORWARD suggests that we’re to be advancing towards an ultimate destination.
UPWARD emphasizes that as we move forward, we move toward a higher place, dimension or position. Its what the late Timothy Gibson in our national anthem calls, “A higher loftier goal”.
ONWARD speaks to the reality that the advance we seek is not a onetime event but something that’s ongoing.
TOGETHER speaks to moving in a unified manner as an interconnected and interdependent people. In other words: we’re stronger when we’re moving together.
The national motto makes it clear that our national success is contingent upon our ability to come together and work together.
Timothy Gibson, obviously shared the same vision for our nation as he crafted the words of our National anthem. Listen to some of those words:
“……See how the world marks the manner of your bearing; Pledge to excel thro’ love and unity.”
“……Pressing onward, march together, to a common loftier goal;”
When it comes to The future of the Bahamas, Failure
was not foreseen. From day one, we were encouraged to Pledge to do well; to make excellence our target AND to do so being supportive of each other, Standing up and looking out for each other.
I would be wise for us to accept the philosophical view that “I can never really be what I ought to be until you become what you ought to be.”
“I need you and you need me. I need you to be what you ought to be so I can be what I ought to be. “
That’s the spirit upon which this church was built. It was never “Us and them.”…it was always just Us.
There is power in Unity. Unity attracts God’s favor and anointing. God is not attracted to and hardly blesses division. Unity leads to greater productivity.
At 50, it’s really time for this country to forge ahead with a greater sense of unity in spite of our differences.
If we are to persuaded to prepare the next generation of Bahamians to be morally conscious, culturally responsible, nationally patriotic and globally focused, we must come together.
We must all work diligently to move away from our clannish tendencies and embrace the philosophical view that we are all in this boat together. This means that we must be deliberate in our thoughts and intentional in our actions to come together and we must do so by first looking at the man in the mirror.
Let’s make life in the Bahamas simple again.
Let’s rekindle the flames of love, care and concern for others.
You will never reach your highest potential by yourself. God has ordained people to be in your life who will strengthen you, encourage you and push you toward your purpose. My fellow Bahamians, it does not matter who you are or what your predicament in life is, for your life’s journey, God has assigned someone to your life to constantly remind you that God did not bring you this far to abandon you. Together we are better, stronger, smarter and more powerful