She made the call yesterday in the media statement of her Corpus Christi day message. She noted that Jesus Christ offered his own body and blood to save mankind from punishment and citizens should try to “emulate the example of selfless duty He set even if we do refrain, as is perhaps wiser, from personal sacrifice”.
“Because we are a people of faith we must recognise and appreciate the empowerment that comes from thoughtful reflection, prayer, and a deeply-rooted belief in a higher power who loves, guides, and protects us all,” she said.
Referencing the national motto “together we aspire, together we achieve”, Persad-Bissessar pointed out that civic duty is the responsibility of every citizen of sound mind and body.
She continued: “To aim higher than the circumstances of birth and chance that encircle us is a duty and responsibility that falls to every man, woman, and child of Trinidad and Tobago. We cannot and must not leave our duties and responsibilities to our colleagues, family, friends, and fellow citizens in the ill-considered hope that they will solve our domestic problems and our nation’s difficulties for us.”
She urged citizens to work together and noted the power in unity.
“We need to face our difficulties fearlessly, without trivialising them, but in the expectation that, because we are willing to work together to bring focus, concentration, and goodwill to tackling the issues that impede our progress, our united efforts will bear fruit. We are a gifted people. We are a well-educated people. We can make a difference to all our lives; real progress is within our reach,” she said.
She noted that naturally the society looks for leadership from leaders “who have made the pledge that they will not tire in their efforts to provide continuous guidance to our fellow citizen”. She added, however, that we must also remember that “many hands make light work”.
Persad-Bissessar noted it is the right of every citizen to challenge their leaders to aim for excellence in the exercise of their public duty “but it is also imperative that we receive the universal support of our people”.
“Our nation needs real and effective commitment from all of us to make our true and selfless actions speak louder than our words,” she said.
“Whatever the public perception of the role of our leaders be assured that it is our Government’s constant preoccupation and determination that our best efforts will determine our actions on behalf of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” she added.
She said as Prime Minister and proud citizen she is gratified that the nation possesses a rich legacy of cultural, economic, political, religious, and social freedom “that is enshrined in our Constitution and cherished by the diverse people of our nation”.
“That enviable freedom is admired by people of all nationalities, whatever the social and political realities of their particular situations,” she added.
Also, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith urged all citizens to foster hope, unity and love in the country. In delivering Corpus Christi greetings to the population during a sitting of the Senate on Tuesday night, Hamel-Smith noted earlier observations by Opposition Senator Shamfa Cudjoe and Independent Senator Anthony Vieira about the tradition of planting crops on Corpus Christi.
Hamel-Smith said apart from planting crops, “we can plant seeds of hope, unity and love in our country and within our own circle of influence.”