Leader of the Progressive Labour Party Marc Bean on Monday delivered a Christmas message to Bermuda. *Photo supplied
Leader of the Progressive Labour Party Marc Bean on Monday delivered a Christmas message to Bermuda. *Photo supplied

MONDAY, DEC. 24: This Christmas for my family and me, will be much different than last year.  Similarly, this Christmas, for our island, Bermuda, will be much different as well.

Last week Monday, December 17, the people of Bermuda selected the One Bermuda Alliance as their new Government.  I send my sincerest congratulations to them. 

On Friday night, the delegates of the Progressive Labour Party selected me as the new leader of the Party.  I thank them for their trust and faith.

These two events have changed the political dynamics – for us as a country, and for me as an individual.

However for some in our country, they are not as tuned in to the political happenings.  Their concerns are more immediate – jobs, rent, sickness, crime.  One or more of these concerns has the ability to make Christmas an almost non-event. 

This Christmas I ask that as a people we all take the time to sit back, and assess where exactly it is that we want to take our country and how we plan to get there.  We cannot continue to live and end up wherever the fates may carry us.  We must become masters of our own destiny.   We must as a collective body come up with the solutions to these challenges.  All who are willing must be encouraged to come forward.

We must empower those less fortunate than us to chart his or her own courses.  We must encourage the more fortunate to give back and get involved in our communities.  There are many who have benefited from the social and educational development of Bermuda over the decades who have abandoned their responsibilities.  We need all hands on deck.

2012 has been a challenging year for Bermuda.  We have been torn apart by one of the longest and most tiresome election cycles in our history.  We must rebuild the bridges that have been burned, and we must reestablish trust and honor in our politicians and in the political process.

We cannot allow the race baiting, name calling, and downright disturbing comments made on blogs and social media to become the norm.  It is un-Bermudian and un-Christmas-like. 

I ask that this Christmas we celebrate our families and our friendships.   Let’s celebrate all that is right with Bermuda – and much is right about our beautiful country.  In our celebrations, however, let us also remember those in need and if possible do a good deed to assist them during this time.  We must never abandon those who are truly enduring challenging times.

I am proud to have been selected to lead the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party. I look forward to leading our Party through this next phase in our evolution. In every challenge there is an opportunity and we will make progress through this opportunity.

On behalf of my wife, Simone, and my entire family, and on behalf of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.  May God bless all of us during this time.