Like prior years, 2019 has been an eventful year. Some people prospered more financially and spiritually while others experienced so many challenges and losses either through health issues or murders. There has been an increase in the diagnosis of so many illnesses especially cancer. There has been an increase in the number of persons murdered especially among our young men which amounted to 13 for 2019, the highest ever. Unfortunately, most of these cases are unresolved and so we have murderers roaming the streets freely. However, I most congratulate the police department and the judicial department for being able to present adequate evidence to convict a gentleman in 2019 for the murder of two Dominican nationals.
Despite the increase in crimes, our country continues to attract more than a million tourists to our shores thus allowing our economy to boom. However, many locals continue to struggle in getting any real benefits from this booming economy.
Uncertainly also looms over the banking industry in that the three main Canadian banks that are here are in the process of exiting the Eastern Caribbean. It is expected that they will exit the rest of Caribbean including TCI.
In 2019, we continue to witness the division and tearing down among the locals all because of our obsession and fanaticism for the political parties.
The wedge between locals and expatriates also continues to widen resulting in an increase in anger, hatred, jealousy and disunity.
No matter what we did in the past, it is never too late for us to redeem ourselves from our actions. We cannot and should not live the way we lived in the past.
One of the fundamental issues in our lives is that we have rejected God. As a result our country is in a spiritual battle. However, if we surrender to God, we can win this battle and see a dramatic positive change in our country. If we really are Christians and fear the Lord, then we would not be tearing each other down. We will overlook the political affiliation of individuals. We will overlook the nationality of others and live in harmony. We will love one another. We will help one another and finally we will forgive one another.
We must ensure that we live healthier lives in 2020 and beyond and we can do this by consuming the right foods and drinks. Many of us still refuse to drink the right amount of water and do some form of exercise daily. Ensure you do your annual or bi annual assessment of your health. Always get a second opinion on any diagnosis you receive.
Despite the warning signals for years, crime has gotten out of hand and is a threat to our national security and our fragile tourism industry. Criminals are being released from prison without any reform and continue on committing crimes without any fear of being caught. I am aware there are efforts to update any legislations that are antiquated. Hopefully in 2020, we will see updated legislations, stiffer penalties and reform programs for our prisoners.
Diversification of the economy
Because of the threats of our economy we must expedite the plans to diversify our economy. I congratulate the team led by David Stewart who has an aggressive plan to expand the offshore industry. We also need to explore the possibilities of TCI being a center for the promotion and expansion of IT. We must encourage successful and sustainable entrepreneurship by offering great incentives and empowerment initiatives to the locals.
According to biblical scholars, 19 is a symbol of faith. However many of us lived our lives in 2019 full of fear. Ironically though, the criminals were not afraid in 2019.
The number 20 also has a significant biblical meaning representing a symbol of redemption, completion and perfection. Given these powerful symbols for 20 and the fact that we are now in the year 2020, let us redeem ourselves so we can spared our country from further destruction making it a peaceful place for us to reside and for others to visit.