NASSAU, The Bahamas – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security the Hon. Cynthia Pratt said Bahamians must return to the days when respect for self, each other, neighbors, community and country were the order
of the day.
Mrs. Pratt said adult Bahamians must lead the way by setting proper examples in their own lives for their children and others to follow. The Deputy Prime Minister called on Bahamians to “place special emphasis on our children even if they are not our own” so as to make The Bahamas a better place.
“That’s what made us a unique people because we instilled in our children respect for self, others and community,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “Even if a child did not know his or her ABCs, that child knew ‘Good morning, Good evening, excuse me, thank you, please.’ You said that over and over again.
“It didn’t do anything to harm us but instead made us a better nation and a better people,” Mrs. Pratt added.
Deputy Prime Minister Pratt’s comments came during a tour of the Greater Commission Ministries on Wulff Road. Mrs. Pratt said there was a time in The Bahamas when Bahamians helped each other without expecting anything in return. She said this was a time when Bahamians were truly their brother’s keeper.
“We didn’t worry so much about the material things and we shared whatever it is we had,” said Mrs. Pratt. “If we are to be our brother’s keeper, we must show each other love. We must show that we care.”
Deputy Prime Minister Pratt said The Bahamas was able to establish itself as a leader in regional tourism, bringing millions of visitors to its shores, because of the “respectful nature” Bahamians exhibited for self and others.
She said the country’s citizens must realize that they play a primary role in the success of the tourism economy in particular, and the overall economy in general, and that the successes that have been and will be achieved will only continue if respect for self, others, community and country is practiced on a daily basis.
“It’s up to us, the people, to sell this country to our visitors,” Mrs. Pratt said. “People keep coming back to The Bahamas because of who we are and how welcome we make them feel in our country.”
Deputy Prime Minister Pratt said adults cannot continue to use the old adage “Do as I say and not as I do” because it is wrong to do so. She said children ought to have positive examples which they can follow. Mrs. Pratt said children ought to be able to learn something positive from both the actions and verbal communications of adults.
“As parents and guardians, we must be concerned about our children having the proper manners and respect for themselves and each other as they grow and develop,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“My mother had a saying that manners and respect will take you through the world. I never understood what that meant until I was an adult myself. But when you have manners and respect, people will go that extra mile to help you. Doors that may have otherwise been closed to a person will open because of the respect one may have for themselves and others,” Mrs. Pratt added.
Mrs. Pratt applauded Great Commission Ministries and Apostle Walter Hanchell for the work they have done and continue to do in the community. Deputy Prime Minister Pratt said Bahamians from all walks of life should follow the example set by Great Commission Ministries.
“They are here trying to restore lives so that the affected will know that people still care about them,” said Mrs. Pratt. “When people come here, they know that a helping hand is there. When people get help, they can help others. That’s the message. I help you so that you can help someone else.”