“The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.” – Psalm 18:28

I very much appreciate those readers who took the time to respond to last week’s column entitled “Love is the Answer”. I shall share with you the following 11 written responses, some of them very brief but each one was instructive to me for different reasons.

(1) What is the question? (2) Thanks Basil. I am a certified mediator and have done more High Court referred matters (in my country) than any other person. I have facilitated over 75 workshops in Conflict Management/ Resolution. I have seen a wide spectrum of conflict. The main deterrents to resolving conflicts are ego and selfishness; (3) I fully agree with the power of “Love”; (4) Lovely article; (5) Excellent and appropriate; (6) I agree, love is the answer! Simple, yet complicated, since love’s source is the heart. In Jeremiah 17:9 the prophet penned these words, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

(7) Thank you for your weekly enlightenments which are much appreciated. Your contribution this week is particularly apt in this the Season of Love and Goodwill towards all. I do believe that the problem with us in the Caribbean is endemic corruption tinged with arrogance. We crave for power and when this is attained (by hook or crook), we seek to entrench ourselves at the expense of all else. Absolute power corrupts absolutely! The symbolism of the Birth of Christ is also a lesson in Humility – the birth of the Christ Child in a lowly cowshed and the obeisance paid to Him by the Three Kings of the Orient. We need to recapture the art of living frugally, with humility and pride, filled with love and respect for our fellow human beings, for all God’s creatures – great and small, and for this planet that we share and we call home.

(8) That’s a great text. I liked it very much. Yes! Only love will save the world; (9) Very good reading…should be more widely circulated through the West Indies; (10) The title made me chuckle… and then I read on; and (11) All so true.

When I got the first response which implied that I had given an answer but had not explicitly stated a question, I quickly went back to the text to check and so it was – no explicit question for which I was giving an answer. The reader, I think, was further justified because of the all pervasive solution that I was espousing ranging from country level problems to the family and indeed the individual. I quickly responded that my question was “How can we avoid, manage and resolve conflict generically?” I was comfortable with my theme “Love is the answer”.

The second respondent independently hit the nail on the head by concluding quite succinctly that the main deterrents to resolving conflicts are ego and selfishness. Implicit in his remarks was his support for the first part of my concluding statement: “Let us acknowledge that it is not our egos that determine our future and let us seek God’s help in mobilizing love, a renewable resource, to the fullest so that its energy may clear obstacles along the journey.”

Respondents (3) – (6) supported my theme and respondent (7) recognized that the theme is even more apt in this the Season of Love and Goodwill towards all. I detected an appeal coming from the hearts of the remaining respondents for something to be done about the problem for which Love is the solution. How can we get our public and private sector leaders tuned in to the needs of society and strategically plan for Love to permeate all levels of society and eradicate conflict along the way.

These levels of society include: the country, the political party, the businesses sector, non-governmental organizations, families, inter personal relationships and the mind of the individual.

The primary role of government is regulatory (make the laws) and service (spend the taxes). The primary role of the private sector is to make profits. Both the public and private sectors must pursue these roles within the constraints of protecting the planet and having people free of conflict. The promotion of Love mitigates conflict and hence, as frivolous as it may sound and as non-traditional as it may be, we immediately need to create a “Love is the answer” Ministry within the government and a “Love is the answer” Committee within the Chamber of Commerce, of a given country, to collectively set our communities along a sustainable path.

The respective Ministry’s and the Committee’s first objective would be to set up a joint public/private sector project, respecting the systems of business, to clean up conflict, corruption, arrogance and egos and allow peace, love and joy to radiate from our illuminated hearts.

This time of the year is symbolized with lights. Let us seek deeper connections and understanding of the Divine through prayer and meditation and ask for the love of God to illuminate our world and our hearts.

We end with the reason for the season.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around.
“Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.”
“To you, in David’s town, this day, Is born of David’s line
A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord; And this shall be the sign.
The heavenly Babe you there shall find, To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swaddling-clothes, And in a manger laid.”

Christmas greetings to all!

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)