Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  (Gen. 4:9)

In the wake of the passing of Tropical Storm Tomas that I blogged about earlier, I wanted to pay tribute to the public spiritedness and neighbourly kindness portrayed by my fellow Barbadians.  We Bajans are (or can be) one of the most caring, compassionate people on the face of the planet.  Time and time again before the all clear was given, people risked their lives to help their neighbours:  people scaled the walls of their neigbhour’s houses to nail back down flapping roofs; went in groups to clear roads of fallen trees; been the voice of help for those who lacked water or electricity and needed help by calling the radio and tv stations to report what was happening.

Of particular note was the phone call to the merged stations of the CBC (Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation – our lone tv station, with three radio stations under that corporate umbrella)  where a woman reported that one of her neighbours needed help urgently as they were out of electricity and water – as most of the island was at that time – but also, there was a gas leak!  At any time that house could have exploded as the gas ignited for whatever reason.

Another one of note was of the neighbour who reported to the CBC that someone’s cow was neck deep in water as the rains poured down (Barbados was fully water logged by this time, especially since only a few weeks ago we experienced torrential rain that had already flooded the island. (I myself had to drive through what seemed to be small lakes to  get to my house, but that’s another story!))  Many farmers lost livestock and poultry in this storm…

Trees were removed, food was prepared, people who lost possessions were taken care of – a great testament to the caring nation that is Barbados.

Another testament to our caring nature is the flood of national support as we buried our late Prime Minister, the Honourable David John Howard Thompson Q.C., M.P. (Dec 25,1961 – Oct 23, 2010), who died two weeks ago at 48 years old after succumbing to pancreatic cancer.  The state funeral was on November 3rd, 2010, held at the Kensington Oval.  Thousands of people crammed into the Oval to witness and pay final respects to a great leader, who remained, in the eyes of many, a man of the people.  Dignitaries and the ‘common’ wept openly, and hundreds more lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the procession as it made its way to the final resting place – St. John’s Parish Church.

May you rest in peace, PM.


2 Responses

  1. I found you on Jenny’s site. Your report of the disaster made me cry… but they are happy tears when I read that people can still be so good. Must have really been something going through all that…

    • Welcome to the Hand of God! Yes, it was a terrible experience going through that – and other parts of the Caribbean got hit worse than we did. Tomas was a tropical storm when it passed by Barbados, but was hurricane status by the time it hit St. Lucia and St. Vincent, not to mention Haiti, which was already devastated by the earthquake a couple months back….

      People still have some good in them! I love my country! 🙂

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