31 December 2022 |
Seychellois sisters and brothers,
Like the song says ‘a year ends and another begins.’ The year 2022 has already passed into history. Each of us will note certain dates with joy, pain, sadness, a feeling of accomplishment as well as missed opportunity. 2022 is a book already written and 2023 offers us this new page on which to write another year of our personal story, the story of our country and the story of the world.
Allow me in the first place to use that very important little word, but which sometimes comes out of the mouths of humans with great difficulty – thank you.
I wish first and above all to thank Almighty God for protecting our nation and our country.
I say thank you to all who have taken our country to heart and given all their energy to make it progress. I say thank you to the public sector which has served our people with devotion and the private sector, which has created wealth for our nation and people to enjoy. Thank you to all Seychellois and foreign workers who have permitted our country to continue on its march to prosperity. To everyone in voluntary and community organisations working hard to raise the standards of morality, spiritual and mental strength, the Seychellois nation expresses its gratitude and extends all of its encouragement for you to continue doing so.
Thanks also go to all the youth who have done well in their studies and brought pride to themselves as well as their parents and to their teachers. To our athletes and sportspersons who have hoisted our flag to its highest and brought joy amongst our people, I say thank you.
Thanks also go to our retirees who have contributed towards bringing us to where we stand today, and who continue to reflect and encourage us who are younger along this life’s journey.
My special thoughts at this time also go to all of our families who have gone through misfortune and who are still walking with eyes filled with the tears of separation. I say to you ‘Courage and strength in each step you take. We will walk in solidarity with you and give you our shoulders to lean on in your difficult moments.’
Brothers and sisters, my wish is that this new year will bring new and positive energy, fresh inspiration and new strength for us to advance even further ahead. It is we, each individual, who will write on each and every page of this new year, from 1 January to 31 December. The majority of things will be in our hands, but there will also be also chapters which will be written for us, and outside of our control. And so, I ask that we do as well as is possible with all that is within our control. Let us not only think of ourselves, but move away from that spirit of self-centeredness and at all times, think of others and do that little thing which you should.
I invite all Seychellois and all workers to reflect on that little extra something which I can do to bring relief to a brother, a sister, and make a compatriot progress. Often it is not big things that brings us frustration but the little things. The student who lacks one point to pass and the person who misses a bus by one minute is frustrated. And so it is the little things which we need to do in order to improve our own personal lives and the lives of our people.
I invite you to make a resolution that we will give importance to doing little things. A long journey starts with a small step, the construction of a large building commences with a first brick, writing starts off with a small letter ‘A’ and counting commences with a little number ‘0’ (zero). Attach ourselves to those little things and we will accomplish major transformation where we are.
If we make those little gestures, like saying ‘good morning’, our community will be more fraternal, a small ‘thank you’ raises morale, a little smile makes friendship grow, a little help to one who is weak brings relief, and a moment taken to listen to someone can save a life. Reflect also that somehing negative, however tiny, can also destroy lives, just like a matchstick can spark a major fire, a tiny lie cause a major argument.
For our civil servants, working in government, I invite you to reflect on those small things which during 2022 made people frustrated : that little call that you did not make, the letter you did not reply to, that piece of paper you kept in your drawer, the offensive tone you replied to a client with, that postponing to tomorrow what you could do today, that little word you did not say to someone to help them. Let us change this and let us bring our people out of pointless frustration and know joy on their faces.
What I have said applies for all workers of course, whether you are in the public or private sector. Deliver a good service in all that you do. And perhaps, – why not ? – whilst you are doing your work, put yourself in the place of the client you are serving. Would you be happy with the tone that you replied to him with ? Would you be happy with the language used in that letter you wrote ? If you would not be happy, don’t make another unhappy. Serve others as you would be happy to be served.
I have no doubt that we can do this for our country. That, in 2023, each one of us can do better and render the best service to our people and in doing this, raise our country to the highest. I ask that each one of us reflect deeply on those two little remarks that I have made. Let us stop making our neighbour live in anger and frustration. Why should I throw my waste out in public and dirty my country ? Do I need to blast my music out loud to the detriment of my neighbour ? Why do I need to sell poisonous drugs to Seychellois children ? Why do I need to be akward and make others angry ? Please, let us change those poor mindsets and truly live as brothers and sisters in this blessed land, Seychelles.
Yes, like Ton Joe sings for us, ‘Seychelles is our blessed country.’ And so I invite all of us to become more patriotic. Let us love our country even more. Consider her like our mother, forever grateful that when we strengthen our country and put ourselves at her service, she returns so much more to us. The higher we raise country, the more we, Seychellois, as a nation, will rise. Encourage each other, show more love for your community, adhere to the law and walk in solidarity with each other. Take a brother’s, a sister’s misfortune as our own misfortune and this will allow us to have and live in more love. Take care of your neighbour and he will take care of you too.
I dedicate once again all of my strength in lifting our beautiful country Seychelles. I give all of my energy to work for all of Seychelles’ children and to make us progress as far as is possible. Let us continue to along this route together for the love of our beautiful country, Seychelles.
Let our God shower our beautiful country with his blessings and his love. We are one people, one nation who is living in the world’s most beautiful country. May God bless you and your family.
Happy New Year 2023.