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A Christmas message from the Chairman.

Gibran Khalil Gibran says: "Life is an island in an ocean of loneliness, an island whose rocks are hopes, whose trees are dreams, whose flowers are solitude, and whose brooks are thirst. Your life, my fellow men, is an island separated from all other islands and regions. No matter how many are the ships that leave your shores for other climes, no matter how many are the fleets that touch your coast, you remain a solitary island, suffering the pangs of loneliness and yearning for happiness. You are unknown to your fellow men and far removed from their sympathy and understanding."

In a few days time, this year will elapse. Let us spare a few moments to question ourselves. What good have we achieved during the last 12 months? I say good, because Man has an enormous capability for hiding shortcomings with self-deception.

Do we possess the moral courage to judge what is right or wrong with our behaviour? Can we allow our consciences to genuinely attest to our goodness or blameworthiness - or will we just run away from such conclusions, self-righteously believing that we as human beings are bound to make mistakes, or even sin?

Do we intend to correct our transgressions, or are we too proud, humble or self-centred? Are we one of those who expects society to give him or her everything, yet has nothing to give back? Is it a case of 'I' that you only care about and not 'we' that should share?

Man in his eternal quest for happiness, often ignores the well-being of those around him. In fact thousands of books have been written by thinkers and philosophers who earnestly tried to describe the true meaning of happiness, but none accomplished it. Not through any literary impotence, but because they were simply incapable of fathoming it - because philosophy and wisdom reason subjectively. Man requires a greater influence to re-shape his often narrow concept of thinking.

Today, information technology floods us with knowledge in every field. So much so that most 10-year-old boys or girls now carry the world's knowledge in their pockets - on mobile phones! But will that bring them more happiness, or merely fleeting fulfilment?

All of us have a great capacity within us to bestow happiness on our fellow Man, which will flourish from blessedness shared by the giver and receiver. This super feeling derives its essence from a greater authority that doesn't differentiate between colour or creed, rich or poor, man or woman.

Today's miseries facing many corners of this world, are the result of many of us not caring about the basic codes of our own particular religion. For they all, in one form or another, preach the same, demand the same and order the same. Unfortunately, Man himself has introduced a different code of interpreting his holy book.

God created Man as master of all creatures - the irony is that we are often kinder to them than to our own. Why? The answer is that we have deviated from the core of our faiths.

Faith is the key to unlocking our powers of self-persuasion, and clearing our vision to correct our attitude. That is why God sent many messengers to enlighten us, and put us back on track. For only through such teachings can we see the Son of Man emerging in great glory.

Two thousand years ago, when Rome undeniably ruled the world, one soul dared to challenge Roman wrongdoing. That soul had no army to confront its military might, but he did have a heart full of love for Mankind, including Romans!

It was this love-power that proved far mightier than the Roman sword. With his words he washed the tears of needy people, transforming fear into faith. And it was this faith that changed their fate - the panacea that cured society's ills.

So only through true faith can we rise above selfishness and self-aggrandisement.

His words, in the last minutes of His earthly life: "Peace on Earth and love for Mankind", can be interpreted in simple terms, that Man should love his fellow man.

Only if we adopt and embrace this holy humanness can we truly call ourselves human beings.

And on this holy occasion, the birth of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), I wish my Christian brothers and sisters a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year to all Mankind.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Dec 24, 2017
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