2016: Understanding Reconciliation: The Value of Hope

It will be recalled that in our last episode on “The Quest for Reconciliation” a call was made for us as a Small Island Nation, to further address our weaknesses, impediments and obstacles to peace, process and prosperity, for the Love of our Seychelles and our World.

It will further be recalled that during its short eight years history, through its bimonthly E-newsletters (139 episodes to date) and other related activities, as a strong advocate of such values, TESS has spared no effort in building awareness and understating on the best way forward to “navigate the cross currents” of our turbulent world of today… for our sustainable survival and that of our children.

It is indeed with this same “sense of purpose” that we will be better able to get in touch with our values that will enable us to have a better Sense of Direction, for us to live our lives more intentionally, with much more integrity and dignity, in better aligning what we do with what we believe in.

And since “little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our greatest Hope lies in developing what is good”.

Thus, may 2016 be the year to further cultivate and cherish our unconditional love and respect for one another on our collective journey of Life.

Highest consideration.

2016: Understanding Reconciliation: The Value of Trust

It is said that “trust is not only the most essential ingredient in communication but above all it is the foundation principle that holds all relationships”.

Indeed after more than 37 years of mistrust between the International Community and the Islamic Republic of Iran, over the latter’s nuclear programme, resulting in crippling sanctions, two years of negotiations have now brought the parties concerned together, in developing a new element of trust, which is not only making our world a safer place, but step by step integrating Iran back in the realm of the Community of Nations.

Here in our Seychelles, our ongoing political process has brought to the fore our deep rooted mistrust for one another, which if not addressed as a matter of urgency, will be detrimental to our morale, for if we do not trust and believe in people, our Creole way of life will simply become impossible.

While learning to trust is one of life’s more difficult tasks, we must also recognise the fact that to be trusted has a greater value than to be loved... in short where there is trust, love will surely flourish.

Thus in our endless quest for peace, progress and more prosperity for all, let 2016 be the year that we earn that trust, through the development of good judgement, in making trust and belief our prime consideration in not allowing ourselves to be too opinionated and divided...for “He who does not trust enough will not be trusted”.

Our journey continues.

Highest consideration.

Valentine’s Day 2016: Understanding The Science Of Love

We are now approaching the Special Day we call Valentine’s Day, whereby we will soon be giving our hearts, our time and our attention to those we love.

Indeed in this busy time, it is easy to take for granted those people who are there for us each and every day. Thus let us make this Valentine’s Day a day when we clear the pathway between us, and create a renewed connection, one that can endure for another 364 days and all that life brings to our attention.

Valentine’s Day is also an opportunity to honour our patriotism, love of country and a willingness to serve honestly and sacrifice dearly for a common goal.

It is therefore an appropriate time to give due recognition and profound gratitude to the services rendered over the past 40 years or so, by all to preserve our freedom, enhance our way of life and independence.

Thus, let us also seize this opportunity to also express, share and enjoy the love and pride of these Seychelles Islands, this great country of ours, in a non political environment, with a mission to foster better awareness, understanding and tolerance between us, whereby developing a better and friendlier attitude  about us by the citizens of the world.

At this point in time of our history as a Nation and that of our World, therefore, let us also not just blindly praise or criticise, rather let us now actively support, lovingly protect our Seychelles; in setting a firm foundation for that future we want, for all generations to come.

We now have the honour to pay a Special Tribute to HE Sir James Richard Mancham, MBE, Founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, Ambassador for Peace for his ongoing priceless noble endeavours towards Local, Regional and International Reconciliation for Peace and Security, which continue to earn deserving recognition and gratitude by the International Community, the latest of which being the Prestigious African Peace Award. Please accept, Sir James, our sincere congratulations and esteem. Rest assured of our continued co-operation and support.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. For those who are our rocks each and every day, we offer a heartfelt smile and those simple words: we appreciate you and cherish this opportunity to share a part of our lives with you.

We love you all and will always love you all.

Highest consideration.

Spiritual Values: Praying and Preparing of Lent

It will be recalled on 10th February 2016 with the commemoration of Ash Wednesday those of us of the Christian Faith started to embark on the important process of Lent which will culminate in the renewal of spring, on Sunday 27th March 2016.

During that seven week period we will continue to focus our attention on the search for a “deeper sense of Purpose” whereby developing a clearer understanding of God’s plan for our lives, what matters most and what matter least.

Indeed since Lent means many things to many people, whether we are seeking solemnity, renewal or rejuvenation, we have no doubt that our focus today will offer some inspiring insights and reflection for the continued observance of Lent 2016. For anything worth doing, is worth preparing for, no matter how advanced the process may already be. Are we on the right track? That is the question!!!

May the Force beyond continued to be our Shepherd on the remainder of this highly Spiritual Journey of Life ahead.

Our journey continues.

Spiritual Values: Living the Spirit of Easter

As we are all well aware, Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar, which is a day of celebration because it represents the fulfilment of our faith as Christians.

Indeed as from Sunday 27th March and for the next 50 days thereafter believers will have the opportunity to cultivate a spirit that defines who we are as Christians.

And since Easter tells us that life is interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals, let us seize this opportunity to give our lives new meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what the circumstances may be.

In so doing may the Resurrection of Christ lift us from our loneliness, weakness and despair to strength, beauty and happiness, whereby being better able to live our lives in unison with joy, without fear and with new eyes.

Happy Easter to us All.

Our journey continues.

The Power of Calmness and Deliberate Gratitude

As a continuation of our Spiritual Value series for 2016, our focus today is on the power of Calmness and Deliberate Gratitude.

At this point in time in human history, when adversity can strike at any given time, there is always the necessity for us to be calm, take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.

It is said that “calmness of the mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom” and that the key to success, is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm whereby allowing each wave of life to wash us a little further up the shore”.

Thus let this spring season bring us much more inner strength and self confidence in enabling us to fully appreciate all the gifts that surround us everyday, whereby being better able to recognize and be grateful for all our blessings, which more often than not we take for granted, until suddenly we are deprived of them.

Our journey continues.

Labour Day 2016: Understanding Spiritual and Human Values

Labour Day is our only holiday that is devoted to the working men and women of our beloved Seychelles...

Indeed across our world millions of workers and their families will also celebrate their contributions in raising their standard of living, whereby creating a better future for their respective countries and peoples.

In so doing it is important for us all to appreciate what we have, how we achieved it and what we need to do to protect it. Since the lessons of our history are not to repeat mistakes already made, we must continue to educate, organise and mobilise today for a brighter tomorrow for all.

On this most auspicious occasion therefore, let us renew our commitment to further create good jobs, enhance retirement security for all our workers, improve educational and job training opportunities and ensure the bargaining strength of all working men and women. And let us also ensure that all of the progress that we have achieved is not threatened by those who want more only for themselves.

Today is a day to be grateful; be joyful; be a blessing to others, but most importantly we must continue to lead by example and if we want to raise a generation that understands the value of hard work, we must begin the hard work at home, get back to the things that have Value, whereby being better able to teach our kids about work ethics and what matters most in our daily lives.

Please, accept our very best wishes for a happy Labour Day for us All.

Our journey continues.

Spiritual Values: Understanding Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

It is said “that the key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life…mental, emotional, spiritual as well as physical” and that we should never build our emotional life on the weakness of others.

Through our focus of today we will learn how to further explore different parts of ourselves, in particular our emotional intelligence (EQ) in better enabling us not to spend precious time to lavish care on emotional wounds but rather to get on with living, with much laughter which is considered as the best Emotional Band-Aid in our world.

For it is also a well known fact that every time we get upset, it drains our emotional energy; that losing our cool makes us tired and that getting angry messes a lot with our health...

In this vein, it is of an imperative necessity for us to be able to identify, use, understand and manage our own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflicts in our daily lives.

Our journey continues.

Spiritual Values: Understanding The Journey of Life

It is said that “life is meant for reasons we may never know, but that is not a reason to make it harder for others for things we do not understand”.

Almost 40 years ago, as “one nation under God”, we took our destiny into our own hands, and today after much trials and tribulations, trust in our own steps, dedication and devotion for the unconditional love of our people and our Seychelles we continue to reap the fruits of our hard labour.

At this critical juncture of our history and that of our world, there is now much for us to reflect upon so as to pave the way forward for the journey ahead.

While each of us will continue to have our evolution of life when going through different tests which are unique and challenging, certain things are common, and we will continue to learn things from each other’s experience on a Spiritual Journey were all of us have the same destination.

Thus let us continue to stay focused, do great work, make our family and our community proud, fix our mistakes and flaws, make the process less complicated that we need to, take each day step by step, and always be grateful for the abundance of the blessings we have for the journey we are on and to relish each day as a gift.

With much gratitude always...

Our journey continues.

Spiritual Values: Prosperity and the Value of Giving

It is said that “to one who loves his country in all its parts, it is natural to rejoice in whatever contributes to the prosperity and honour and marks the stability and progress of any portion of its people”.

It is in this spirit therefore that it’s heartening to note that against all odds and through much “Unity of Purpose” our Seychelles has in 2015 managed to consolidate its position as one of the seventy-nine high income countries, a feat which has been attained through much hard work, devotion, and dedication in a peaceful environment, with much love and respect for one another, in paving the way forward for a more prosperous and a more equitable future for our people and the future of our children, for gracious thinking will always bring abundance.

At a time when our Global Village is facing multiple challenges on all fronts, more than ever before it is now incumbent upon us (both individually and collectively) to redouble our commitments to uphold the Values which have brought us safely this far and which will continue to be instrumental for the future enhancement of our sustainable progress and prosperity.

Having said that, and in order for us to better pave our way forward for the journey ahead, we have no doubt that our focus of today will be of much assistance in our ongoing quest to provide the necessary support to the less fortunate of our community, whereby raising their standard of living. For whatever we give out unconditionally will always come back to us.

Our ambitions therefore must continue to be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Thus, let us be kind to one another always...

Our journey continues.

Spiritual Values: Tribute to Mother Teresa of Calcutta

In line with our ongoing spiritual value series, today we have the honour and the privilege to pay a very special tribute to mother Teresa of Calcutta, for her unconditional love for the poor, the abandoned and the marginalized.

Indeed on December 17th 2016, Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa whereby making her eligible for canonization in the Catholic Church which will be bestowed upon her on Sunday 4th September 2016.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu‎ of Albanian parents on ‎Aug. 26, 1910, in Skopje, in what ‎is now ‎Macedonia, she joined the Loreto order of nuns in 1928.

In 1946, while travelling by train from Kolkata to Darjeeling, she was inspired to found the Missionaries of Charity order. The order was established four years later and has since opened more than 130 houses worldwide (Seychelles included) to provide comfort and care for the needy.

‎Affectionately known as the "saint of the gutter" Mother Teresa who passed away on 5th September 1997, earned several international honours, including ‎the ‎Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. ‎

By the time of her death, Mother Teresa's India-based Missionaries of Charity supported 4,000 nuns and ran hundreds of orphanages, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and clinics around the world.

Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II after a first miracle was attributed to her, answering an Indian woman's prayers to cure her brain tumour, according to the Vatican. One miracle is needed for beatification — described by the Catholic Church as recognition of a person's entrance into heaven — while sainthood requires two.

Francis officially cleared Mother Teresa for sainthood on Dec. 17, 2015, after recognizing her "miraculous healing" of a Brazilian man with multiple brain abscesses, the Vatican said.

Mother Teresa’s greatness (who visited our islands in 1984) lies in her ability to give unconditionally. Indeed as a real Mother she chose “not just the least but to be the servant of the least.”

In her honour, and in our quest to further enhance our Human Values so as to better address our multiple national, regional and international challenges and uncertainties, through our prayers let us always give due recognition to her great deeds and follow her example, for the benefit of  All mankind.

May Peace, Love and Joy be with us always.

Our journey continues.

Subject: Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

In line with the ongoing activities organised for the month of September 2016 by the Seychelles Alzheimer’s Foundation (SAF) working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other relevant institutions, to raise awareness on this deadly disease which can consume the lives and wellbeing of the people giving care just as the disorder consumes its victims, through our focus of today we will be better able to differentiate between the symptoms of the disease itself from those of a typical age-related change.

Indeed while the medical literature tells us that the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, aids and not the least even Alzheimer itself through a healthy diet and exercise, to date the latter is a primary cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even solved.

And with the prevailing increase in life spans, this incapacitated and unpredictable epidemic will continue to take hold whereby millions more families from every corner of the global village will be touched by this progressive, degenerative and ultimately fatal disease.

Thus since our Seychelles is not an exception to this prevailing adverse trend and that  without effective drugs in sight related costs will continue to soar, there is now an urgent need for us all to join forces to further address the important issue that is growing worse by the day.

For the love of our Seychelles and through ‘unity of purpose’, let us not lose sight of the fact that a healthy nation is always a wealthy nation.

Rest assured of our continued cooperation and support in this direction.

Our journey continues.