My Christmas Wish for OUR Children

Submitted by David Comissiong
The late Vivian Comissiong

The late Vivian Comissiong

This Christmas article is dedicated to the memory of my father, the late Rev. Vivian Comissiong, a veteran Minister of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas, and a great son of our Caribbean Civilization.

Rev. Comissiong’s concept of God was of the Heavenly Father– a father of perfect goodness and love towards His earthly children. It is not surprising therefore that the “babe of Bethlehem” held a special place in his heart, and that he loved children– all children– and especially enjoyed the celebration of Christmas, which he regarded as the “Festival of the Child”.

Today we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, who admonished the world to– “suffer the little children to come unto me, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of heaven belongs.”

And so, as we celebrate Christmas , we should spare a thought for the children of our nation. Indeed, there is no better time to reflect on the welfare and well-being of our children, since Christmas, as Rev. Comissiong always maintained, is really the festival of the child.

This is the perfect time, therefore, for us to give some thought to the several duties that we owe to all of the children of our nations.

Every child of our nation has a number of vital needs which must be satisfied if that child is to be nourished and to develop into a healthy, productive, well adjusted adult citizen. And a good way to think about the needs of our children and the manner in which these needs are to be met, is to conceive of our children or youth as requiring a number of vital “foods” in order that they be properly nourished.

So, what are the vital “foods” that each Barbadian / Caribbean child or youth requires, and that must be provided by his or her nation?

Well, there are some obvious material ones such as physical food, clothing, housing and health care. But there are also non-physical or “Spiritual foods” that each child or young person needs, and that our Caribbean families / communities / governments / nations must provide for them. And it is these “spiritual foods” that I wish to focus on in this Christmas article.

Indeed, I would say that there are at least ten critical and vital “spiritual foods” that we must give to our Caribbean youth. I therefore maintain that we must – as a matter of sacred duty – give our youth:-

(1) A sense of Community

We must give our children (our youth) a sense that they “belong” to the Barbadian/Caribbean nation, and that they are connected in some vital way to the entire  society and body politic – that they are our communal sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins. And so, in the case of Barbados,we – the adults of the nation – must demonstrate this sense of community by taking an interest in all of the youth of our nation, not merely our own biological children.

(2) Respect

We must give the children of our nation “respect”! We must therefore speak to and treat our youth with respect – the respect that is owed to every precious creature made in the likeness of almighty God. And if we nurture, and even discipline, our children with respect, we are likely to see a flourishing of their sense of dignity and self-worth.

(3) A correct appreciation of Human and Social Work

For our children’s sake, we must develop a national social narrative which confirms that the truly heroic, admirable and “cool” people of our society are those whose labour contributes vitally to producing the social ingredients for the society’s survival and development, rather than so-called “celebrities” and elitists who, typically, exist like social parasites and contribute little that is of true value to our society.

(4) A role in Society

We must assure our youth that we need them to play certain critical roles in society – roles that they are best equipped to play. For example, in as much as the youth tend to be equipped with an innate and still uncorrupted sense of justice, they must be the idealists and moral champions of our society – the ones that we depend upon to point out to us when “the Emperor is naked”. In addition, equipped as they are with boundless energy, we must look to our youth for the force and strength to protect our communities and to bring sporting glory to the nation.

(5) A sense of History

It is critical that we give our youth a true knowledge of their history – a knowledge of the antiquity of their ancestors; of the heroic struggles of their forefathers; and of the outstanding historical accomplishments of their race. Furthermore, every young person should have a sense of historical continuity, and conceive of themselves as playing an important part in the unfolding historical mission or journey of their people.

(6) A Sense of Accomplishment and Importance

We must make it a point of duty to deliver to every young person in our country multiple opportunities to develop a sense of accomplishment and of importance to our society. This requires our nation to establish programmes and structures that make it possible for all of our youth to develop their various skills and aptitudes, and to be nationally recognised, regardless of family background or individual family wealth.

(7) A sense of the Spiritual and eternal location of their lives

Our youth must be given a sense that they are not merely material beings, but that they possess a vital connection to a higher spiritual realm of absolute goodness, love, truth and beauty. This will give them the perspective required to make a distinction between that which is merely transient and of fleeting value, and that which is profound and of eternal value.

(8) A Sense of a Culture that belongs to them

It is vitally important that our youth be made to feel that they are the possessors of a culture that belongs to them and that is unique and valuable. We must never place them in a position where they are made to feel that some-one else’s reality or culture is superior to theirs, and that they are required to be mere cultural borrowers.

(9) A Sense of A Future

We must give our youth a sense of optimism, and imbue them with the confidence that there is a limitless future ahead of them, full of possibilities and opportunities for self actualization.

(10) A Sense of Self Worth

And finally, we must – in all that we do – ensure that we give our young an impregnable sense of self-worth in all dimensions of their being: that is, a sense of personal self-worth; a sense of national self-worth; a sense of racial self-worth!

I wish all my fellow Barbadian and Caribbean citizens a happy and blessed Christmas!

-David Comissiong is an attorney-at-law and the President of the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados-


  • We must invest in our children.

    Our children are our future.


  • David

    I full agree with the notion that we have to invest in our posterity, but we as adults have and still continue to fail our young people. Firstly, we have failed as far as I am concerned to impart the four core principles of parenting and they’re: respect, responsibility, results and rewards. We cannot demand that our young people respect us on the one hand, while on the other hand, we fail to reciprocate the same respect with demand from the young people. We the older heads have this erroneous notion that just because we are the adults that young people must automatically respect us, but we have forgotten the respect comes with reciprocity, it is give and take relationship.


  • And where do all these self worth of entitlements being ? I submit that if all search high and low the values which were taught in the home and then reinforced in the church school and community organizations are very scarce and hard to find
    For one their is no longer the concept of having two parent family as nature had intended which therefore means that a eradication of the source of developing self worth in a child is at is best dissolve and at its worst uprooted
    Govts across the world have a costly up hill battle trying to repair or build those elements of self worth in today’s child which were not taught or removed from child hood early development


  • Our children must never feel that another culture is superior to theirs?

    The Caribbean does not have much to boast about besides music, food, a few sports teams, some Olympic athletes, and a reputation for having a good time.

    Not exactly hopeless, but not enough to provide for ourselves or defend our ideas, our territory, or our resources.

    We will never be taken seriously until we realize how little we have achieved — and do something about it.


  • David

    Take it from a man who is rearing four young individuals! Listen! In the era of social media, you cannot rear a child on a philosophy of hypocrisy as we had been reared and expect him or her to respect you. Children in this modern era, would challenge your parental authority if such authority conflicts with what is right.


  • I do not believe in abusing children, but the notion that they should be accorded the same respect as adults is fashionable nonsense.

    Even when they are teenagers, children have limited cognitive ability, unstable attitudes, interests and opinions, and little concrete understanding of the darkness of human nature, and the inability of individuals to live up to their ideals.

    In other words, children are almost always naive and misguided. They do not deserve the respect most adults have earned.


  • Chad9999

    To whom are you comparing the Caribbean to in terms of economic achievement? And given the time in which we acquired our self-government/ nationhood what more could have been achieved? You obviously, would have to make a comparison if you’re suggesting that the region in the Caribbean has achieved very little and has very little to offer, as well as to be proud of?


  • Dompey December 25, 2016 at 7:49 AM #

    Two good comments so far for the day and I would add that knowledge today is just a google away,which in turn will debunk such things as religion and the concept of race amongst others.


  • Well Well & Consequences

    Take out allnof the mindless, useless brainless, hypocrital, lying brainwash in the schools, teach real black history and the majority black schools in Barvados, make sure your kids are grounded in the home, you get children who will demand respect.

    As it stands children are forced to listen to and follow leaders, celebrities and other adults who are not worth respecting, which makes for confused and unbalanced minds, which in turn priduces confused and unbalanced, disrespectful adults, who never knew their own real history, growing up as children, always taught to live in the fantasies and lies of other people his-story.

    I also debunked every bit of crap my kids were taught in the schools, told them the truth about everything, refused to let them respect the usual liars for leaders, let them know that none can be trusted…anywhere. This made for very grounded, stable adults who have passed on the same knowledge and information to my grandchildren, some of those who are now tweens and teens can hold a very adult, informed conversation with any adult who is capable and has no choice but to show respect, respond and interact in the conversation…or bow out.

    My 10 year old grandson keep me going on 4 topics for 4 hours yesterday, you need children who can articulate their thoughts, but first they have to be properly molded by the parents, many schools destroy that independent streak in children.

    Many parents in Barbados and the Caribbean are still misinformed, miseducated, listen to liar leaders and continue to pass on the same misguided, uneducated, uninformed lies and falsehoods to their children generation after generation for the pass 5 generations and continuing.


  • @ Chad9999999999999
    children are almost always naive and misguided. They do not deserve the respect most adults have earned.
    Chad is wrong….. and “Come and Sing-Along” is right again….

    Adults are almost universally naive and misguided… is no wonder that children are ‘almost always’ so…
    Children however, tend to recognise their weaknesses, and are often OPEN to learning and being guided properly.
    Unfortunately, there is only one kinda shiite that can be learnt from ‘universally misguided’ adults.

    Children are probably therefore our best resources for change; our ONLY hope for the future; and clearly our most valuable possessions.
    When his disciples spoke as you did, Jesus said… Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (those who are open to proper instruction…and to believing the truth)

    Liked by 1 person

  • Chad9999

    I beg to defer with your regurgitated analysis regarding the psychological infrastructure of a child into day society, because even though a child’s brain is at a malleable stage of development, that does not in any meaningful way prevents him or her from understanding the realities around him or her. You are forgetting that a child is also product of his or her social environment and that environment in many ways shapes the child’s worldview.
    You cannot convince my seven year old son that babies comes from birds, as we were taught and expected to believe as children reared on a philosophy of hypocrisy.
    You cannot rear a child on a philosophy of hypocrisy today as we were when we were told to :DO AS I SAY, BUT NOT AS I DO, because the child of today would challenge that very philosophy.


  • Why dont you guys realize that the environment that children are being reared is morally depleted .There might be a few children who might come through unscathed but the majority would fall by the wayside even while having all the necessary support that would geared them towards self worthiness
    Most of the children today feel a sensense of hopelessnsss which started within the home and stays with them through out their adult years
    There is much truth in commanding to rear up a child in the way the child must go and when the child is old those standards would have been well deveoped and culitivated for the purpose of giving the child a better lease on life


  • Bush Tea December 25, 2016 at 8:36 AM #

    “Children however, tend to recognise their weaknesses, and are often OPEN to learning and being guided properly.
    Unfortunately, there is only one kinda shiite that can be learnt from ‘universally misguided’ adults.”

    “Children are probably therefore our best resources for change; our ONLY hope for the future; and clearly our most valuable possessions.”

    @ Bushie

    Excellent comments…… and accurate, too!!!


  • Dompey is being Dopey on Christmas Day. Too much egg nog already.

    My analysis is “regurgitated”? Tell me how to locate the original version. What I have written today is common sense, and therefore should be obvious, but common sense has never been common. That is why people like me have to remind the text of you when you wander off the deep end.

    David, for example, is big on encouraging the “self-worth” of youngsters. A reliable recipe for disaster. That is why so many millennials are shameless narcissists and thankless children who suck the lifeblood from their exploited parents.


  • Chad9999

    No need to involve you in a philosophical debate regarding whether or not we are conceived with the inclination, predisposition or the necessary infrastructure to distinguish right from wrong.


      When I look back on my life
    Before I had my loving wife
    I remember from my childhood file
    The good old Xmas Guyanese style
    Long before Xmas December 25th would come
    My village was astir be you foe or either chum
    Folks preparing the home with drapes and blinds
    And the Xmas cake by grinding fruits of all kinds

    Whoever had the oven firing it up with care
    As friends and neighbours go over to share
    Before December 25th   with the sweet aroma
    Every mother waiting in line up with her quota
    With buckets of mixed cakes ready
    That’s where would be the activity
    With the women gossiping
                            And kids and pets frolicking
                            A fairylike atmosphere is taken on
                            With very happy banter by everyone
    And setting the cool jinger beer
    Was done by an elder with care
    What a blessed country with some of the best fruits
    Maybe it’s the silt of the rivers making good roots
    Most Guyanese have very good lungs
    Is it because of the sandy fine dungs
    Guyanese girls have the sweetest lips
    Is it because of the ripe juicy genips
    We don’t get cancer and have strong teeth
    Is it because of the sugar cane or laba meat
    No fruit can be compared with the sapodilla
    Star-apple, Buxton spice mango or the cowa
    Don’t get me started on ground provisions bhaya!
    The eddoes, tanias, the bell yams and the cassava
    All boiled with coconut milk and hassar and lil’ bhagee
    And you have a delicious meal for the gods called metagee

    A Guyanese Christmas is unique for sure
    Can never be understood by a NA culture
    Of hamburger, hotdogs and some spaghetti
    As I eating my dholl puri and mutton curry
    Our six peoples each have a tasty dish
                            Some still enjoy foo foo and salt fish
    And from waterside to the sand reef
                            Our Muslim brothers prefer their beef
                            And from Corentyne or Buxton
    The Hindus mostly eat mutton
    During this time the air is filled with jukeboxes
                            To describe it there aren’t any modern phrases
    Blasting of melodious Indian songs and chatney
                            From a people known for their fine hospitality

    There is no good or proper real Christmas over here
    Without a piece of fruitcake and a glass of ginger beer
    Here there there’s so much stupid eye pass
    Some don’t want you to say merry Xmas
    The faiths are so afraid to connect
    Cause you’ve to be politically correct
    Keep your fake Xmas tree and darn snow
    Shoveling your snow only make me blow
    One day one day I hope in my lifetime alas!
    Yes I still can have my old Guyanese Xmas



  • We whole-heartedly agree/support the substance of David Comisiong’s arguments.

    But rooting this in Christendom, given the destructive role it has played for 500 years against indigenous peoples everywhere, is ill-advised.

    Emotional issues of consanguinity makes this no more helpful.


  • peterlawrencethompson

    You assert that children ”have limited cognitive ability, unstable attitudes, interests and opinions, and little concrete understanding of the darkness of human nature,” but this also applies to the majority of adults in the world… for example it describes a recent President elect perfectly.


  • Merry Christmas, PLT

    I know you’re kidding.


  • Pacha

    Please stop mainstreaming Afrocentric myths to Barbadians.

    There is no reliable way to test most of the claims that are made. The anthropological record is imprecise and confusing.

    Just because there were God stories in Egypt, the Sudan or Ethiopia that were similar to the God stories in Palestine, Greece or the Roman Empire does not mean the stories started with black Egyptians in Africa.

    Also, take another look at the multiple meanings of “heath”.


  • Chad99999 re your comment on December 25, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    The Caribbean has much to boast about. That you live in North America is not an acceptable excuse for your ignorance.


  • Well Well & Consequences

    Some people, even in the US, know and understand their real history.


  • Bernard Codrington.

    No new insight here on how to raise a Caribbean child. If the precepts have not been inculcated up to this point in time ,maybe this is an opportunity to take fresh guard. Are our children ‘s dreams theirs or ours? What make us think that our perception of reality is superior to theirs?


  • Well Well & Consequences

    A child’s mind is flexible and sponge like, it’s eager to soak up knowledge and is quite capable of making informed decisions, with positive guidance, there is absolutely no need to brainwash children with rubbish, but that is what governments, churches, schools etc do, brainwash, lies, fantasies, if ya can keep your children away from that madness, ya will have a balanced child.

    …..none of it has worked out well for populations worldwide, as we clearly see on a daily basis, the degradation of children’s lives is total.


  • The English and the US media,visual and print are going overboard on deifying the queer George Michael.Its bloody sickening how even DLPTV last night news carried an extended copy of what CNN threw up on this pervert.This is the stuff to ensure your kids do not follow.It is repugnant to read of the horrors the Catholic Church has just been accused of in Argentina and it is said Francis knew about these criminal priests since 2014.Its enough to make one vomit.


  • Ah the homophobes…….one too loves these religous zealots,who are steeped in the hypocrisy of their beliefs on the one hand their god made everything so it must be good and serve a usefull purpose.then on the other hand just to confuse matters he created the devil who serves to negate everything he made…..go figure.


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