Imagine Bermuda 2009 is a diverse group of local residents who are using the opportunity of the approach of the Year 2009 - the 400th anniversary of the settlement of our island and the 50th of the Theatre Boycott - to promote a national conversation, seeking a shared vision for a better Bermuda.
 

VP Neville introduced Glen FublerCo-Chair Imagine Bermuda 2009.

 

Imagine Bermuda 2009 is a diverse group of local residents who are using the opportunity of the approach of the Year 2009 - the 400th anniversary of the settlement of our island and the 50th of the Theatre Boycott - to promote a national conversation, seeking a shared vision for a better Bermuda.  So 2 years ago we honoured the memory of Rosa Parks.  On the 25th Anniversary of the 1981 General Strike we brought together former disputants for an observance of a chapter, while difficult, was an example of "Choosing Peace".(Molly Burgess & David Gibbons made the readings) Last October we celebrated our unique architecture in a "Roof Week" and celebrating our Artisans.  This past December on the 100th Anniversary of the first Radio Broadcast we highlighted the fact that the inventor, Fessenden, had strong Bermuda connections.  

 

Our latest initiative, 'Celebrating Mandela's Example' has the theme RELEASE, RECONCILE, RENEW.  We recognize that current generations have some exemplary leaders whose 'ways of being' provide models for moving forward.  Mandela had found that while the Jailers had the 'keys' to his physical freedom they could not imprison his spirit. However, he alone could release himself from any Mental slavery. The nature of this release is found in Mandela's speech to the Court in 1964 as he was facing charges which were punishable by death.  He summed up this speech that defined his character by saying: I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an idea which I hope to live for and achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

According to Mother Theresa, Few of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love.     

 

So our goal is to encourage all of us to join in using this initiative to reconcile with even one other person; a neighbour, a brother, sister, fellow employee, father or mother. So that while few of us will make the impact of a Nelson Mandela, all of us can do this seemingly 'small' thing with great love.  Every one of us can either 'forgive' our father who might not have lived up to our expectations or 'apologize' to our mother for a mistake we have made. Be Reminded - We only are responsible for our 50%

 

Why Reconcile?  Because in reality we ALL make mistakes.  Because we are all incredibly unique - we will never agree on everything.  Life is an Experiment; we plan and do our best - mistakes will be made.  We can consider Life as 'EarthSchool' - Thomas Edison made over 1,500 devises before he came up with the Light Bulb.   Reconciling is the 'oil' of any relationship.  It is especially powerful in our relations with the younger generation.  Like Gumbo or Henri we can 'play the ball rather than the man'.   We can move from Reaction to Response - awareness of negative emotions - we can reflect and choose how to respond to challenge

 

Nelson Mandela - while an exemplar - was no saint; he too has made his share of mistakes.  Drawing on his example we can FIRST reconcile with our selves, learning that our mistakes have provided LESSONS.  Life is a journey in which we all have made mistakes, fallen short - but learned from those opportunities. These have helped us to enhance our sense of self.

 

  The thanks of the Club were given by PP David Rowntree