PHILIP “BRAVE” DAVIS, MP/ DEPUTY LEADER
AT BFM’s Men Empowerment Event & Rally At Rawson Square, Bay St.
October 9, 2011
On behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party, I would like to thank BFM for organizing this event.
As men were ordered by God to be the leaders in their homes, we play a special role in the formation and development of society.
Ours is not a light responsibility. It is weighty, powerful and meaningful. I believe that we hold the answers to many of the problems that our country faces…we should all understand our responsibility and shoulder it with honour.
So this gathering here this afternoon will have significant impact as I believe when Proverbs tells us that “Asiron sharpens iron,so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”. The assembling together of men and the attendant fellowship and conversation produces a better man.
Since creation men have been looked upon to carry out an awesome role.
This assembly this afternoon has additional significance.
We are living in a time of our history where I believe that our country is fighting for its very existence. The evidence is on the wall for all to see.
Escalating murder, increased incidences of child molestation, more robbery, I could go on and on. Everything that we hold dear is slipping away, crumbling before our eyes.
The United Nations 2011 Global Study on Homicide indicates, “Young males are the group most affected by violent crime in all regions, particularly in the Americas”of which we are a part.
It goes on to reveal that In countries characterized by high levels of homicide related to organized crime, the risk of a 20-year-old
man being murdered before the age of 31 can be as high as 2 per cent, meaning that 1 in 50 males in those countries is murdered by that age.
The risk in countries with a low homicide rate is 400 times lower.
Men the Bahamas needs you!
The Bahamas needs you to once again assume the leadership role in your homes, in your schools, in your church and most importantly in the lives of your children.
The call is even now more urgent my brothers that we take up our roles in society. There is no excuse!
Too often I hear stories of men who are neglectful towards their families, men who refuse to support them in anyway.
The courts are packed with women pleading for help to feed, clothe and basically take care of their children.
We cannot allow this to happen, we must pull up our socks, get up, take a stand, lead and be there for those that need us now more than ever.
President Barack Obama in an address in 2008 on Father’s Day said:
“The family is that most important foundation and we are called to recognize and honor what every father is to that foundation…. but if we are honest with ourselves we will admit that too many fathers are MIA (Missing in Action), too many fathers are AWOL (Absent Without Leave), missing from too many lives and too many homes. They’ve abandoned their responsibilities; they’re acting like boys instead of men, and the foundations of our families have suffered because of it.”
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but
when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Corithians 13:11)
It is our God given duty that we take care of our families, the Bible speaks about becoming a man and putting away childish things and that is what we must do.
The Bahamas needs you to bring new life to the values and characteristics that lead to the many successes and freedoms that we enjoy today!
It was on the backs of men like Carlton Francis, Clearance Bain, Rev. Talmadge Sands, Sir Randol Fawkes, Sir Clifford Darling, Sir Lynden Pindling, AD Hanna, Sir Milo Butler, Sir Cecil Wallce-Whitfield and other names that when mentioned are instantly recognizable that produced the Bahamas today.
More importantly though, more instrumental to the great advancement were ordinary men that feared God, took pride in themselves and in their work and loved their children.
These were men whose singular mission was to provide a life that was better than their own. This is our legacy! This is the Bahamian tradition! God, family, country!
It was because of these men that we gained Majority Rule and gained Independence.
It was this man that produced a Bahamas that provides a decent standard of living…a Bahamas that is democratic…this is your country and it now needs you to recommit to leading it once again.
It needs you now to recommit to God, to family and to country! God…family…country! The change must begin with us!
Attitudes and behaviors that now dominate our culture must be beaten-back!
We must do a better job to live a life that properly prioritizes goals.
We must attack attitudes where we as men feel that is okay to spend five thousand dollars on rims for cars while not saving money for our children’s education!
We must attack the attitude that elevates materialism and diminishes learning and decency!
We must attack the attitude that leads our brothers to perpetually spill their seed recklessly!
I know that we have all fallen short, but when we fall short we must pull ourselves up!
You see men, for far too long we have lived in pursuit of immediate gratification. We have been short-term in our scope and narrow-minded in our field of vision.
We have to better understand that our actions today shape our tomorrow. We have to do a better job of thinking about our individual and
collective legacy and less about the satisfaction of the present!
We have to understand that you can only eat off of a harvest for so long before you have to return to the field to plant again!
A few years ago, Pastor Myles wrote a book entitled The Burden of Freedom. In this book, Pastor Myles reminds us all that freedom is not free!
When people previously oppressed obtain their freedom, they and their descendants must continually pay for this freedom…and the cost is responsibility!
Now nearly 40 years after Independence the Bahamas is where it is today in part due to the collective irresponsibility of its men!
It is time to wake-up!
It is time to recommit!
It is time to commit to God, family and country! It is time for the men of the Bahamas to be men!
It is time to lead!
This afternoon, let us recommit to the values that defined the generation before us and enabled this country to achieve so much.
Let us recommit to be each other’s keeper, holding each accountable whenever the standard may start to slip.
Let us recommit to our church family, taking a more active role in ministry and outreach.
Let us recommit to our jobs, going above and beyond lifting and maintaining excellence in all we do.
Let us recommit to our families as we enlarge the opportunities for our children, enabling them to fulfill their God-given potential!
This day, let us recommit and leave this square sharper and more focused than ever!
Let us recommit to reclaiming our legacy and making the future better than the past!
Thank you and God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas!
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