By STEVE ALVAREZ DPTT Political Leader

I was homeless for the first time in my life. The two persons with whom I was sharing a rented apartment de­cided they needed the additional room. With my bags packed, I was on my way to join a friend who built a shack from discard­ed box boards on State land. On my way there I met a friend who invited me to stay at his home. I spent the next two years there as part of his wonderful family.

I was again in a similar situation in New Jersey years afterwards. Jobless with a pregnant wife and no place to go, a stranger whom I never met before, asked me to look after his building at the heart of Montclair, NJ. I stayed there rent-free with free utilities until I was able to buy my own house.
At the lowest moments in my life people whom I know little about came to my rescue. When local businesspersons tried to stifle my business, a foreigner asked me to build his properties and gave life to my business at its lowest moments. I am grateful to the Uni­verse for granting me opportuni­ties and help when all seems lost.

We are better when we care for each other

As I reflect on the countless mo­ments in my life when complete strangers came to my rescue, I think about the brotherhood of man. I know that we are better when we care for each other. I am not the first in line to give out ham­pers or donate to charity. Giving is not an event for me. Throughout my life-giving of myself and what I have, has been as natural as drink­ing water. As Trinidad & Tobago face an uncertain future, we join with the rest of the world in an adventure into uncharted waters. It is at this time of our development that we can perhaps understand more clear­ly the interdependence of mankind. We can understand that the basics like sharing technology to allow re­motes areas to access clean water, electricity and agricultural products are as necessary as sharing the mes­sages of peace. We can understand why it is critical to the survival of mankind that we conduct our ac­tivities in harmony with nature.

It is time for anew canvas with nothing on it

Now the world and Trinidad & Tobago have an opportunity to look at the old canvas drawing with its polluted waters, neglected poor, en­dangered species, poisoned lands, wars and drug-infested populations and throw that drawing away. It is time for a new canvas with nothing on it. Together we can draw a new image. We can start from tomor­row committed to a cleaner envi­ronment, a rebuilding of human trust, a sharing of resources and a commitment to be thankful to a Universe that has given us life.
In this small island in the Carib­bean Sea, we can be our brother’s keeper. We can utilize our gift of fertile lands to feed ourselves and our neighbours. We can use our resources to ensure that every family has access to clean water. We can reject without compromise any suggestion of divisiveness based on ethnicity, religion, po­litical affiliation or class. Together we can recognize the richness of our people and share love again.
In my life’s darkest moments, people who are unrelated to me have come to my rescue. It is no different now. It is no secret that my political life has not been one of popularity. It has been uncom­promising in areas of unity and dedication to serve in the best in­terest of all the people of Trinidad & Tobago. My vision for better infrastructure, water distribution to every community, community policing, a multi-tiered economic policy and prosperous families is shared by most.
It is not surprising therefore that once again people who hitherto were unknown or not affiliated to my politics are uniting to ask all our citizens to help us draw a new por­trait of Trinidad & Tobago. One of unity, love, prosperity, caring, safety, efficiency and being at peace with our creator. Join us in rebuilding our Nation as we are better united.