IT has been over a year since we have had a functioning Executive. I think it is safe to say that the majority of us are feeling a sense of weariness.

•Weary of the rising cost of living.
•Weary of funding cuts.
•Weary of long hospital waiting lists.
•Weary of having no functioning local government. 

I completely understand that there are those who have deep concerns regarding the Protocol, and they have every right to protest and seek the amendments they desire. However, this can be done hand-in-hand with a functioning government.

My heart is with, and for, all of us who want a working Executive. The majority of us simply want to live our everyday lives, pay our bills, tend to our sick, educate our children and create a better place for all of us to live in. In short, our precious people are suffering.

Recently, I have been thinking about the words of Martin Luther King Jr: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter."

I have listened to story after story of people who are struggling and who are feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and weariness. They are concerned not only about today, but what the future will bring. They are worried for their health, their children, how they will pay bills and so on. 

Therefore, it is important that we continue to speak up about things that matter – and nothing matters more than people. We must continue to...

•Stand up and speak out.
•Be a voice for the voiceless.
•Extend compassion and grace.
•Bring hope and vision.

Our people deserve so much better than this. May we continue to refuse to be silent. We deserve a functioning local government.