No resolutions, but there must be change

January 6, 2013 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, My Column 


I have already announced that I made no resolutions this year because I simply could not keep them, but that did not stop me from encouraging people to develop meaningful habits in the New Year. And what a welcome the year got. There I was in the village of my birth, Beterverwagting, when I heard one of the most beautiful sounds, something that I had not heard in years—the sound of the church bell welcoming the New Year.
There was no Auld Lang Syne. but there was old music and drinks, plenty of them. There were relatives and friends and nostalgia. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. One day later, it was back to work with people who were still in the holiday spirit. Some simply did not turn up for work, obviously believing that they were living in Cuba where the first two days of the year are public holidays.
They were not the only ones who did not want to think about work. Some of the leaders were either hung over or just too tired to take on the activities that they would be taking on for the rest of the year, anyway. But when they did get going it was all about reviews of the past year and there was a lot to review.
I also did some reviews and I found that there was a lot that happened that really should not. For example, I was one who became concerned about the Demerara Harbour Bridge. This was a bridge that linked the East Coast to the West. It helped open up West Demerara, because people who wanted to live close to the city but could find nowhere comfortable, suddenly realized that the West Demerara was the next best thing.
Today, there are really large housing schemes in that part of the country, but only one access route. There have been times when that route collapsed and caused much inconvenience to the people who travelled. Of course the Bridge was not always there. There was a time when one ferry vessel crossed the river in as long as thirty minutes (the days of the Querriman).
So the review continued and the government sees the need to improve the connection between East and West Demerara. There were further reviews. One had to do with what transpired in the latter part of the year. There was the Parliament chamber that became a battleground of political desires and wills. Each side had valid points. The government wanted to plan for the country and the opposition was keen to have a say in whatever plan there was to be.
This year should see some compromise. Already both sides found common ground on some issues. One of them was rape. Both sides concurred that the laws governing rape should be amended to close all loopholes and they voted together. There will be other votes
When they all agreed on the rape issue I felt good. I recalled the days when Parliamentarians battled it out in the halls of the Parliament and when it was all over they met at some watering hole and laughed at so many things. These days one finds that many of the parliamentarians cannot even sit and have a social drink.
In this country where social drinking is perhaps the best thing for people in public life, I was surprised that the parliamentarians do not even socialize. They are supposed to be the people who would set an example for the nation but they are setting none.
Such is the case that even in sport there is division. There were two football competitions, one by Kashif and Shanghai and another supported by Banks DIH. The year before, a political decision by Kashif and Shanghai saw football lovers giving them the boot. That trend continued this year and if the crowd is anything to go by, the football community is preparing to say goodbye to the Kashif and Shanghai tournament.
There was another review that almost took my breath away. Soon after the 2011 elections the PPP series came. It disappeared about a year later, to be replaced by the PRR series. After about a month some one thousand of those cars have already been sold.
But from all appearances those cars are heading for the junk heap just as fast. People refuse to apply the basics when it comes to road use with the result that they are causing themselves and countless others a lot of grief. They are ignoring basic signs and getting into accidents.
For this year already I have had to stop at intersections when I have the right of way. And if the truth be told, I was glad I did because I cannot afford a new car if another driver hits the one I have. Even people walk as though they are made of steel, ignoring fast-moving vehicles.
I did think that when the New Year dawned, people would have been glad to have been alive and would have taken extra care to see this year through. It seems as though nothing changed once January 1, 2013 disappeared.
Even I had a problem. I kept writing 2012, but I do resolve to change that. Wish the other things that need changing in this country could change as easily.

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