We in Guyana, especially this generation, have developed a reputation for being perennial complainers so much so that it appears as if this tendency is embedded in our psyche. But are we really a nation of complainers?
However, despite what some in authority might want us to believe, being complainers do not make us totally negative. In fact, complaining can be very positive and useful because it could spur decisive action from those in authority, and to help find satisfactory solutions to our problems.
On the flip side, complaining can be negative by becoming an obstacle to progress if those who are directly affected by an issue become trapped in a mindset which could stifle their ability to stop complaining and be creative and help find solutions to their problems.
As Guyanese, we should not only complain about our problems but we must also strive to find solutions to them. As the political activist and the early leader of the Black Panther Party, Elridge Cleaver once said, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
It is said that everyone is blessed with the ability to solve problems. The main challenge, however, is to find the will to do so.
But the reality is that some of the problems that have surfaced today have been around for a long time, but because of a lack of decisive action, they have grown worse over the years.
What is significant about our tendency to complain about almost everything is that it is not only limited to individuals. It also extends to those in authority who have the ultimate responsibly for finding solutions to our problems at the national and regional levels.
For example, this is evident when a government persistently casts blame on its predecessor for existing problems. In particular, there is also the tendency of senior public officials, including ministers, who complain constantly about problems as if somehow, they are incapable of finding solutions.
The public will appreciate if they could formulate solutions instead of complaining, which could actually convey the impression that they are either inept or incapable to do anything.
Some of the problems left by the last government centered on rampant corruption and the abuse of power. Not only is corruption stifling economic growth, it is also hindering foreign investment. The government is moving to fix the problems. There were the audits followed by the prosecutions. There is also the threat of condign action for anyone who insists on being corrupt.
One of the main reasons why this government was elected to office in the first place was to effect the change it had promised and to fix the problems which have affected the well-being of the masses. It had also pledged to improve the quality of life.
Complaining about problems without finding solutions calls into question the extent of the government’s effectiveness. However, some problems are easier to solve than others, but in some cases, they are systemic. And corruption is systemic problem.
Although the government has power at its disposal, it is unable to solve such problems by itself. Finding effective solutions requires persistence, commitment and the support and cooperation of various stakeholders with interest in those particular problems. Which means communication is needed to convince stakeholders that their cooperation to solve problems will advance their interest. Meaningful communication with stakeholders will also demonstrate that the government possesses the political will to solve problems. Now more than ever, this is what the country needs. Complaints or diverting attention from solving problems or attacking personalities will not do it.
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