The English philosopher, John Stuart wrote; “How can great minds be produced in a country where the test of great minds is agreeing in the opinions of small minds?” One of the greatest French writers ever, Victor Hugo, wrote; “Wide horizons lead the soul to broad ideas; circumscribed horizons engender narrow ideas; this sometimes condemn great hearts to become small minded.”
Because I live in Guyana and I see the asininities that are interwoven in the nation’s fabric, I find three quotations on small minds poetically beautiful in their relevance to Guyana. I am particularly fond of what a former Prime Minister of the UK, Benjamin Disraeli once observed; “Small things affect small minds.” English writer Doris Lessing also observed; “Small things amuse small minds.” The great religious figure Sathya Sai Baba once noted that; “Small minds select narrow roads.”
People here demonstrate the infinitesimal minds they live with when you see their priorities. In Guyana, heart-breaking events compete with hilarities for the attention of the population, and predictably, the preoccupation is with the facetious, inconsequential dimensions of existence. There is only one word to describe the nature of such a land, “tragic.”
Minister Broomes manufactured a ‘selfie’ in Parliament in which she constantly repeats the expression, “boom out” in satirical mockery of Bharrat Jagdeo (given his track record and what he did to Varshnie Singh can you blame people who caricature him?).
Social media saw a plethora of condemnations and the mainstream media was deluged with harsh criticisms. The main points – not in Parliament, and she is a minister. Point taken! And very seriously too. If I was asked if I agree with what she did, I would definitely say no.
But there are extremely sad things that take place daily in Guyana, and the playfield of social media is deserted and the mainstream press will go out of business if they wait to see a letter of interest.
Not one person thought it was necessary to write to the newspapers enquiring why a 10-year-old child kicked in the stomach was sent home the same day from the hospital. She died days after and the post mortem revealed internal poisoning from ruptured organs. This child died because of medical incompetence at the Georgetown Hospital.
No one sent in an enraged missive to the newspapers, but people are fuming about Broomes’ “boom out” selfie. The stories of unnecessary death at the hands of incompetent doctors at public hospitals are a national disgrace. How about one of those who didn’t like the “boom out” selfie write the press asking for a Commission of Inquiry? I don’t think we will see that. Small minds only concentrate on small things.
Magistrates all over this wasteland are sending people to jail, a majority of whom are pretty young; we don’t see even half a letter. Really! Who cares about Broomes and her “boom out” selfie? Oh yes. I beg your pardon! There are people who care. Those with tiny minds.
We are living in self-destructive times in this country. I haven’t seen one comment from anyone outside of the political arena, that is, society itself, that condemned the licence fee-rise for animal-drawn carts. The government has to get revenue, but don’t tell me one of the ways is upping the tax on animal-drawn carriages.
I haven’t seen a letter in the press the past twenty years inquiring why we do not have an active consumer affairs association. I haven’t seen a comment in the media the past twenty years lamenting the absence of an active human rights body. After Broomes, who next will we write on? Certainly not erring doctors. Certainly not erring magistrates. Certainly not the things that break the hearts of the average human being.
It tantalizes my mind that someone can read about people dying unnecessarily at the Georgetown Hospital, but can actually take the time to send in a letter on the “boom out” selfie. It lacerates my soul that a poor person appears without a lawyer in front of a magistrate and is put on $100,000 bail for stealing a $60,000 watch and goes to the Camp Street lock up because they cannot raise that amount. But former ministers charged with stealing over $600 million of public money are granted a million in bail.
So who next is going to do a “boom out” selfie, say in one of the ministries or at the Pegasus or Marriott? I want to see a minister doing a selfie in the zoo, to see what reaction that will generate. “Boom out”, until tomorrow’s column.
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