The New Year is upon us. Just about everybody is hoping for a better year. It is said that the older one gets, it appears that the year grows shorter. It seemed as though 2018 had just begun. The saying that time flies has merit.
In Ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus, named after the month of January, is depicted as the God of two faces, one that looks back and the other looks to the future. Janus presided over the beginning and the ending of conflicts, which in effect symbolizes change and transition over time. It also expresses the need for people to be conscious of those events in society that have altered reality or have transformed their lives.
Looking back, 2018 has been a year of many ups and downs with uncertainty for some and smooth sailing for others. But through it all, we have persevered. The defeat of the government in the no-confidence motion in Parliament on December 21 has shocked the nation to its core. However, unlike some other nations, we are truly a resilient people and our resilience and perseverance have helped us through the ages.
The past few days should be instructive for re-shaping our lives and planning a new direction. As a nation, we must look back in order to understand what the future holds for us; the glory and the grief we have experienced; the terrible loss of lives we have endured; the incredible gains made and the extraordinary achievements of science and technology.
The government has made some mistakes; it must strive to achieve excellence in the New Year. But at the same time, we must hold the government to its promise to be transparent and accountable to the people. We must also commend the government for getting rid of twenty-three years stench and garbage in the city, creating four new municipalities (Bartica, Mahdia, Mabaruma and Lethem) and holding Local Government Elections twice in three years after an absence of two decades.
The year 2018 was one of personal tragedy for those who lost loved ones to gun violence, traffic accidents, suicide and other mishaps. It was also a tough year for the poor and for many others to transition from the fear and the negative feelings that once engulfed the nation, to being positive with confidence and hope today.
In the New Year, we must end the ills in society, including violence against women and children, drug and alcohol abuse, and crime and gang violence which continue to affect our communities. In Georgetown and other areas of the country, crime has reduced many, mostly the elderly to almost a subhuman-like existence as they cower behind iron bars on their doors and windows for their safety.
Police statistics show that crime has reduced, but many still are not convinced.
In 2018 as in previous years, Guyana lost some of its best and brightest due to migration to greener pastures in the Caribbean and North America. Original thinkers who loved Guyana and did much to propel it forward, have left a huge void in the country and the public sphere of ideas and debates.
Today, with oil on the horizon, and general elections pending, Guyana’s politics is combative, its economy is struggling, prices for its commodities on the world market have fallen, the national debt has risen, and unemployment continues.
However, the possibility exists for a bright and prosperous future in 2019, but only if we unite and work together.
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