There is that familiar truth about prophets and their hometowns. It seems that they almost always do better elsewhere, more often well-received, even specially honoured. Three Guyanese can attest to the reality of that fate lived outside.
The region saw it fit to recognise and honour Sir Shridath Ramphal, Dr. Bertrand Ramcharran, and Professor Duke Pollard. Well done gentlemen of Guyana. Other than a passing news reference, that’s it: move on, nice to know, good for them, and no more, maybe even less.
But when we are unable to applaud our illustrious, successful sons and daughters, then that says so much about us.
Surely, we can’t have sunk so low that there is cheering, and we find endearing, only what is debauched political ‘gangsta’ culture and the pull of the extremely partisan through immersion in the thoroughly prejudicial.
And just as surely, there may be stout restraint in some sizable quarters for the man knighted by a queen and who was part of the monarchy that reigned in Guyana for many long decades. Do we not ever forget? Grow? Reach for something different?
He has moved on with a still subtler brand of politics, a man of little to no standing in certain places among certain people, but the record is there. Love him or leave him, the track record speaks for itself.
Guyana definitely has left him alone. The people in the region, the jurists thought it better to honour those they call their own, three of them to be accurate. It is right. We speak of transparency and accountability, yet there is insistent psychological and emotional living with the tortured tyrannies of the lost decades of the last half of the 20th century.
All of those decades remind that we govern by grudges, we prosper by perpetuating ancient passions, thus we languish amongst the lowest of the low, little people consumed by still lesser impulses that overwhelm.
Thus, there is a domestic problem with Guyana’s first globetrotter. So, too, this paper ponders what could be the problem with the man from the UN. He is still a son, isn’t he? One who did well. For wherever he went, he surfaced in illuminating surges of an old time Guyanese spirit that did good, lived well, and left a grand legacy.
How is it that Guyana can only see and hear wisps and whispers of warts, when a defining wisdom is apparent to most on the international scene? There we go again: prophets and hometowns. History reports that they are run out of town.
The towns are a little less profound, considerably more unwise for failing to reach for, embrace next, and then leverage the reservoir of refinements garnered over the years, like Josephus, in demanding Roman times. Others are not hesitant.
In fact, they are assertive in their exhibition of the affirmative. Come, brother! Take your place-pride of place-among us as one of us. We trust. We recognise. We salute. Do not make the fatal error of presenting such advocacy to Guyanese, for it is sure to unveil the beasts within the breast that are now the hallmarks of the barbarities to which there has been descent, and in which there is delighted frenzied fellowship.
The best and the brightest attain their wisest heights in the farthest of places. Let them! Guyana is inestimably dimmer and drearier.
When the bitter life lessons have only taught this society distrust, suspicion, and little regard for its resonant positives, then it cannot stand for anything of substance, only frills and straws, thus, the many men of straw, who flourish and inflame, who flare with what brings to this stage of rage.
A professor is heard widely across the Caribbean Sea for his depth, his sagacity, his profundity of arresting cerebral power. Yet the only people not hearing him are his own dogmatic countrymen, his torn, lifelong contemporaries, who behold not the peerless, but the joyless. Joyless because what is desired to be delivered, that certain kind of supporting is not forthcoming.
Against these insurmountable Guyanese barriers, brethren in wider neighbourhoods have reached out in respectful, appreciative handshake. Meanwhile, Guyana’s cannibalism is so entrenched that all within are devoured.
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