It is another instance of honest intentions interfered with through dishonest criminal calculations, of where the industrious are waylaid and wounded for a purse, the pittance of a penny or a pound. The incident in Albouystown on Wednesday relays so much of so many committed to sow violence and to inflict what is disfiguring upon the hardworking and law-abiding in this society.
We reported of the attacking and scarring of a Child Welfare Officer on the way to work. She may, in the course of her unheralded and thankless official responsibility, save a child from the lime, grime, and crime of the streets, maybe prevent another from joining the ranks of her unkind, uncaring attacker, who resorted to the application of stark terror, when his muscular efforts proved futile.
Her unrecommended resistance did not prove to be enough of a shield. Perhaps, it might even fall into the realm of the unwise, notwithstanding the fact that it is her neighbourhood and among her people. By the same measure, her very obvious religious garb did not serve as protection or deterrent either when, in times past, it would have been like a halo that said: off limits! Do not touch!
As we have been prompted to articulate at this paper, from time to time, nothing appears to be sacred anymore: not the Cross, not the Crescent, not any church, not the mosque, not the mandir, not the community of the village.
For that community speaks of so many other environments in this society, where watching citizens were standing by and shrinking from doing anything. It is because of the great fears harboured these days for men with any kinds of weapon, which leads to safe distancing and noninvolvement that come from the dread of being made targets later when the media spotlight has moved on.
Those who previously felt motivated to step forward and intervene (“to part” in Guyanese parlance) are now weighed down by the proliferation of violence that spirals so easily and so wantonly in every nook and cranny of a besieged and frightened society. To a large extent, Guyanese now obey that caution since time immemorial: discretion is the better art of valour. It is better to pick up one’s hurt pride later, than to have to be picked up in shattered pieces there and then.
We simply say that this is how Guyana of today is, across atmosphere and horizon and landscape, and where fear is the overriding key. Other than for the few intrepid and stirring exceptions, there are no foolhardy or daring, just the sensible and the self-protective, who could end up being victims themselves. And that is just what may have played out on an early Wednesday morning in Albouystown.
Yet all is not lost, for when the clouds are darkest, there are rays that flame into sparkling luminosity. Oh, but for those candles that come out of nowhere and flicker with a gleam amidst the morning haze. It is most inspiring; it is that inexplicable miracle that occurs when all appears lost.
It is of those rarities, the handful of concerned, sympathetic, and helpful citizens, who are moved to stop their movement, and lend a much-needed hand in a time of severe trauma, a time when there are only clouds and no rays of helping, healing light. That they may be doing so at some risk to themselves only adds to the glow that their actions bring.
On this occasion, there was not one, but two Good Samaritans, who saw what was happening, recognised the plight of this hapless woman, and cared enough to pause in their tracks. It is the stuff that is so abnormal in any place in this country at this time, which makes it so grand to applaud, 26 stitches later, and which is sure to bring flashbacks of that harrowing moment later and a long time thereafter.
We are blessed by citizens such as these; we are made infinitely better for having them among us. Now, if we could only have more of them, as the calendar creeps forward, this Guyana of ours may find it in itself to be a far different and better place.
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