When we show the most by way of commonsense, we demonstrate in unequivocal terms, that we possess the least, maybe none at all. We exhibit this appalling standard, on an almost national level, when we shrug in misplaced smugness and dangerous recklessness, at the alarming presence and devastating potential that are part and parcel of the coronavirus pestilence. It is not an exaggerated scare tactic; it is very real and could lead to the catastrophic.
Despite this, we remain proud and loud about what contributes immensely in dividing us, in that which solidifies even more unbreakably into the cycles of hating. Divided and hateful, we are from the tense sanctuary of our homes, as we look and listen to whatever the technology brings or spews into our laps and hearts: it is ‘dem people’. Reinforcing of the ancient is assured, now a mandatory ingredient in the bubbling sizzling mess that is political and racial Guyana. This was never good at any time, now it is incontestable how we are and the hurtful negatives that we have allowed ourselves to become more enmeshed in is occurring at the worst of possible times.
We peer across our fences and turn away, for the sentiment in the heart is that there are no neighbours anymore, only the imagined or manufactured reality of what is now regarded as enemy territory. It is but one manifestation of our way of thinking, our settled conditioning that has now metamorphosed in our fixed way of life. We are about deliberately dividing from the other by separating ourselves and hating the other because those once recognised and embraced as former friends, now stand in the pathway to ascendancy and supremacy. Whoever thought that some racial progress as made now feels despair, since none is ever made.
For this is the same savaging way that characterises our views from through the windows and windshields of our waiting vehicles. Those feelings are returned in spades from whoever is the breathing dissenting object that stares (or studiously ignores) along roadways. Things are closer in the narrow confines of markets, where body language shimmers with the reciprocal sweats of who are found agitating, chilliness oozes.
In our places of prayer, the passions may be more muted, postures more careful, the personal placement more distant, more protective, and this is how we come before God on High to tell him how low we have fallen. That is, if we care enough, if our consciences accuse us, and if our conduct condemns us for what we are: the worst of hypocrites, the greatest of pretenders. Somewhere along the line, the great teachings about brotherhood and fellowship have been superseded by the dividing and hating that flows so effortlessly now from our polarizing politics: those people are treacherous.
Our pious assemblies of reaching for the Almighty, the lynchpin of our belief systems are closed. Long before those compulsory closures, our own hearts were closed to appreciating those next to us, who may be different. Things are now so far gone in Guyana that even tolerating is a heavy burden that too many find undesirable, hence unlivable in the distances and coldness that we construct so reflexively to wall each other out so completely. And this is at this most testing of times when we need each other like never before.
In this most difficult time, our minds should be engaged at delivering by our hands the promises of our words. We need every hand at this menacing hour, this unending interlude that has made us retreat into feared silos of hostility and the hatreds cultivated and refined to where our environment overflows with what endangers still further in this hour of great challenge.
Our leaders stand as examples of what is dividing, from which come the enriching fuels that electrify their respective supporters to the point of madness. It is the worst, most deplorable, convergence of fanaticisms. Today, they make our prospects at overcoming dimmer, more frightening, more confidence shattering.
There is urgent need for self-examination by leaders and supporters if only to comprehend that we cripple ourselves, we diminish ourselves, as we keep on dividing and hating. One nation cannot be built on this.
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