Jun 23, 2020 Editorial
Guyana needs to restart right away. We, all of us, need to start living again. After a long season of the most devastating storms, the hope is that the needed calm comes and comforts us in this grievously wounded society. There are the many scattered fragments of our individual and national existence waiting to be picked up and put back together. Our thinking and hoping is that the stirring inspirations will be discovered, and that they will help us to construct a better canvas, a cleaner and more constructive one, that captures the possibilities and move the population of this country to greater effort of what could be had, given what we have in stock.
The tangibles are ever present, and they are of the heaviest demands. In the same vein, the intangibles are many, they can be deterring, and this is from the pondering only. Relative to the tangibles, the first order of business has to be leadership. It must be of one kind only: diverse and inclusive, harmonizing and unifying. It will require the rarest caliber of men and women to not look back at the many ills that plagued, but to the arduous demands of the immediate present, on which a prospering future could be erected. Any leadership, be such from government or opposition ranks, cannot be of the recriminative, since only the restorative stands some chance of lifting this society.
Though we have not had the restorative before, we must find it now, whether by trying and exploring, or in manifesting the investing of time and painstaking effort to make us mend and help us to heal. It has to be less of self and more about the greater good of the many across this land, who have been betrayed and left behind. This has not been genuinely and comprehensively attempted at any time before; it must be done now. Our leaders, in their new roles, must go beyond words and the usual empty political platitudes; they should not add insult to the layers of prior injuries.
The second tangible that must be addressed immediately is how to inject some strength into our depressed economy to provide relief to citizens. They hurt, they cry out for help, any level of help would grant solace. This is shackled to the politics that is sure to continue to simmer, and a pandemic that chases most towards closed doors. The challenges are to get the many empty handed citizens and workers back on the road, to incentivize shuttered businesses reduced to struggling to stay as a going concern, and to generate some greater level of investing and spending by companies and countrymen respectively. The flow of strong, consistent, and clean commercial activity must take hold now, through business turnover, government programmes and projects, and private endeavours. When families earn, they eat; they are able to clear the bills that have piled up and weigh down the many who could not make a living. There should be a lot of cash (clean hopefully) in corporate treasuries, which could do much and mean more.
Third, and this is related to the economy and the objectives of its captains, there must be the tangible of order: in our institutions and the servants who man them, and in the streets and for the citizens who ply those. The disorderliness of the visible free-for-alls that most took for granted as part of the national culture must be brought to a stop. A disciplined and civil society can make bricks without straw, while an undisciplined and uncivil one fails to realize the fullness of its potential and cheats itself out of bread and board. If this country is going to succeed at tourism, negotiate and partner more spiritedly for a greater portion of our natural wealth, and contribute to lifting the lot of all in the population, then leaders and citizens must convert to a more responsible way of life. If nothing else, this hardest of elections interlude reinforced the requirements of respect for the law and the personal self-control that is linked to it.
The one intangible, which we shrink from as a nation, cannot be held of much longer. It is the patient knitting of the collective spirit and nursing the shattered soul to some healing and strength. Of healing and reconciling, there is so much to be said. And it will follow soon on this page and in the choices that Guyana prioritize. Whether to good governance, or the CCJ (which may turn back), this country needs to start living again. It must.
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