For the longest while, citizens of this society spoke at length of a different kind of leadership urgently needed in all areas of endeavor in this country. At the height of the pyramid considered, was for such leadership to be at its highest in the political arena. In governance, through standards, by personal ethical example, it had to be from man or woman, some sterling son or daughter of the Guyanese soil, the singular in moral and transformational leadership. It is worth saying one more time: what this society yearned for with a passion was the extraordinary expression and exemplification of the kind of moral and transformational leadership never seen here before, never experienced and lived through here in Guyana before.
Moral and transformational leadership of a rare kind and to an outstanding degree was what numerous citizens of this land signed up for, hoped for, and feverishly anticipated, and what resulted is what Guyanese live with again and languish in again. As was the case during almost all the times before, they have been sharply disappointed again, with this time being no exception. It was not to be. And after all the errors and failures down through the decades, to be in the same place, once again, is almost too much to bear for those who did hope and did trust. It was not to be, and it is crystal clear from where we are today. Many looked for the bright and bigger things of a man and others bigger than their times, and look at what we got for our pains. Many now live with the personal disillusionment that has always been an inseparable aspect of wishing and waiting and losing out again and again.
In earlier days, the many expectant looked for this kind of leadership from the newer and younger, but it did not happen when deterioration became the order of the day. That much is now indisputable from near the start of this millennia to just a literal handful of years ago. And from then, it was the older, the sterner, the believed wiser, and look at what we have now. Where has all the talk and stirring about moral and transformation leadership gone? When ethics went, honor and principle and legacy sailed out the window. It was the old story of the new day with new hopes, and at the side of those the old norms through our age-old leadership behaviours and examples.
Stop and take stock of the sinking feeling that sums up the history and currency of Guyana: cheating and rigging, and delaying and blocking, then dispiriting and defeating, and all through means most foul. United States Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said something that went like this: when we conduct ourselves in a particular way, through our faithful regard for the law, it is transformed into a “witness and external deposit of our moral lives.” The external deposits witnessed at the leadership level in the past hundred days and counting have been not of the moral but of the immoral, not of the principled but of the dishonorable. We are all besmirched before the world, before the future, and before our sorry selves.
For when the nitty-gritty of Elections arrived over a hundred days ago, then true leadership vows and intents disappeared. The bottom fell out of men, who swore that they are for what is right and for the people by the hand of the people. And then those same men pulled the rug from under the feet of Guyanese (115,000 of them) and a mountain fell heavily and unbearably upon country and citizen, and all that was just within the grasp.
For a man to prove trustworthy, he has to be trusted to do what is best, what is ideal for one and all, and this is best expressed by unconditional nobility of first self and last on every occasion, when the self-sacrifice must be made for others, most, can move forward and flourish. As we at this paper look at where Guyana is today, with its contortions and convulsions laid before the awed CCJ, this is what we have transformed into, this is what we have been reduced and humiliated, when we are compelled to lay the family laundry, in all of its rottenness, before the whole world. Such is the truth of the moral and transformational leadership for which we hoped, and this is what we got.
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