As we emerge from this exhausting and debilitating few months, please allow me to describe ‘tomorrow’ as I see it. Now that it is clear that a new Government is likely to be sworn in shortly, what now?
The past few months have laid bare the deep scars and deep pain among us as Guyanese. These scars are deep and have pained Guyanese hearts in different ways, for different reasons, and for many years, going back to slavery, indentureship, independence and all that happened since then.
Over the past 19 months – starting with the No Confidence Motion in December 2018 and right up to the recent Court of Appeal decision on the recount, there was an unprecedented range of views, accusations, anger, ideas, proposals, etc. from an unprecedented range of Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora.
These voices came from all corners, levels and segments of the Guyanese fabric. There was also deafening silence from Guyanese who many expected to speak. I cannot recall a time before when there was such an outpouring, and with such passion and conviction. In all of this, scars became open wounds, and it left a trail of anger, sadness and hurt that will linger for a long time.
It is clear that after elections, supporters for the 2 major parties are always left feeling vulnerable and afraid of what a Government of the opposite side means for them. The fears are real and many- being marginalized, marked, victimized, discriminated against, excluded from Guyana’s great economic prospects ahead, etc. It appears that these fears in 2020 are much greater than ever before and may have contributed to what we saw in the past months.
Yet, in the midst of shouting and the pain, it is clear that Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora want to be proud of our “Beautiful Guyana”. Guyanese were on edge over the past five plus months. They engaged with head, heart, and soul because they believe what they say and feel. Watching things unravelling in Guyana was unbearable and heartbreaking. Everyone wanted the nightmare to end. More than anything, we want to be proud of our native land and proud to be Guyanese, so let us begin the journey to make ourselves proud of Guyana and being Guyanese.
I have always been a strong believer in the mindset of abundance vs the mindset of scarcity. In simple terms, when the water level goes up, it raises all ships. Success for one person does not have to be at the expense of another. One does not have to cut down, cut out, or trample on others to be successful.
In the mindset of abundance, there is enough for everyone. The focus needs to be on having as many people as possible being successful. This is how we raise the water level. We have it within our collective power to ‘show what Guyana’s sons and daughters can be’.
Mutual respect, collective success, and social equality have to become the national rallying cry, and these have to be everyone’s business. Starting right now, I am calling on the current and next President to lead the way. ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’.
To the outgoing President: Let your party and supporters know that country comes first and that you commit to help the new President and Government through a peaceful and successful transition, and that you are calling on them to do the same.
To the incoming President: Acknowledge that people who support the outgoing Government would feel vulnerable and uncertain for various reasons. Recognize that these feelings are real and valid, but that you commit yourself to be a champion for equal opportunity, for success for every Guyanese and other stakeholders. In addition, commit that you will work tirelessly to harness all of Guyana’s talent, goodwill and resources to benefit every citizen. Assure people that you will accept nothing less from your Government, party and supporters, and call on leaders in Business, Academia and Civil Society to be your partners.
To both Dr. Ali and Mr. Granger, I feel you need to speak in clear language laying out what actions you take in the first 100 days and the next 1000 days to bring the Guyanese family together and harness their energy for shared purpose, shared success and national pride.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” – Shakespeare, in ‘Julius Caesar’.
Gentlemen, you both have a limited window of opportunity to gain a large dose of goodwill and shift the energy and focus of Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora towards what is possible when we work together, “One people, One nation, One destiny”. I wish you well.
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