Aug 01, 2021 Letters
Emancipation! The word certainly has a glorious sound and echo to it, like continuously rolling thunder, like the gentle moan of a snowflake in free airy trajectory. There are so many meanings associated with this simplest, yet thorniest, of human conditions, and when they come to signify the reality of true liberty, then man lives like a man among his fellow men. It is the way that we were made to be.
I put myself in the place of the newly freed slaves on that first day of the rest of their bitter, shackled lives, and no matter how much I try, I fail miserably at capturing the essences of the joys of such a day in 1833 and 1863. Imagination freezes. The senses depart. The touch and feel that come fall woefully short. But, simply a mere reflection on the moment brings a long hushed peace to the spirit. Free! Free, at last. Free, forever and beyond. Oh Lord, oh God, never, ever let this be again. Never! For any man. Any woman toiling in fearful domestic anonymity. Any child rushed to and around with intentions less pure, less securing.
For man was born free, possesses the deepest instincts to be free, and nothing else will do. Therefore, let us be free, and free ourselves from the chains that contain. Let us be free from any kind or degree of human slavery. Serfdom. Indentureship. Restraint. Especially to think, to be conscientious. Free as the wind to inhabit the peaks, and to be at home in the valleys and plains and lowlands, too.
The indomitable, unconquerable spirit of man must be so authentically emancipated, as to be able to think freely and vastly, with the only limitations being conscience, truth, and an ethos that is almost inhuman. Can be done. Must be done. That is genuine emancipation to speak, to write, to be of the light of truth that can be confined, but never controlled, can be raged against, but never be risen above.
Editor, this is part of the sum of what I share with my fellow citizens – sisters, brothers, leaders, critics, skeptics, even addicts – who are all cherished, whether they like or not, agree with or don’t. It took a lifetime to get to this sublime summit, but I draw closer, with the challenge being not to slip and lose ground. Not the tiniest iota of a millimetre.
I appeal to our leaders to emancipate themselves. Don’t see Guyanese as enemies. I get no value of any kind from seeing leaders as foes working doggedly to limit with the strictures of mental enslavement. Mistake prone and misguided they are, yes; but as compulsive incorrigible evildoers, though, I must pause and start over again. That is emancipation. Of self. I urge our political leaders to so free themselves from the slaveries of the bounties and riches of providence, that there is the justness of willingness to share, and spread the sharing all over. What could be more of an emancipation grace, vision, and practice than that? More than words, the infallible proofs of actual meaningful deeds. I exhort fellow citizens to emancipate themselves from slavish homage to human idols, and in the blind sacrifices made to them; those went out with the fall of the Aztecs and Incas, and we are better for it. Similarly, I encourage our spiritual shepherds to remember the teachings of the good books about the allures of the beautiful, enriching things of the world, and know that there are bigger prizes that are beyond compare.
To our media engagers, let truth be a treasured guide, for there is no greater freedom. May all Guyanese be more and more emancipated with each passing hour, and understand fully the obligations – some burdensome, some troublesome, some even quarrelsome – that come with each breath of liberty lived with, for they still have to be done. Somehow. By someone. And if there is no one, then it might as well be me. Guyanese, emancipate yourself! Now!
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