Kaieteur News – The destruction of the Brickdam Police Station was caused by an essential service that failed to materialise. But why the surprise? Anyone who has been living in Guyana for the past 50 years knows that the concept and process of service have long gone out of existence.
By service, I don’t mean governmental service only. I mean service in the real sense of the word. I mean humans living in a society with expectations of things they need in life to preserve their essential functionalism. Its range is long – from water in their tap to getting approval for their children to go to school. These expectations of modern civilisation have long died in this land.
The non-existence of service is a social tragedy that has destroyed the collective psyche of this nation. People have resigned to their fate that Guyana will never provide them with what modern civilisation must offer to humans to make them happy. The English philosopher, Jeremy Betham, once observed that the objective of living is to be happy. A society will be mentally depressed when it cannot secure the service it needs to exist.
In their own way, the folks without money to travel to the developed world to acquire service and who endure the complete lack of service in their own country were cynical when the station burnt down. It was wrong to be that way but in philosophy, something can be wrong but yet be logical.
They live without service – from water supply to telephone repairs to getting a birth certificate to putting their little savings in a commercial bank. They know these things are impossible so when the fire service caused the station to disappear, they probably smiled. The non-wealthy souls in this land are deeply unhappy people but they have managed to sublimate their psychological suffering for decades now. They pursue limited happiness in their own unique way.
What follows below comes from my heart. It is the way, which I feel about my homeland. I grew up very poor in Wortmanville. The result is that you know about rough life and rough life makes you courageous. I consider myself a person not easily deterred and intimidated.
Tomorrow, I would cross oceans, despite my age to picket, to demonstrate, to participate in a vigil, to fight with the poor and powerless. In doing so, I would have no fear of being arrested. Please read what is to follow here. I have no mental energy, no psychological courage to walk into any commercial bank, GPL, GTT, UG, GWI, GRA, City Hall, any government ministry, any police station, any public heath institution, the registry of the High Court, the Deeds Registry, CH&PA, Lands &Survey, NIS, any private insurance company, passport office, police certification office, police clearance office, any post office, any local airport, any place that offers service.
My heart sinks when I know I have to do that for I know this country does not exist. For the rough life that prepared me to be a person of courage, I am mentally shaken when there is the thought that I have to seek service in those places mentioned above. You are just daunted at the reality that service will not be offered, that you will be mistreated, will be unhappy and will leave with both anger and sadness.
This is the essential Guyana. This is what Guyanese truly live with. A fire service in a county where 90 percent of the buildings are wooden did not perform even at half-normal in saving one of the most sensitive security buildings. Think of how many lives were destroyed because service in this country is non-existence. Think of what the mind of a human has become when a wire sparks, GPL doesn’t come despite pleas and you see the resulting fire destroy your future in front of your eyes. It is a nightmare to have a lost ID card or driver’s licence replaced. It is a nightmare to enter City Hall.
At the moment, both of my land lines are in poor condition. I am deeply truthful when I say that I have no mental capacity to summon GTT. I have to be at GRA next week for a simple thing and already I am trembling. Life should not be like this. Those land lines will stay in that condition permanently because I am not going to allow GTT to make me stressful. Who or what can change this country, I confess, I don’t know. All I know is that I am saddened at how the world has left us way, way behind. I am completely ravaged mentally when I see those unhappy faces in a commercial bank or GRA or at NIS or at all the places in Guyana where the concept and process of service do not exist.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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