May 28, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Our BLUNT page (page 7) presented something on January 17 that should make citizens of this country sit up and take stock. It is how we are and where we are today, as a collection of peoples. It is of what used to be the norm before in this poor society, but is now something that is rarely practised, and sometimes which is viewed in contemptuous terms. This is especially so among the ranks of those who are capitalising on connections to make a killing from this national oil bonanza.
The BLUNT commentary reminded us of a simpler time that is now history, and as good as dead. It is of “the days when people took pride in sharing with each other.” Indeed, there was a time when Guyanese did that, no matter how little they had. They always had the willingness; they found the heart to share. They did this we are told “not for publicity, but just because they had excess…” We would take the position that Guyanese, particularly those who were poorer took pride in sharing from their meager cupboards and paltry pots, whatever was there, sometimes even if that means that they had to do with a little less. And all because somebody, some neighbour, some stranger, some family member, didn’t have and it was the right thing to do, the only thing that those who had could think to do.
When we compare and contrast that standard of long ago to what is happening today, we shake our head in shame and regret at the self-destructiveness of what grips us, and leaves us at that place where we are smaller people, and less of a caring and sharing nation. The ugly irony of today is that we have so much. We have been told by many of the world’s authorities of how we are among the richest people in the world, and there is this incredible selfishness, this devotion to the self-enriching. This is even when it means that such self-enrichment can only be possible at the expense of those citizens and brethren positioned lower down on the social and economic ladders.
Now that we have been blessed with these fabulous natural resource endowments, there is this massive outburst of energy to grab and get as much as can be had, even if this means that other Guyanese have to be pushed out of the way, or trampled upon in the mad rush to seize the biggest slices of the national pie. Our political and commercial leaders set the tone for this kind of wanton and callous behaviour, which has now become a startling feature of the embedded national culture. As the BLUNT comment insisted and emphasized, those who don’t remember “are probably too young or just part of the problem in our society.”
The ones that are too young can be excused, as they have no frame of reference, no actual experience being near that kind of environment, close to such kinds of caring and compassionate citizens, be they their own family members, or simply others that did feel for others. Regarding those who don’t remember because they are “part of the problem” only the worst could be thought of them, and the same written and spoken and believed about them. Their selfishness is staggering and frightening, so deep and so widespread it is, this knocking of others out of the way, and kicking their fellow Guyanese out of contention, because they have to have all of what is there for themselves. Thus, there is never anything, any scrap or morsel, left to share.
There is enough to go around with much left over for all Guyanese. It is called spreading the wealth, and we have so much wealth and so few people (relatively speaking) that the appalling selfishness that prevails in this country from leaders to insiders to some favoured followers just should not be. We don’t think that this is going to change, but that it is only going to get worse. It is dog eat dog, and down with the weak. It is the new breed of Guyanese, and of the madness, which riches have transformed them into being.
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