Sep 30, 2022 Letters
It was said to me the other day that ‘everybody has to live.’ I agree wholeheartedly, with context unmentioned. So, those taking the ‘everybody has got to live’ position, settle for selling themselves. For any dollar, no matter the kind. To anyone, regardless of their troubled substances. This is where I part company. Indeed, life is a series of give and take, in its essences. But, even if matters distill to selling of oneself, at least, let there be the condition of who is sold to or to put differently, not selling to those representing the dregs of the dregs. Yes, we all have to live, but there are choices, and some places and some people should not be touched under any circumstances.
I don’t have ambitions for enriching job; wouldn’t work for some people, cringe at the thought of being associated with certain people. Perhaps I should call some names, but they are nationally known, so no introduction is necessary. I wouldn’t take a slice of bread from some people, much less their money. The thought taints. I have no quarrel with Guyanese who take; I say may they be better for it. I don’t need that kind of prosperity, or the company of some people, or their gifts. Some of us have been managing to live reasonably well, and certainly not starving or homeless. Speaking for myself, I am grateful. So, take job and position and house lot and plots on how to recruit the needy, the greedy, and the reedy (no backbone) and seedy and stuff a sock in it, stick it. Sure, I can always use a dollar, like Warren Buffet, Mukesh Ambani, and Jack Ma, among others. But, no ma, I ain’t singing nobody’s song; not for a Bolivar, not for a billion. I pray to God that I never become a pimp, or find myself prostituting myself for a piece of silver. The hard road travelled for so long and so far, cannot be wasted by turning back now, and turning over and playing dead. For what?
What pearl could be so precious that principle is pulverized for a million pennies? I don’t own a single piece of jewellery, and as much as I appreciate like the next man or woman the gems – Mercedes and Omegas and Las Vegas – those have their own people whose hearts flutter, and resolve crumble, at the sight and sparkle of those trophies. I am content with a Honda and a plain ole Seiko, both now run of the mill, and having been through the mill. It is called contentment, and I urge my fellow Guyanese to try it sometime or come and let’s have a chat. No charge, folks. Here is the first free lesson: if I take some people’s, some leader’s, job, find purpose and place because of its call, then it follows that if the Venezuelans make an offer, it stands to reason that I would accept again. Turning traitor to Venezuela is how I equate working for some locals, the degree of the betrayal in the financial floor crossings and whatever other justifications are employed. When we have Politicians and parties that betray this country so cavalierly, and people still join hands with them, then selling out country is not such a tough proposition.
Yes, I agree that everyone has to live. It is said that everyone has a price; it depends on what is being bartered. Some things are not, and that is that. But to each his own. I don’t have to live like that, the mere thought of which brings out the sweats. Some ways of life are just not worth living, and there it is said in black and white. I don’t know, and don’t care, what the rest of Guyana stands for, but I do know where I stand, and it is liked. It is not the best, will not make it into the intelligentsia conversation, or the cognoscenti playbooks, but I am alright with that too. Better to be a hungry man standing on own feet, than a fraud falling flat on face, or kowtowing abjectly on one’s belly. I prefer the unpaid, unrecognised public service that is, in its substance, an extension of earlier hospice work, which is what this country needs. When honour and principle are bargainable, then perhaps neither was really that at all. Sure, we all sell at some time or the other, the challenge is to whom?
Exxon has to put up a sign board across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to tell Guyanese what % of revenue we are getting from the Stabroek Block!
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