Decency, morality do not evolve with time

Dear Editor,    

As society evolves, different phenomena display themselves, some of which are beneficial, some harmful, etc, and some which are amusing, depending on the viewpoint.

A recent phenomenon is the hippopotomouth (hippopotamus mouth!) which can be found almost anywhere. We see athletes exhibiting the h-mouth if a good point is scored, a wicket taken, a top product (or one claiming to be ‘top’) is hailed in an advertisement or a race won, among several manifestations. It would have seemed obvious that walking, running, standing around, etc, with the mouth at full stretch constitutes repulsive behaviour. Times change people’s perceptions as to what constitutes decency and acceptable behaviour; I recall that in my young days if you opened your mouth too widely you would be warned that a fly may enter it. The hippopotomouth is generally accompanied by a scream/shout/screech, etc. Remember that old saying? ‘Quiet speech is a mark of…’

Lest a reader may suspect that I am old-fashioned, be assured that I am that. I also believe that ‘old-fashioned’ characteristics of decency, morality, etc, do not evolve with time, except to deteriorate and the h-mouth is a glaring example of why not. Lest my modernist brother conclude that my stance is helplessly old-fashioned, I point out that this kind of behaviour has many levels of prices, some of them stunningly high. An example of the last is where a man who, as a result of a screech through an h-mouth, lost what appeared to be a very viable chance to become President of the United States of America, which is arguably the most powerful post in the world. (Remember. So if you thumb your nose at old-fashioned me, I say I am sorry for you.)

And if you think that is the only example I can quote, you are wrong. How about eight hundred thousand teenage pregnancies for the USA for 2008? Or was it nine hundred thousand? (So what is the difference between friends of a hundred thousand teenage pregnancies or so for a year for the USA?) Look at some of the TV programmes involving American teenagers and you will find the h-mouth, and the screech. Please excuse me for appearing to target the USA. I use the USA illustratively because they are such an open society, and information concerning them is so easily and readily available.

Decency is old-fashioned, and ignoring it can possibly cause profound changes. With the Americans and the Europeans in the forefront of advocating homosexuality to be a norm and legislating to give effect to that (example: Don’t ask. Don’t tell), same-sex marriages are a logical outcome. When the USA Supreme Court sits later this year on this subject, I have no doubt that it will legalise homosexuality, and when it does, look out for the consequences that will almost certainly descend upon them.

Every human being can look at the society in which he/she lives and try to draw conclusions by which we may guide our lives.  But decency is a topic to be explored further. As a first step can we please discard the h-mouth?
Yours faithfully,
Mujtaba Ahmad Nasir

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

The city council needs to install parking meters to raise money

Dear Editor, We continue to be amazed by the many different stories which are being peddled in certain sections of the media and other places about the installation and operation of parking meters in the city.

default placeholder

It is time the Mayor, Town Clerk, Finance Committee Chairman stop the authoritarianism

Dear Editor, The Youth For Local Government (YFLG) is appalled by the actions and statements coming from the Georgetown municipality, mainly the utterances of the Mayor, Councillor Oscar Clarke and the Town Clerk on the parking meter fiasco.

default placeholder

Statistics do not support the view that abolition of the death penalty does not affect the murder rate

Dear Editor, In societies all over the world when the murder rate is deemed uncomfortably high citizens engage in fierce discourse on the merits and demerits of the death penalty; Guyana has been no different.

default placeholder

Jagan was prepared to offer vice-presidencies to Thomas and Tennassee

Dear Editor,   I noticed that there is debate about the offer of a ministerial position to distinguished Professor Dr Clive Thomas by Dr Jagan.

default placeholder

Is the talk of social cohesion just rhetoric?

Dear Editor, I have a serious question for Guyanese, especially the current Government of Guyana (the APNU+AFC). What exactly is social cohesion and what measurable criteria need to be met for this to be achieved?

default placeholder

The EU will not be the same without Britain

Dear Editor, The British people have voted to exit the European Union after 43 years of membership. This is indeed a historic development which can have far reaching consequences not only for the people of Britain, but for the whole of Europe.

default placeholder

APNU+AFC councillors were not invited to Region Five council meeting

Dear Editor,   As I was watching the LRTVS newscast the night before last, I was shocked to see the Regional Chairman and his PPP councillors at a meeting in the RDC boardroom. 

default placeholder

The parking meter contract should be renegotiated or scrapped

Dear Editor, The parking meter controversy raises many troubling questions for democracy, transparency and accountability. As a newly elected Councillor, I understand that there is a need to generate more revenue in order to manage the City of Georgetown effectively and implement much needed projects to upgrade existing facilities and embark on new developmental projects.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: