To endure the rat race of living in a world of all-too-frequent troubles, it’s useful to cultivate a big goal, a life pursuit that furnishes one’s days with fun, fervour and focus.
In fact, pursuing a big goal should be our country’s national agenda.
What is the Guyana Dream?
As a nation we need a big vision to motivate us, to inspire us to get up every day and work towards building a society in this global village that stands out.
Each person that makes up the fabric of this society ought to be able to cultivate a personal goal that contributes to that national vision.
We see this at play in the United States, where the American Dream beckons not only Americans but people from all walks of life from every corner of the world to strive for this pursuit of happiness vision.
The founders of the US enshrined that vision in the constitution of the land.
We want a nation that has a noble goal, a definite direction, a charted course, a map to the future.
President Jagdeo recently lambasted the Caribbean media for reporting “negative” news, and called for a “good news” television operation.
In a democratic society, the media’s role is not to report “good news”, but to be the watchdog against abuses of power, injustice and unfair advantages. The media watches out for the vulnerable people in the society.
And the more a society drifts about without a clear vision, without a national goal that galvanizes everyone – not just a section of the society – and without a national dream, the more the vulnerable folks would be sidelined, and the more the press would seek to champion their cause.
Hence, a society lacking a national goal fuels “bad news” in the media.
It’s not the media’s fault. It’s the lack of national leaders who define us as a people, as a nation.
James Lull in his book “Media, Communication, Culture – A Global Approach” touches on this topic with wonderful eloquence.
Human potential, the author wrote, is a “positive force (that) refers to the energy, creativity, purposefulness, and transcendent abilities that individual persons and subgroups set in motion, even unconsciously, to make their lives meaningful and enjoyable. (It) is the force of liberation and growth”.
This dynamism – a kind of energetic approach – to living daily brings a spirit of engaged community action to building the society.
Instead, across this country there seems to be a languid apathy afflicting people, especially the young.
This apathy and passive existence that stalks this land cannot fuel development in villages, towns and our once garden city.
That ultimate goal of being a developed society starts with “the energy, creativity, purposefulness, and transcendent abilities that individual persons and subgroups set in motion”.
Living with a big goal, working towards a definite purpose, energizes people. And the society becomes a vibrant place striving towards its planned future.
Achieving desired results in the future does not just happen. It has to be planned, and a way forward designed. And fervently worked on, with utmost patience and belief.
Each of us has to be the architect of our own destiny.
But each of us works within a mass community that itself ought to define a blueprint within which we build our personal contribution to the society.
President Jagdeo would do well to engage the Caribbean media to identify a regional dream, a big goal, that the region pursues.
And out of that, the region would find a new energy, a new “transcendent ability” to move forward and build for 21st century success.
But although we ought to have that national and regional vision as a guidepost, each person can be responsible to build his or her life into a great contribution to the society, simply by mapping out a life goal.
Focusing on this big goal every day causes daily living to be far less of a drudgery. In fact, one’s daily living would be a means to that end.
The Big Goal causes focus, and then the whole of life becomes purposeful, like Shiv Chanderpaul and his cricket.
This focus, however, need not be so intense that life becomes a stressful affair. For, living for the big Goal of one’s life fills the spirit with a lightness, a fun, a playfulness at life.
Shakespeare wrote that all the world’s a stage, and we but players on it. It’s a nice way to approach the daily grind. Living for the big goal allows us to be like an actor playing a role, for everything else in life becomes trivial as we dance towards our goal.
Focus. Playfulness. And fervour.
Although focusing on the Big Goal sees us living with absolute focus, yet enjoying life as we playfully pursue this personal dream, living also becomes fervent, disciplined, dedicated.
For young people pursuing an education, or a career; for parents raising their kids; for seniors wanting to pass on their wisdom to the new generation; for professionals making a difference in the community, living with this fervent focus while being playful creates an atmosphere for enjoyable living.
Sad it is that the percentage of the human race that achieves an enjoyable life remains so small.
Most of us live a daily routine that tends to drudgery, sameness and boredom. We seek to entertain ourselves to overcome this wasteland.
The few who achieve something of worth – whether Olympic athletes and sports stars, US$ millionaires and professionals, community leaders and people making a big difference, or entertainers and accomplished artistes – got where they are because they developed a Big Goal, focused on it as a lifetime pursuit, worked fervently at it, and lived playfully.
That kind of living is available to every human being on this planet.
Anyone in Georgetown could be a Bill Gates if he or she focuses fervently and playfully on computer codes.
One sure way to overcome the world’s challenges and hardships is to develop and live for a Big Goal – a singular life pursuit.