This letter is a sincere appeal to all of our religious, youth, business, civil and political leaders to pause and take stock of the clear decline in our cultural condition. A people, or, if you wish, a society is identified as good or bad by its culture.
The modern development of culture has allowed for both a rather narrow and the much broader view of what the culture of a society is. Over the past two centuries or so, we have settled on four related positions. First, the general body of our performing and visual arts, handicraft and intellectual efforts. Second and vitally, the general state of our minds and our responses to given situations, whereby we develop an intimate relationship with Man and God, the aim being to seek after human perfection.
Thirdly, the level of spiritual, intellectual and moral development reached in the society. As an aside, I pose the question, is a stimulus for this provided in Guyana by our crop of leaders?
Finally, as a sort of umbrella, our whole way of life – the things we regard as right or wrong, good or bad, what we consider sacrosanct, and what we truly cherish, respect or honour; the values, beliefs and behaviour patterns we inherited from our ancestors, which we consider appropriate to emulate and retain. Some stop at the way dress, speak or even what and how we eat, or the type of music and poetry we enjoy most.
The purpose of education as well as the deeds done by our nation‘s leaders should be to pass on those values and time-honoured norms accepted globally to the succeeding generations.
Recently, we have noticed our President leading an unhappy assault on the truth and our recent history – but set that aside, we now witness another unacceptable assault on our fragile social system.
In every civilized society, certain places are held sacrosanct; such structures and places were built for a specific purpose and any departure or discretion is unacceptable. In Europe their palaces, state houses and grounds, irrespective of time, race, and ideology are maintained at the highest level by corporate or public funding. Local and foreign visitors gaze upon these with great admiration and awe.
The buildings are used only for dignified or official purposes.
For a number of weeks, I have noticed four large containers within the compound of our State House, next to the protectors of our culture, the National Trust office. In fact, it was a visitor to the National Trust who first drew to my attention this abomination. What is in those four containers and to whom consigned, or whence they came is another matter.
Editor, is it that we have dropped so massively that this situation has not attracted the anger of citizens who go past State House on a daily basis? Or, what about the National Trust next door? The official resident of State House has travelled, at our expense, to many places around the world,so did it not strike him that nowhere close did he find massive commercial containers parked for months on the grounds of a state house.
Pradoville 1 & 2, I am sure could accommodate this ugliness; this is a poor example of what our cultural landscape should be. Do not be misled, it is simply unacceptable and not a small matter.
Our youths must be set a better example.
Hamilton Green, JP