Cussing out one another when we disagree on an issue cannot generate solutions to our problems. With instant access to a global audience on social media, we resort to this loud, raucous, uncouth, ghetto-style cussing out on the world stage, engaging in verbal wars online.
Political foes resort to social media to vent their anger, insult their opponent, the perceived enemy, and sling arrows of unimaginable cussing out across the divides.
Unless we learn the art of developing workable social spaces, where we reach out to each other in understanding, forgiveness and empathy, the Guyanese nation would be too embroiled in the garbage of verbal crap to see solutions to the problems we face.
Blinded under this blanket of verbal darkness as we scream insults and cussing non-words at each other, we could not possibly see beyond the fog of our confused state of mind. The nation suffers from this strife-driven attitude to the social ills of our society.
Yes, we face endless frustration every time it rains and Georgetown and coastal villages suffer nasty floods; we groan under the weight of smelly city canals and garbage-clogged streets; we suffer anxiety under the grotesque deformity of corruption and lack of justice in the legal system and poor State accountability, and the crisis of our national brain drain that cripples our nation.
But we cannot deal with these pressing problems with verbal wars, scapegoating and attacking each other. In fact, why do we see each other as the enemy?
The Guyanese nation suffers from too many divides. We don’t see ourselves as Guyanese, period. We see ourselves primarily as belonging not to this nation of such awesome potential, but rather to a partisan political party, or an ethnic tribe, or a religion, and other Guyanese become the “other”.
Such a way of being causes deformity, paralysis and a handicap in the way we solve the issues that confront us.
No nation on the face of the earth, in the history of the annals of Mankind, ever built a society lacking challenges. Human nature is such that every society comes weighted down with enormous challenges and social ills.
The responsibility lies with us who make up the Guyanese nation to confront the challenges – and not each other – in solving our social deformities, to rise to the challenge of nation-building, to lift ourselves as a people, as a new nation in the history of humanity, to the mountain-top of a workable society.
How do we develop workability among ourselves?
We must not gravitate and stoop to those among us of inferior minds, who are yet to develop the art of refined conversation in the public square, who have not yet developed the fine art of social engagement, who are yet to see the Guyanese nation as a people capable of decent public talk.
We must learn to shun those who aggravate the public ear with harsh, plosive words of explosive social destructiveness.
If we cannot insist on inspired, workable talk in those who seek to speak out in the public square, for and on behalf of the silent majority, then our nation would always be at the mercy of leaders who fail to inspire, motivate and energize us. Rather, we would always be an angry people, stooped under the weight of harsh language, cussing tirades and poor public thinking.
We must cultivate, build, and design the social space that is the Guyanese nation, both the local society and the global diaspora, with considerable care and thought.
Developing workability as a nation coming into its own in the 21st century global village is an absolute imperative.
To accomplish that task, we must learn how to talk to each other.
The Mayor of Georgetown must learn to cultivate the kind of conversation with the Town Clerk and the Minister of Local Government that would cause an end to flooding and garbage.
The Minister must learn the fine art of refined conversation to bring all our leaders on board the single-minded vision to empower local communities with their own local government.
Developing workability calls for mutual trust, forgiveness of human errors of judgements and mindsets, understanding the flaws and limitations of human nature in our leaders (rather than expecting perfect beings or benign angels) and inculcating an authentic aspiration to develop the Guyanese nation, our collective self, as a world class society.
When Raphael Trotman and Khemraj Ramjattan joined hearts to form the Alliance For Change, when these men of stalwart leadership broke from the old tribal political enclaves to forge a new direction for us, the entire nation applauded in hope and renewed energy.
But these two men seem to stand alone, without the rest of the nation able to understand, support or back them up in creating this new dispensation.
We see all the political parties resorting to reactionary impulses, rather than developing clear-cut, original thinking and inspiring visions for our society, that inspire the Guyanese citizen with zeal, passion and a belief in our ability to rise on the world stage.
Government insists on seeing the Opposition as its provocative enemy, and the Opposition insists on expecting the Government to be perfect angels.
Very few seem to realize that our society is gutted under the massive brain drain that leaves us crippled and invalid.
Komal Samaroo, new head of one of our largest private sector firm, bemoaned this lack of skills that has befallen our nation.
We face one common challenge: how to rebuild our national skills pool. The current status quo, including Government functionaries and State employees, might feel threatened were competent, efficient skilled personnel to suddenly fill this land. But we must see beyond our own limitations, must trust in our future, and make the necessary sacrifices to lift the Guyanese society to its true potential.
Developing a social atmosphere of workability is an absolute imperative, starting with how we talk to each other, how we think of each other, how we respect each other, how we engage each other.