How could we cultivate and foster goodwill in our nation?
We see each other through broken lenses of distrust, suspicion and across divides. Now we see political parties and civic organizations coming with lists of “ten demands”, asking “the other side” to meet these “demands”.
We foster a national atmosphere of unworkability with these myopic ways.
Walking around with a list of ten demands hanging around our necks staring in hostile antagonism at each other accomplishes what? Do we really expect the “other” to give in to our “demands”?
Building our society calls for cooperation, understanding, mutual trust, reaching out. Now we’re demanding?
We fuel our unworkability with this constant attack on the fragile state of our social space. Instead of seeking a playing field that is even and smooth and workable, we insist on putting up obstacles, now erecting those “ten demands” as roadblocks to building our future.
We must learn to move forward, together, as one nation, one people, looking towards one destiny.
Commentators, leaders, sensible Parliamentarians, must preach this message over and over, until we eradicate this national spirit of unworkability and myopic crassness from the Guyanese soul.
It must be the impact of the demoralizing brain drain. We just act with knee-jerk sentiments, refusing to exercise intellectual effort, even to reason and analyze our core values before we make a national pronouncement.
Being demanding and distrustful cements a hardened social space where the citizen feels demoralized, unmotivated and uninspired. The Guyanese wants to feel motivated, excited about building a 21st century Guyanese society, inspired to wake up and tackle the new day.
What accomplishes that? Our words, the utterances that fill our social space with ideas and thoughts and knowledge and conversation build in the heart of the citizen this sense of being worthwhile, of playing a useful role in the global village.
A child playing on the sunny street in Essequibo or Aishalton or Crabwood Creek or Wismar must feel this spirit of camaraderie and cooperation and common bond in the Guyanese nation. We’ve got to make that happen.
Instead, we hear of “demands” that fuel our unworkability.
We sit today lapsed into a terrible stalemate, with Local Government Elections, the Anti-Money Laundering Bill and the Public Procurement Commission all languishing in non-action, unworkability.
While we may tolerate and even expect such behaviour from irresponsible leaders and unthinking bureaucrats, the Guyanese nation needs to be clear on what’s necessary to construct a space for workability.
President Donald Ramotar is ultimately responsible for governing this nation. He’s elected to govern, to make things happen, to overcome the hurdles and setbacks, with an eye only to the citizen’s interest.
And if the Government cares about building the Guyanese nation so that the citizen finds his or her country an inspiring, workable social space, the Government, led by the President, must ensure that this happens.
Blaming Parliament and the Opposition would accomplish nothing, but fuel the passive stalemate we’re in today.
The whole national atmosphere lacks goodwill. The majority Parliament fails in every sense to foster or cultivate the kind of national atmosphere that lifts the citizen’s spirit.
But talk to any Opposition Parliamentarian and the idea of fostering workability comes up as a secondary consideration. Opposition Members of Parliament see their role as opposing. That’s a reality we face, whatever we may think of it.
The independent media see itself as the watchdog, a role that is critical and antagonistic towards Government.
These are the facts, the reality on the ground.
As with any individual dealing with his or her life, one must overcome obstacles, hurdles, failures and setbacks to build and succeed.
Thus it is with President Ramotar. He’s got to muster the wisdom, courage, strength and leadership resolve to transform Guyana. Under his Presidency he must stand up and make things happen, even in the face of criticism and negativity.
President Ramotar presides over the Guyanese nation in this second decade of the 21st century. His role is one of governing, of overcoming all roadblocks to construct the kind of future that he envisions for us. Our mandate now is to build Guyana into a knowledge society ready to hold its place in the 21st century global village.
The President must, must make this happen.
He’s got to converse with the nation, reach out to citizens in a direct national conversation, to gain the confidence, heart and soul of Guyanese in this quest to develop our society.
As we’ve reiterated many times in this column, the most crucial tool we have for building this nation is language, our words, our conversation, how we impact the social space with a national conversation. This stems from how we see ourselves and the nation, how we exercise intellectual effort and think about what’s possible, how we aspire.
President Ramotar holds the possibility of cultivating a national Presidential Conversation that fosters goodwill, that inspires the citizen, that overcomes the national penchant for negativity, to build a social space that creates workability.
Whether it’s dealing with economic issues like the sugar crisis or the rice fiasco where farmers were not paid on time or the gold slump, or social issues like the way we see each other, or governance issues like the national corruption crisis and accountability, President Ramotar must set the tone for how we are being as a nation.
He is President, above the fray, above even the Parliamentary fracas and rows. And in being Presidential, we want to see him rise above the rest of the society, so stooped in unworkability, to lift us to new heights, new ways of how we see each other, talk to each other, and feel about each other.
President Ramotar can make the difference for us as a nation to inculcate a new way of being, to build workability.
All it takes is an authentic Presidential conversation with the nation.
In this, he may stand alone, as hardly any of our leaders show the resolve and willingness to take on that role. But while others may be excused for their non-action, President Ramotar has the electoral mandate to make the difference for the Guyanese nation.