So easy it is to fall under an oppressive cloud in this society, focused on inconsequential stuff, ignoring the beauty of our human potential.
There’s a grotesque negativity that pervades the air in Guyana, and it clouds people’s feelings, making us numb and unawake to the pulse of our nation, to the heartbeat, the breathing living vibrancy of what we could achieve, both as a nation and as individuals.
Guyana happens to offer so much to the individual, albeit maybe not on a golden platter: we must work hard to achieve our dreams. But we harbour a history of individual achievements, with outstanding Guyanese all over the world.
We could look across the tapestry of the global Guyanese society and see a rostrum of achieving Guyanese that would inspire and motivate us: if only we would look for role models and inspiring folks among us, instead of focusing on the negativities that bedevil every society, given the foibles of human nature.
Today, a whole generation that grew up in our society when it was suffering from all manner of scarcity, including text books, basic food and freedom of the press, hold stable careers and built successful lives globally. We overcame so much as a people. It’s our great character trait. Nothing could keep us down.
We’ve turned a significant corner as a nation. Now Guyanese no longer feel the indignity of being deprived of a visa to the United States, for example, with the US Embassy in Georgetown trusting us, handing nearly every applicant a ten-year multiple. It’s a brilliant strategy, because at the end of the day, most Guyanese travel to the US, and actually return home.
It might be worthwhile exploring the possibility of a special temporary worker programme between the US and Guyana.
We’ve turned a major corner.
But we need to eradicate from the society the pervasive negativity that stifles the inspiration that propels us forward. Negativity stifles the stride forward, suffocates the leap ahead, stagnates the motivation to create the future of that great Guyana Dream.
We want to re-design the story of our nation so that each person wakes up squaring the shoulders, lifting the head, puffing the chest, believing in their own innate creativity, seeing the fertile land around and the vast richness of the sunny environment and the bullish buzzing economy and the history of outstanding Guyanese.
In this way, the individual follows a long line of Guyanese who escaped the oppression of poverty to conquer astonishing heights. Now we could read literature, attend a place of worship to learn morals and ethical conduct and research the way to become an entrepreneur. And we could do all this from a little laptop computer at any internet hotspot. In fact, we don’t even need a computer: we could get all this done on smartphones. Investing a couple hours in such self-development a day makes a world of difference in a very short time.
Life is about self-development, constant learning, focused daily living, and a shutting out of the dirt, negativity and crap that could so easily distract us, making us numb, unawake and prone to stagnant existence.
We must start feeling the pulse of Guyana, the heartbeat of this nation. In the global scheme of things, our nation stands blessed, one of the most peaceful, calm, serene landscapes in the world. We’re a picture postcard land.
Take Region Five, for example. Encompassing Mahaica, Mahaicony and Abary, and including the oldest African-settled village in the country, Ithaca, and the vibrant Amerindian community of Moraikobai, the Region harbours the largest rice producing area in Guyana, the largest livestock industry and the largest cash crop farming community.
The Region boasts beaches, the oldest Mosque at Dundee (apart from Fort Island, Essequibo) and vast acres and acres of coconut plantations and green savannahs. Its beauty is breathtaking. Its peaceful calm and serene sunniness offers its residents a way of life that most of the global population would envy.
Such is our Guyana.
We live in a picture postcard land full of natural wonders and marvellous adventures and exotic opportunities for exploration.
Yet, all we see is bicker and quarrel and screaming irrationalities, at each other.
The national media fail to inculcate and cultivate in the heart and mind of the Guyanese the excellence and beauty and serenity that is Guyana. Government fails with miserable sadness to develop a sound story of Guyana in the 21st century.
It takes a few visionary souls to take to social media to portray Guyana’s beauty, to post pictures and videos of Essequibo’s roadway lined with trees, looking like a mini Florida highway, or to showcase the wonders of the hinterland. One guy posted stunning pictures on Facebook of Capoey Lake in the Essequibo, and the ferry traversing the Essequibo River.
What an adventure Guyana offers, a way of life that would fill the soul with poetic wonder.
Of course we’ve got a mammoth task to train the Guyanese population to appreciate beauty, to comprehend their context, and to compose and express thoughts and talk that mirror the blessedness of them living in, literally, God’s own country, full of natural peacefulness and serene wonder.
What stops us cultivating a garden, reading literature books, engaging with the world on social media, enjoying the peace and serenity of nature? Even in the tiniest village aback of Mahaica, this is how we could now live, enjoying a blissful beauty to our days.
Maybe seeing us being this way is what the Guyana Dream is, and we would do well to populate such a vision into the hearts and minds of Guyanese. Across the global village, this exactly is what folks want when they retire from a lifelong routine of working and paying bills.
We’ve got it here in Guyana, and maybe always had it. The crucial thing is how we see ourselves, how we envision who we are, whether or not we feel the pulse and heartbeat of what it means to be Guyanese, living in a land that most people in today’s world – which moves away from Industrialism to natural lifestyles, from the concrete jungle to greenery – would love.