Opportunities to serve – and Lincoln’s take

- his mother wasted nine months?

(but did she disappoint him?)

In my earlier life, or a phase thereof, both as a young professional and a more activist political Party member, I was obliged to attend most, if not all, of the Congresses and General Council gatherings of the “paramount” People’s National Congress (PNC) – my party of choice. Then.

(It could have been “serious fun”, sometimes politically, professionally, fatal for some, during those conventions. Forbes Burnham, Ptolemy Reid, “Cammie” Ramsaroop, Hamilton Green, Mohammed Shahabuddeen, Shirley Field-Ridley, et al, were among the earlier leaders who held powerful sway in those days. Professionals, members, “comrades”, were on “Ps and Qs” as many lives and futures could be made or broken as the party took stock, made assessments and policies during those many-hours sessions – seventies/eighties.)

I can hardly know what obtains there these days. However, I just came across a report in a Monday newspaper where PNC Leader Brigadier (Rtd) President Granger in his feature address to his party faithful reminded them that their May month election triumph provided them – the PNC powerful component of APNU – with an “opportunity to serve.” Perhaps strangely this simple presidential statement to his members triggered a stream of thoughts for me.


Opportunity? Serve? Service?

I know what political/elections campaigns are for. Too well. Promises abound. Policies and programmes pledged and promoted. But often have I wondered: Just what motivates persons to promise leadership? Why do many want to lead a nation? Leadership is a very high level of service. So whom do some leaders really serve? The nation – electorate and all others – soon find ways to assess both service and leadership.


To serve and lead? Why?

Authority and power, even after the acquisition of wealth, seem to captivate some humans. (Why would a billionaire seek to lead a nation faced with a myriad of internal and external challenges? He genuinely feels that he could make a positive difference through his status, experience, ability, wisdom and wealth?)

Some folks just love authority, power, “dominion” over others. Others, I suppose, feel that their skills really could remedy situations, whilst others would claim that their service is a manner of “of giving back to society”. (Huh!?)

So my dictionary almost startled me with its 22 definitions of “serve” and “service”. I won’t bore you as you can look them up for yourselves. All I’ll state now is this: too many offer service or assistance with ulterior, long-term, motives. Often selfish in nature. There are worthy, honest persons who see and feel the need to serve and there are numerous ways to do so. Civil society organisations often trump political machinery in being selfless in service. Ask yourself, then observe carefully whether the politician, elected and transformed into “leader”, is truly serving country and people first.

Even if you voted for him/her – whether now in government, opposition, executive/corporate position – is he/she humbly really serving your needs as promised during a campaign? Discuss…


Lincoln’s simple, profound caution

It is not too often that I’m in complete consonance with the views of trade unionist/rights activist Lincoln Lewis. But within the now clichéd buzzwords of “shared governance,” “power-sharing” and “unity government”; then in the midst of my aforementioned rumination with respect to serving and service, I spotted Lincoln’s letter which discussed the PPP’s hypocritical position on recent local government appointments and the Granger administration’s invitations and overtures to the PPP malcontents to join the government in “service” to all the nation.

Wrote Mr Lewis: “The nation ought to pay attention to the consequences of having both the APNU-AFC, and the PPP sitting in the Cabinet and making decisions which will impact on the day-to-day lives of the people. The possibility of persons collaborating in their own interest and not in the people’s interests is real, and poses a potential danger to the people’s welfare and good governance”

Good food for thought for the “unity-government” thinkers. Even profound!


‘A mother is a clean sheet…’

“A clean sheet for a dirty bed,” the proverb advises. I have explored this phenomenon before. The scenario enacted in the present whereby a mother swears for her errant son (daughter).

When I studied the faces of the two alleged vicious killers of the grandmother and the East Bank block-maker, I thought of their parents and or guardians. The mother carried the boy child for his first nine months within her. No doubt his birth brought joy, even achievement. But did she have his father’s support? The parenting skills, inclusive of a morality to respect authority and other human life? Education? Religion.

These (alleged) savage murderers, whether on drugs or not, probably never respected parenthood even if they knew it for some period. But should the blame be theirs alone? Rogue ‘culture’, corrupt leadership, get-rich-quick fixes produce your vicious killers with guns, knives and rocks. My one thought for now: Policing can only help when parenting is effective and sustained. Discuss…


*1)   Do we have the will to expand the personalities and parameters of the Elections Commission? Why political representatives only?

*2)   I agree: Empower a new Integrity Commission appropriately.

*3)   Ever noticed that if a newspaper carries four stories related a specific ministry, you see the minister’s face/visage four times?

Til next week!


(Comments? allanafenty@yahoo.com)

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