Citizens fly out no matter how well-intentioned

Dear Editor,

I refer to the article titled, `Do not fly out and abandon Guyana’ (SN November 12).  It is an appeal loaded with plaintiveness, even as it grasps at tremulous leaf of hope.  In so many ways, I heard the Guyana Story retold; in my own words: Don’t cry for me, Guyana.  Cry for yourself.

The milestone of a real graduation hour, as was celebrated at UG should be a moment of great joy and greater visions.  I am sure that it was so for more than a few, particularly those who excelled.  And yet, amidst the ringing words and the proud smiles, there is the palpable Guyana context-formidable, traditional, and undeniable-which has experienced countless times that same flying out and abandoning by its best and brightest, by its own.  I wish it were different, but with very few exceptions, this is part of the psychic makeup, the beckoning horizons of irresistible allure.  For long before graduation, many at UG (or elsewhere in this place) flew out in their dreams, and abandoned Guyana in their constructions.  There is the believed prestige, the returns; and the power and the glory, too, according to some.  As said earlier, I wish things were different.  Why is it so?  And when so, what is left?

There are the few intrepid ones, that dying breed called dyed-in-the wool patriots (whatever that word means nowadays) who do not sail away on the wings of flight and soaring optimism.  They stay.  And then they have cause to question themselves, challenge themselves in the quiet discerning hours.  But always they stay.

They do not fly out, but nestle with a community that, by and large, has given up on the standards and values that matter; and that has fallen upon itself in abject resignation.  Those staying (or returning) discover that those who flew out (perhaps wisely so) abandoned the allegedly beloved motherland to the rampaging wolves who are occupied with

surveying, calculating, stalking, and converting.  The remnants find out, too, that many of those who fly into Guyana charge forward with lusty abandon to join the enormous resident wolf pack in the gorging and continuing grasping for more. And still the ones who remained stay.

Editor, do not fly out and abandon Guyana has a touching familiar resonance to it: it is of a hurting mother staring at the resolutely departing back of a promising son, shoulders squared, a certain tilt to the head, and a spring in the step.  Guyana is that parent; she knows all too well, having seen it so many times, and so woundingly.

I submit that for genuine patriots-whether young graduates, mature citizens, or versatile experts-not to fly out, or not to continue to fly out, then the abandonment of certain treasured things have to start right here and right now.  It is the abandoning of what has pained and petrified; of what has poisoned and paralyzed; and what has damned so many (and this society) to the perpetual purgatory of peregrinating from pillar to post.  And if that is not clear enough, it is to anywhere, except being here.

I may have said this before: Guyana is a land with a million souls, ten million stories, and a hundred million words.  Today I add that the words have been just that –mere words.  Thus citizens fly out; they abandon, no matter how well-intentioned.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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