Just as prom pictures were about to dominate my Facebook timeline for the next two weeks or so, they were quickly dwarfed by the stories and photos of the recently averted Republic Bank robbery and the Camp Street jailhouse fire respectively.

Both events have created and are still creating, moments of deep gloom for our country that will never be forgotten. As someone who follows the local news primarily through social media, it was difficult to not find myself being consumed by it all. That is the thing with this social-media handles and in particular viral posts that you may come across. You see they contain the possibility of projecting a lasting memory with a single picture and/or composition of words, so much so it has the power to evoke emotions from the post onto you. Even in cases where it doesn’t affect you directly.

I suppose it is the constant reposting and sharing that gets us fixated on them. Which, actually is sometimes a bad thing, as it makes it difficult for you to see the good in the bad and vice versa as you become gripped on that particular event.  Perhaps too, it’s because social media has become a part of our lives and our personal inclination to constantly be in the know drives us to actively seek out interesting stories and developments.

Prom dress designed by Naomi Murray (Photo by SH Photography)

It was just natural that I would instantly forget about the prom festivities. Even though it’s an imported tradition where boys and girls dress as if they are attending the Grammys or Oscars, it’s one that I really look forward to. I love the enthusiasm and creativity. I also really love the fact that many young teens choose to support local designers to secure their coveted “red carpet gown”.

Nevertheless, I thought to myself who has time to be preoccupied in local glamour happenings in such chaos. The thought of leaving the house unless necessary shouldn’t even exist for most. In the strangest of ways it felt wrong to be happy. All I could think of was the security of my loved ones who are there and the precautionary measures that they should taking to avoid harm – which was inclusive of trying not to dress too opulent to attract the eyes of those who may be looking to grab a fast dollar. Deep down inside, I know entertaining such a mind frame was wrong as it perpetuates the notion that the idea of stealing is caused by the victim.  And as a result, creates as ideal that certain situations are meant to control or simple joys and way of life.

Enjoying happiness in its totality is different for us all and whatever those ways are should be allowed (once it doesn’t harm a soul that is).To be quite honest, out of all of the things Guyanese have imported from North American culture, prom  actually  happens to be  my favourite. The promenade dance often shortened to prom, is like the official coming out event for teenagers who have crossed a significant academic milestone. It shouldn’t be taken away or compromised. If anything we need more inclusive social events for our youths to participate in and we need to acknowledge them more.

The choice to cave in when all seems lost and hopeless shouldn’t be made. We must remember in every bad there is some good, even if it’s a lesson to be learnt. Enjoy the moments that are meant to be enjoyed and don’t succumb to fear.  We must also learn to actively search for the good as it’s the only way we can survive this mess.



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