Everywhere one turns, both at home and abroad, Guyanese are faced with the question of what will our country be like in the next decade.
The searching question must be directed to our political, religious and business and youth leaders, in other words, what will we bequeath to the succeeding generations?
Guyana is blessed with God-given resources. Agricultural land, gold, diamonds, bauxite, timber, marine resources and very kind weather conditions. What more can we ask of the Creator?
Before and after Independence, we faced what some may deem a curse; that of political rivalry and a nonsensical racial situation promoted in the late 1950s.
With oil coming on stream, to add to our blessings, the time has come for all of our leaders, and I repeat all, religious, political, business and youth to sit down and agree on a national plan to take us gloriously to the mountain peak. Let us craft an agreed menu of measures.
Tedious as this may be it is worth the effort.
Whatever political party, whatever religion, whatever business enterprise we are part of, we must know that apart from mis-steps internally, we are overshadowed by the boogie-man of imperialism and greed lurking behind every door, every international organisation and every conference.
As recent as the 1980s, we recognised that the lack of industrial and technological development had left those of us in the less developed world not only to a state of dependency but poverty inconsistent with our natural resources, vast land mass and less than a million souls.
Daily, I read in some sections of the media criticisms of the Coalition in their dealings with the giants of industry, the banking system and those with advanced scientific and technological competence. Oil and gas of course being the most recent.
Even though we have seen improvements in Guyana, the truth is, that in an extraordinary period of scientific and technological advance, we in Guyana and elsewhere still face the reality of illiteracy and a lower standard of living.
Of course, we still have a caring concerned Government that is far from perfect.
For example, we have just assembled a team to give hampers and to help Venezuelans fleeing from an oil rich country but now facing poverty.
On a recent visit to Boa Vista I witnessed scores of Venezuelans camping in parks and begging for food and shelter.
I suppose its good that we can help a neighbour in distress but I can’t help sharing the view that perhaps we should take care of our own kith and kin before worrying about a neighbour; but such thoughts should not be encouraged for the good book tells us Love Thy neighbour as Thyself. This injunction was not to ‘Love thy Neighbour more than Thyself.’
This letter is a plea that we pause a moment so that we can set aside our differences, our prejudices for the common good.
Beyond this whatever we do, we must not ignore or forget to take account of those ancestors who made by far the greatest sacrifice and suffered humiliation and martyrdom to build the Guyana we know today.
Many of us, elders and youngsters are consumed with a vision to transform our Motto of ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny into reality.