I remember long ago saying to that warm and intelligent human being, Winnie Gaskin, Minister in the PNC government at the time, that I wasn’t interested in politics, that I grew bored by its petty complexities, that I loathed its sour and unbrotherly antagonisms, that I had better things to do than get mixed up in all the unsavoury manoeuverings that went into lusting after political power.
History often saddles people with reputations that are undeserved. Take Florence Nightingale. The biographical facts show conclusively that she was pushy, domineering, and bitchy to an appalling degree.
for what else is there but books, books and the sea, verandahs and the pages of the sea to write of the wind and the memory of wind whipped hair in the sun, the colour of fire.
You gave me gifts, God-Enchanter. I give you thanks for good and ill.
It is a blessing that the rush to the precipice halted just in time to save West Indies cricket.
Not many Guyanese, I am sure, think about it but we have a National Trust whose high and shining objective is to preserve the national heritage.
Ian On Sunday Whenever you hear that a Committee has been set up, reach for your worry beads.
If you can, every now and then it is good to escape the reality which you have settled into.
Ian On Sunday In any given situation we assume that people, including ourselves, will act sensibly.
Ian On Sunday Towards the end of life – and when you are seventy-six and counting you are not very distant from the end – you become more reflective.
Think of libraries! There are all kinds and degrees from the smallest village library to the great libraries of the world.
Ian On Sunday At thirteen, I think it was, I was reading love poetry.
Ian On Sunday Having retired a couple of years ago after 52 years in the sugar industry, including working closely with governments and regional institutions along the way, if there is one thing I have learned it is the extreme frailty of all grand plans.
Ian On sunday In 2007 as many as 20,000 politicians, officials, international functionaries, journalists and activists attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, better known as the Bali Conference.
Ian on Sunday I cannot escape the terrible feeling that such pitiless cruelty goes beyond brutality and mad violence.
Ian On Sunday A man is murdered, a woman beaten and raped, a child horribly abused, a business robbed, a home terrifyingly invaded.
Ian on Sunday What distinguishes human beings more than anything is their use of language.
Ian On Sunday Love of sport is woven into the fabric of my life.
Ian On Sunday Modern man has miraculous powers. He flies to the moon and soars beyond the sun.
The extraordinary value in everythingAll my life I have had an urge to preserve the extraordinary value of everything that I experience.
Ian on Sunday Why this glaring discrepancy between prowess in the short versions and generally abject failure in Test cricket?
Meteors How is a great poem created? It is a mystery. It is like asking for an explanation of an exquisite square cut by Brian Lara or the flourish of a Rohan Kanhai cover drive, which I will never forget as long as I live.
Ian On Sunday Education is important not simply for the implantation of specific information about specific subjects but, perhaps more importantly, for the passing on of a whole ‘culture’ of learning, attitudes, and behaviour – a variety of distinct ‘languages’ of understanding including self-understanding.
Inconsolable loss Of all the expressions of inconsolable loss I have read concerning the death of anyone greatly loved, the following lament by Henry James, the novelist, when his older brother, William James, the scientist and philosopher, died is one of the most heartfelt: “I sit heavily stricken and in darkness – for from far aback in dimmest childhood he had been my Elder Brother; and I still, through all the years, saw in him, even as a small timorous boy yet, my protector, my backer, my authority and my pride.
Ian on Sunday Experience comes to us not just through our lives but as much, perhaps more as we grow old, through reading.
Ian on Sunday Why should flesh and blood men and women, with feet of clay like anyone else, presume to think for us and act for us and push us around and mollycoddle us and punish and reward us as if they were inherently superior beings?
‘No ill or wrong will overmaster this’ There are some things that keep out the darkness that continually threatens in anyone’s life.
The addiction of competition And here is fascinating thought. Medical studies suggest that in situations of great stress, great danger, in a battle, for instance, with death a fraction away, the body is able to generate something akin to heroin.
A blessingPerhaps my oldest memory, I must have been two or three, is of my mother hugging me at night when she put me into bed and holding the palms of my hands together while she said a simple prayer which I soon learned by heart.
Ian on Sunday Running anything – whether it is a national government, vast state industry, world-circling multi-national, small family business, or private club – involves making choices.
The view from seventy-six With shocking quickness, another year has gone by in a blur and I am suddenly seventy-six.
Fulsome words, faltering deeds One of the most serious aspects of life today is the widening gap between talk and action.
It is all a dreamMy father died nearly fourteen years ago at the age of 89.
Too many of my good friends are overwhelmed with work which prevents them living more peaceful, varied, interesting and fulfilled lives.
Ian on Sunday When you go well past three score years and ten you are in overtime and a penalty shoot-out looms which you know you cannot win.
Ian on Sunday In Guyana education some time ago deteriorated to the point where parents had little confidence that the formal system would or could produce results.
Faithful to the causeI venture to suggest that there is no West Indian cause so sacred as the success of the West Indies cricket team.
The overmighty centre Any practical person in charge of anything periodically asks the question: ‘How do we get things done most effectively?’ In asking such a question what is not required is a theoretical discussion about which model of organization, say socialist or capitalist, is better or whether private enterprise can do a better job than public administration.
The world is bankrupt. The Great Regulator in the Sky for some good reason has put His people everywhere into receivership and the impact will be more devastating and more universal than the Flood.
Leaders and language: There is a close correlation between the inspiring use of language and getting great deeds done.
Anxiety grows in meLet me make another trawl in the deep sea of reading which lies all around us and see what bright catch comes up.
Personal performance is the key Guyana is in a period of gloom, who can doubt it.
The love of reading lasts foreverThe year 2008 slipped by with devastating swiftness and already another year is well advanced.
What the earth swallows is soon forgotten The Stabroek News feature ‘History This Week’ is providing readers with a most valuable series of vignettes from Guyana’s past.
We are lost without the right peopleOne man is running a company with the help of three old family retainers, two others who haven’t had a new idea in a couple of generations, and a whole raft of school drop-outs.
‘Open the clenched fist of the past’ It happens all the time in small, closely-knit groups – cabinets, party executives, boards of directors, church congregations or club committees.
Enhance your life It is extremely important that you pay attention to what today’s column says if you wish to live a longer, healthier, more alert and happier life.
Content to be where I amWhen I was a child I had as good Christmases as any child ever had – the love of parents which anchored life, the tree with the star and the gleam of lights, the gifts in white pillow-cases found mysteriously early morning, the fat balloons flying and the decorated crèche, the spread of food and sweets and aromatic cake and even sips of wine allowed, the fragrances of Christmas, the hugs of old grands and aunts and tobaccoey uncles, the carols and immortal songs of Christmas, the sights and sounds of happiness.
National accounting and real life Governments everywhere, quite naturally, make every effort to portray the state of the nation in the best possible light.
Devil-take-the-hindmost People tell me that an article I wrote some time ago continues to “circulate widely on the internet.” I have no real idea exactly what this implies.