Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guyana: The Path to Recovery and Stability

Culture & Society ---

Now that the celebrations are over, it is time for Guyana's leaders and every Guyanese citizen to direct our energies towards our country's recovery and stability. The first and most important thing that must be done is that we must change our mindset. The leaders and the supporters of the party that was not chosen must accept that reality and must fall in with their fellow citizens to help move the country forward. This is never an easy thing to do for those not chosen, and those whose party received the mandate of governance must understand that as well and be ready to show some sensitivity and empathy to the leaders and supporters of the other party. There should be no losers in a national election - only winners, for what should count the most is the well-being of the country. So the previous leader and his party supporters must be allowed some time to grieve and to make sense of and come to grips with the new situation, but they must also be willing, at some point, to put personal feelings and the sting of rejection aside and to adopt a more positive attitude that will foster good energy that will provide the undercurrent to move our country along.

The leaders and supporters of the party that was chosen are themselves not without responsibility vis a vis their their own mindset. They should accept the mandate to govern with all humility and should recognize the utmost importance of the minority and realize that the minority is the sine qua non of any functioning democracy.  As such the attitude of retribution and revenge must be excised from their mindset. Law should be the key arbiter in matters of culpability and not public opinion or passion. Forgiveness and redemption should permeate the atmosphere. In this regard the example of Nelson Mandela can be instructive. It also behooves the supporters of both parties in the diaspora and those at home to carry on their conversations on social media in a spirit of compassion, empathy, and sensitivity and to meet acrimonious and spurious arguments not with rancor and ostracizations but with civility, respect, and clarity of thought.  The door should not be slammed shut on the dark spots of ignorance, but such dark spots should be illuminated with the light of civility, respect, compassion, and reason.

A great opportunity lies before us, and with the positive energy now pervading the country, it is absolutely important that we make good use of that opportunity. It is absolutely important that we get our brothers and sisters who are still smarting from their disappointment of not being given the mandate to join us.  This will be no easy task, but it is vitally essential that it be done and that it be done gently. Let is not simply pay lip-service to the slogan, "One People, One Nation..."