My fellow Guyanese, I have observed a rather strange thing in our country. You know how those who serve our country are called or are supposed to be Public Servants? And that these Public Servants include the President, the Cabinet Ministers, the Parliamentarians, the Mayor, etc., regardless of the Party pool from which they emerge? Well, I must say that it doesn't appear as though these Public servants are acting like servants at all. The former servants didn't and neither are those servants currently serving. I remember learning in Bible class and in Sunday school (those good old days as a child) that "a servant is not above or greater than his master." Now if I understand that saying correctly, that means we, collectively, are the Master, that these Public servants serve us - the Public, their Master.
It seems that these servants have usurped our authority while we were not paying attention. They have raided our coffers and have paid themselves more than servants are supposed to be paid. Do you remember when they were applying for the positions of servants how they would talk of serving us? Do you remember how they were constantly and frequently running around our communities? They were everywhere and always visible. Nowadays our Public servants are nowhere to be seen. If we do "see" them, they are usually driving around looking all high and mighty in their SUVs and behind tinted windshields. Now did we not as Masters make driving with tinted windshields, against the law. Our servants are doing so with impunity.
Further, they all are driving around like Mafia thugs in black SUVs with black clad chauffeurs or with their staff all attired in black. Is that the way we want our servants to represent us? Going around looking like death squads or like they are in mourning? We have given our servants the best houses. We send them to lavish functions. We provide them with armed security, sometimes paying to secure houses that they don't even occupy. The latter provision boggles my mind. It would appear that we are paying for our servants' protection to protect them from us - their Master. Just doesn't make sense to me. What also doesn't make sense to me is that the servant whom we hired to serve us and to oversee the other servants is building a wall like a fortress around his work station, making himself even more inaccessible. He seems to be copying the foreign missions on Main Street and elsewhere, with their concrete walls sending the message that they do not want anything to do with our people but would love access to our resources. Did we give the head servant permission to build a concrete wall around his work station and in that manner to isolate himself from us?
It seems that rather subtly the order of things as they ought to be have changed to the unnatural order of servants as Master and Master a servants. What is even more telling is that we seem to have accepted the current order of things as status quo. We have given up our position as Master. We are now the servants and those we hired or appointed to serve us are now going around like Masters. This reversal of the natural order has resulted in avarice (instead of service) on the part of our servants. The logical corollary of this is the promotion of a culture of avarice instead of a culture of service, a culture in which prospective "servants", instead of aspiring for Public Service, will aspire for personal gain. The old adage still stands: the servant is not greater than or above his master. It is time to rein in our Public Servants and to take our true place the People - the Public whom they (the public servants) serve.
[photo art by Ric Couchman]