a brief note on citizenship , leadership, and party politricks in Guyana

as we wait for GECOM to stop playing de ass, a few points to ponder:

1. Voting is not the beginning nor the end of the world. Yes, there was and will continue to be life after voting. The Earth will continue to revolve around the Sun, people will continue to eat, sleep, shit, make love, war with each other etc. Food will still need to be found for the hungry bellies and money to pay the bills. The fact is that voting is simply one of many actions that need to be taken to effect change. To just vote and then do nothing else is to be part of the problem. We must continuously work for justice, accountability, and equity in all spheres of our society, at all times. Every day, there are things, great and small, that we each can do to make Guyana a better place- chief of which, in my opinion, is teaching the children to be kind and considerate of each other, animals, and the environment. We must not just sit back and wait for the politicians and other ‘big ones’ to do something; as citizens, we have a duty and responsibility to act in our own interests.

2. Too many people, imo, are too invested in party politricks, their entire identity and sense of self bound up with and subsumed with the ‘Party’. Please, people, are you not more complex than that? Can one single box ever fully or accurately contain all that you are? At the end of the day, the Party is *not* paramount; there are universal human rights standards and ideals that must be maintained, no matter what the Party mandates. We cannot just continue to do whatever we want, cowboy country style- that is a sure recipe for disaster, as we can see from just looking around daily. Guyana is a disappointment and disaster on many levels, in large part because of Party politricks. Intimidation, mistreatment, and retaliation against persons who are not part of or refuse to toe the Party line has resulted in a climate of fear, nepotism, and incompetence ruling the day, instead of skill or experience. When public schools, hospitals, and other public institutions do not function properly and fail to meet the needs of the people, when our tax dollars are misspent without our permission and any attempt at accountability, when migration continues unabated- we all suffer. The hemorrhaging of smart young Guyanese especially- the lifeblood of any nation- must be staunched if we are to make any real progress. To realize this, our commitment must, first and foremost, be to building a strong and unified nation, not to any Party.

3. Voting in Guyana still remains split, depressingly, along racial lines. This blind nonsense needs to stop. The fact is that we are all in this together. We all need clean water, air, and soil for our food to grow and when the Atlantic comes crashing over the wall, we are all going to be in the same boat (well, except for the people in the hinterland..). The fact is that racial differences are mostly superficial and used primarily to divide and conquer people so that the status quo can be maintained. Money and power are, in fact, more important to many people than their racial or ethnic identity- money trumps mati, in other words. The sooner we understand this, the better. Economic inequity is getting worse, with the rich and the non-rich sliding further and further apart from each other. But money doesn’t make the man and the best things in life really are free- love and liberty. We must resist manipulation and divisiveness and seek unity and understanding instead. We must resist also, the manipulation of the market and the capitalist brainwashing to overconsume and continually live beyond our means- that keeps the shackles on us longer. We must understand the interconnectedness of all things, the importance of safeguarding the environment, and the necessity of working together.

4. The hero-worship and idolization of ‘leaders’ must also stop. Leaders are people, just like every one of us. They are not gods or all-powerful super beings. Every single Guyanese has the potential to be a leader and to make positive change in their communities and families. One does not need to be ‘famous’ to be a force for change or to do something meaningful. Whenever you spent quality time with a child, rescue or care for an animal, or assist someone who needs help, you are a hero. It’s really as simple as that. We also need to be clear about what leadership is. Real leaders are people who use the knowledge and skills at their disposal to serve and uplift their fellow men and women. Real leaders inspire others. Real leaders do not let their egos get in the way of the work that needs doing. Real leaders value bridge building and collaboration with others. Real leaders embrace difference and change. Real leaders are not afraid of accountability. Real leaders know they have a responsibility to the people. This is the quality of leadership we deserve and must demand.

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