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As I reflected on an article I wrote recently, ‘Get up and Fight’ which was aimed at encouraging our people to stay strong, fight weak systems and educate themselves in this season. I thought – How can a people get up and fight when emotions of low esteem and self-confidence are running high. Also, how does a nation stay resilient in the face of cruel firings, poverty and shutting out the Opposition from the table.
I pondered on a few whys. Why would most leaders from the time of independence to the present issue harsh, harsh words in the nation? Why would most employers ill-treat employees and disrespect people’s contracts? Why would most parents in the nation consistently make their children feel inferior or continuously demonize their children with harsh (and even) curse words? We have a serious problem with our words (thank God for the masks at this time) which leads to low self-esteem and confidence. Solutions and a plan. We need to hear leaders who are not filled with rage, but empathy, decency and compassion. Parents and guardians should find on a daily basis something to commend their child or children on. My neighbor belittled her son daily that is until I threatened to take her to the welfare agency – she stopped. I know many are un-educated about parenting – we need to start there. Adults must learn two words that I noticed haven’t been cemented into our psyche. Those words are ‘I’m sorry’. If you can tell that to a 10-year child, you will be able to say it to any age.
Employers can do more small recognitions of their employees and issue commendations. Let me not forget the other areas where I see some attorneys or doctors speaking down and disrespecting patients, media personnel and other groups in the society. The spirit of rejection in the home, the community, and in the nation is glaring and getting worse. We can begin by reflecting on who I am as a Guyanese and what I have learned over the last 10 years to improve myself – assess your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Then I as a Guyanese work to issue non-harsh words to others – this is what building a common value system is all about. Also, when speaking in the home, community, and workplace, we can use our very own Guyanese proverbs to communicate the good and the bad in the society. I’m amused at the words that are now in the American environment (that wasn’t there 5-10yrs ago) and which my own young adults tell me all the time – ‘I got you’, ‘Perfect’, ‘thank you so much’, or ‘ok mom sounds good’. These are supportive, encouraging and heart-warming words. So, what do I do…I answer my young adults back the same way.