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Change is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the human species from the time we are conceived in our mother’s womb.
That change from the embryo to adulthood take us through a physical and mental process until we depart this earth we all occupy. Many religious leaders contend that the attitudes, beliefs and responses to different situations that humankind develops between birth and seven to eight years stays with us throughout adulthood.
Severe social and environmental conditions can of course, cause us to adjust as we grow older. So, for example, if in those formative years, we were taught or believe that my tribe, caste, race or religion is simply the only one that matters or is valid or if it makes me superior to others, we face an entrenched position – this has which bedeviled, all of civilisation.
This curse, this dilemma is what we Guyanese with courage, wisdom and frankness must face. Recently, in the media this question of electoral reform has surfaced. Among those who have joined the debate are a group of young people who I have no doubt are well intentioned.
We have heard the President, even put out timelines, knowing how for whatever reason, our country is polarised, those timelines are a recipe for continuing gridlock.
As we move from an Anglo-Saxon type constitutional arrangement to one based on English common law and notwithstanding the many alterations has left us with the Westminster type model even before 1966. No amount of legal, constitutional engineering will produce a system that will satisfy the majority. Admittedly, we do require guidelines and rules of engagement in what we understand to be a modern society.
Further, we emerged as a colony of Great Britain where there is no single legal document which sets out in one place the fundamental laws outlining how the State works. The virtue of the unique British system is that they are governed by convention and historical experiences over many generations.
Furthermore, a reliance on external agencies, most of them, not understanding the complexities of our history and culture as we have seen earlier cannot be helpful.
If our youths, political aspirants and the crop of present day political, religious and civic leaders are serious about us creating a nation state of one people, we need to deal with the fundamental, historical causes of our problems.
We all need to devote our energies to getting over the high hurdle of moral turpitude, a winner takes all philosophy and a belief that the other people don’t deserve to be the beneficiaries of our God-given natural resources.
In other words, let us begin to campaign for a change in attitude and response among our present leaders in Guyana. I place this bet that if we pursue the present path as announced by the many groups, an Election will come and go and we will not make any meaningful step towards justice, decency, brotherhood and love for one another.
It is unnecessary for me to give examples, going back hundreds of years.
The mind set and pattern is real.
As we experienced all of the 20th century from colonialism, Independence and Neo-Colonialism, we’ll continue to squabble and utilize the Judiciary to solve what are essentially political issues, which can only be resolved, if we talk to each other in a civil and forthright manner, taking into account all of our separate and collective experiences. Some forty years ago, one of our popular sports personalities called for a moral rearmament.
In the late 80s, early 90s, the call for moral and spiritual revival was made. If we do not take the above seriously, trust me, even what good we have today, can be lost, reminding me of the dog with the bone in his mouth – upon seeing his own reflection in the stream below, snapped to get the other bone and lost the one he had.
I am prepared to engage all those, including those of my own Party I grew up in to prove that the on-going exercise may be satisfying as a Public Relations imitative but will not produce the fruits, of compassion and oneness.
In fact, from what I have already heard, we run the risk of widening the chasm and for some people, putting salt on a wound.