Less than 24 hours ago His Excellency President Donald Ramotar named the big day: May 11, 2015. Campaign material flooded social media almost immediately and, of course, the inter-party battles begun.
Guyanese will be attacking each other in the safety of cyber world with the worst possible weapon: words. But must it really be this way?
Not so long ago, my elderly neighbour collapsed in her home and had to spend a few days in hospital. As soon as she came home again, I rushed over and I made sure I held her close and told her how much she meant to me. I did not want the words to be left unsaid.
Every morning she sits on her veranda watching as the soft sunlight slowly awakens our world. For years, my eyes have always turned upwards looking for her when I walk out my front gate. I cannot imagine our village without her. I cannot imagine becoming this me that I am without her.
Her family and mine will most likely not be voting for the same party in May but this does not lessen my love for this woman. She has a right to freedom of choice; to choose as she pleases.
So today, if any of you are so moved with those passionate emotions that cause us to wield words that inflict deep and lasting wounds, please don’t. I beg you.
Stop and think of someone like her, think of someone different from you, someone who does not share all of your beliefs but still holds a place in your heart. Think of how you still care for them despite this difference.
I am certain that all the people in my house will be voting PPP. I am not sure where my vote will go but I know where it will most certainly not go.
My family is aware of my choice and yet they love me no less. We are a family and we share a bond that cannot be broken by a difference in political preference. And is this not what a nation should be? A family?
So please, please, whether you’re supporting PPP, APNU, AFC or one of the others, I beg you to respect each other’s choice. In the end, isn’t this what we all believe we’re fighting for? For continued freedom? And doesn’t this include the right to freely choose without being hurt for that choice?
Remember, when this is all over we will still live together under the roof of this nation. And when the politicians have settled into the powers that we have given them at the price of our bond with each other, we will be the ones who will struggle to put the pieces back together again. We will be the ones, watching each other try to scrape a living.
It is sad that more often it is only in such times of great misery that we manage to see ourselves in each other and only then realise that beating a man over the head with one truth does not cause him to forget his own truth.