This is the third article in a five (5) part series – Parliament: It’s not about Politics, it’s about People. The series was inspired by a string of occurrences during the 74th to 82nd sittings of the Eleventh Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. It offers brief commentary and analysis in simple language to anyone interested in learning, and thinking more deeply about the types of solutions needed to address the issues arising from Guyana’s current state.
The last time I saw him, his eyes were a bit tired but the rest of him was so alive. He hugged me like he was truly happy to see me and I hugged him with all the hope I still have for Guyana. I didn’t know how to tell him that our hope was attached to him and the other men and women like him. Before I left him that day, I looked him in the eyes so I could feel him, measure him, before I finally said: “Mentoring is the most important thing you can do for us now”.
Not so long after, I saw another man like him from the other end of the loyalist’s spectrum. He told me that leaders were ordained by the good Lord or chosen by the People. I looked him steadily in the eyes and I did not miss his meaning. He was really telling me that I should not think of myself as a leader because I was neither ordained nor chosen. I looked at him closely that day, I could see that his body was failing, that his spirit, though strong, was no longer full of light.
These men are more alike than either of them would ever admit. They are so wrapped up in their respective loyalist priorities and in their struggle against each other that they have either:
- failed to recognize that a good leader can always identify who will replace them and is always teaching and guiding the development of future leaders;
- recognized the importance of mentoring but believe they have all the time in the world to do it;
- become so self-interested that they no longer truly care about securing Guyana’s future;
- chosen to believe that they will never die.
More than 65% of our population is currently under the age of 35 (my stats may be a bit outdated). With the rest of the world fast learning that Guyana is not Ghana and biting into our story hard, we need to ensure we are building the capacity of our young people to lead Guyana into the future. Our contemporary leaders may not be able to claim success unless they can answer a very simple question: who is replacing you?
I have had the good fortune of sharing words with and looking in the eyes of some of our national leaders. Some of them are working hard. Others treat supermarket parking lots as their stage for demonstrating that the bad-man-run-things attitude of power drunk politicians is very much alive. Both kinds sit on either side of the National Assembly and, together, they share responsibility for ensuring Guyana has strong leaders to take her into the future.
Featured Image: Copyright Keno George (Parliamentary Stories)
Other articles in this Series:
- Parliament: It’s not about Politics, it’s about People
- The most important question Guyanese will ever ask themselves
This article, like all others in the series Parliament: It’s not about Politics, it’s about People, is not meant to advance any position on behalf of any political party or any other entity or group. It is part of a collection of political commentary and analysis – expressed in simple language by a young Guyanese – made available for anyone interested in learning and thinking more deeply about the types of solutions needed to address the issues arising from Guyana’s current political state.
A note from the Author:
Given the custom by party loyalists to misrepresent and misuse any type of political commentary to support their own positions, I feel that it is necessary to borrow the following from Thomas Paine (an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary) with whose work I became acquainted as a student of History at the University of Guyana:
Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Woman. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That she is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.
Craig Village, East Bank Demerara, August 22, 2018
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