The following letter was first published in today’s edition of the Stabroek News. And while I wish they’d keep my without wax signature, I am grateful that my opinion has made their pages.
Governments will always begin with good intentions and they will always manage to turn some of these good intentions into actions which contain some good. But no matter how much good any government manages to do, there will always be things left to be done because their work is ongoing and endless. However, this does not serve as an excuse for inaction.
The first time I wrote to you, I spoke about Guyana’s culture of fear and silence and I predicted that young people would raise their voices to a certain degree. Those voices have been heard and last May we experienced a change in government. But of course, none of this means that the problem has been fully solved.
Last May, I believe that young people learnt their first and most important lesson; that is, their voices have value. Since then, I think a few of us are beginning to understand that the work has only now begun. Politicians will hear our voices and encourage its sound when it is beneficial to them. But after the battle has been won, youth are left to wander in the larger war that surrounds them.
Has academic merit proven to be something of more worth today than two, three or five years ago? Is it enough to get you – no matter who you are, what you look like and your beliefs – a scholarship or a job? Or is Guyana still about who you know and how deep your pocket runs? We’ve certainly changed government and we’ve had one ideology replaced with another but have we truly experienced a shift in political tradition?
President David Granger has spoken about youth since the commencement of his term. He has sworn to do many things to bring us back and keep us here. But I wish to inform him that if basic problems like the quality of service available from the Guyana Police Force or the Guyana Power and Light Company or the lack of good faith in the administration of justice are not addressed then Guyana will continue to lose us.
Where are all the youth champions now? Will they simply let a flawed system continue to operate?
I have learnt that young people have no true champion but themselves. It is time that we take our country. It is time for us to fight political manipulation and make our way into public office. We need a new breed of leaders who will create a new tradition of politics and I believe that the young men and women of this nation are ready.
2 thoughts on “Young people have no true champions but themselves”
I do wish our politicians, and government officials took more time to listen to the voices of the young, and growing. Age does not necessarily stop a person from noticing a problem, although it may affect the type of solution they offer. Often, in schools, and at shop corners, restaurants, and post-lecture hang outs, governance, government, and management come up in conversation. They may not be in the most “sophisticated” terms, but through the value of still living that life, and experiencing the great, and the awful that come with it, the young carry an interesting perspective with them; one that is sometimes lost when survival becomes the main focus, and/or education diverts their ideas elsewhere. It’s a recurring illness in all areas of life.