It has been a while since I have put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, or even express my thoughts about anything Guyanese in a blog. I guess a plausible reason for my hiatus from blogging was due to my new job, to me migrating, or maybe it was just me being overwhelmed by the events of the last year.
Regardless the reason, I believe that my responsibility to the Guyanese youth cannot be ignored much further. I must continue to be a voice for those among us who cannot speak. As a result, I have decided to address an issue that has been brewing for quite some time.
2016 marks Guyana’s 50th year of independence. A year declared a golden jubilee. A year for us to reflect, to deliberate and to plan for our future. Interestingly, it has not been a year of growth. Instead it has been marred by remnants of a Guyana that has no place in our 2016 society.
About over a month ago the national assembly created Guyanese political history with the passage of the telecommunications bill. This bill opened the portal to a wide array of possibilities as the connectivity of the world-wide web became more of a reality for Guyanese. Unfortunately, it also opened up a bag of worms. A Pandora’s box of sort in communication.
About two weeks after the bill was passed, we, as a nation collectively actively engaged in one of the most disgusting form of bullying, cyber bullying. For many it was comic relief, for others it was an opportunity to defend the honour of another, however for Guyana it was a symptom of a much larger problem in our society.
In Guyana we have yet to discover how to respectfully communicate with each other. This is evident in our politics, in our day-to-day activities, and more recently on social media. Sadly, this has left our young people not being able to effectively communicate and to navigate the internet in a manner that is respectful.
However, the Guyana I want is made up of citizens who are smarter and wiser than the mud-slinging, profane, defamatory, cyber bullying, citizens I have seen in recent times. Too many are anxious to “clap back”, that in the process they leave a trail of hurt behind. Too often we collectively make “skin teeth” out of issues that have long-lasting consequences. With Guyana’s suicide statistics, we have to be careful how we communicate with each other in this new environment.
Fortunately, all hope is not lost as the horizon brings with it new possibilities and opportunities. I am still optimistic that our young people can rise above this and become a positive role model for other Caribbean nations. The Guyana I want is anti-bullying and I believe that the Guyana I want can be a reality and all that is needed is for us to be the change.
Can we do it? YES WE CAN!