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Dawn on the Rupununi River - Southern Guyana

Dawn on the Rupununi River – Southern Guyana
Photo Credit: Dagron Tours

On May 26, 2015, the people of Guyana will be celebrating their forty-ninth independence anniversary under the new leadership of a multiracial coalition government. After forty-nine years of racial divisive politics, the nation embarks on a new beginning of a more inclusive government.

At the recent swearing-in of eight Cabinet Ministers, Guyana’s newly-elected President David Granger told those present: “We are determined to bring good governance back to Guyana. We are determined to have a Cabinet which is committed to National Unity.”

As with several new beginnings, expectations run wild; dreams hang within reach like ripening fruit on a mango tree; hope is born anew.

Those of us who have entered adult life and have already experienced new beginnings as a married couple and as newbie parents know the challenges each new beginning brings to our lives. Empty nesters face yet another new beginning as a couple alone with each other after years of child-rearing.

Those of us who have been freed from an abusive relationship know that it takes years for the scars to heal and begin life anew. Some of us never heal and continue to carry the abuser – long after he’s dead and gone – chained to our ankles, poisoning our children and grandchildren who unwittingly drink our Kool-Aid. Those who refuse to drink our cyanide-laced brew suffer alienation or ostracism.

After forty-nine years of abuse and deprivations perpetrated by both the African and East Indian political parties, healing and working towards national unity is a tall order. It will take time. Change at the top comes from change below, with each individual. Freeing ourselves from the chains of mistrust, fear, and hatred requires courage, openness, acceptance, and a willingness to forgive.

Forgiveness is not forgetfulness. We must acknowledge the sins of the past. We must not forget, lest we fall prey to them again.

Changing the way we relate to each other is a daily and ongoing struggle. Believing that we can achieve the change we seek is the first step to realizing our goal. The people of Guyana who voted for change have already taken that first step. Winning the minds and hearts of those who don’t want change or who don’t believe that change is possible may take another forty-nine years or more.

New beginnings are fraught with naysayers – those who like to put their bad-mouth on every effort we make – and those with big-eye who want everything for themselves.

With just a little over a week since the new president was sworn in, a member of his six-party coalition has already aired his discontent with the president’s agenda.

Meanwhile, still refusing to accept defeat at the polls, the opposition is planning countrywide protests and compiling evidence to file an election petition challenging recent poll results.

It’s a New Day in Guyana. Now is the time. Believe.

A Happy Independence Day to all Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora!