When will we find a cause to motivate us?
Stabroek News
March 28, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Quite often I am forced to give ear to the jeremiads of my countrymen as they harp about the lack of progress in Guyana, or of our slow pace of achievement. These complainers are then apt to embark upon naming a few of our natural resources.

At this juncture in their lamentation, they always assume a bleak countenance, and I would dissimulate my true feelings by wearing a bleaker one as I struggle to suppress this pointed question that may engender a confrontation which of our natural resources are you educated and skilled to exploit for Guyana's benefit?

Now, therein lie our problems. However, like all problems that are not insuperable, ours have solutions. And these solutions highlight our inadequacies, inadequacies that are too poignant for most of us to face. So, instead of addressing our deficiencies, most of us are disposed to harp about this and that, and never once do we stop to consider that we should educate ourselves to harvest our reserves for our national good.

From our disposition, it is now apparent that we are unwilling to rid ourselves of an attitude that is a relic of our colonial past: foreign reliance. What is more, our present attitude makes it plain that our transformation from colonial to republican status was not a national objective but a personal one a Jaganite or Burnhamite consummation. These two men were like streams, and we, the populace, are like dead fish once entrained by their current. For without them, there seem to be no national goals.

What gives authority and truth to my preceding statements is the fact that lieutenants of these two men, Jagan and Burnham, who had assisted them to urge us on to nationhood, are now egging us to embrace neo colonialism. Oh, what great confusion our irresolution can engender!

It was Sir Winston Churchill who once wrote: "Quality, will power, geographical advantages, natural and financial resources, the command of the sea, and above all, a cause which rouses the spontaneous surging of human spirit in millions of hearts these have proved to be the decisive factors in the human story." We already have some worthy natural resources (which we love to boast so much about), our geographical position is not a disadvantage, so, when will we set about to obtain the other "decisive factors" that will rouse the spontaneous surging of our less than one million hearts?

Yours faithfully,

J. E. Frank