Keeping Positive By Robert Persaud
Guyana Chronicle
August 15, 2004

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PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo, at the opening of a new tourism facility on July 9, said that his Government is interested in working with those Guyanese who are positive thinkers and not gripers. In local parlance, gripers are those who only complain and see the negative sides of a situation or an issue.

These individuals do little or nothing to change things for the better in their communities or the country. The positive persons, whom the President of Guyana was referring to, are those who not only see the problem, but attempt to change it. These are Guyanese who see the glass half-full rather than half-empty.

This position by the President is an indication of his fervent desire to work with groups and individuals who are serious about building Guyana and taking the country to a higher development plain. It is another indication of his impatience with those who frustrate progress.

The gripers are rarely ordinary persons. Many in this category are well-placed in society with access to resources and the media. They spare little of their resources to help. But use their access to the media to burden the society with negative feelings and messages of gloom and doom. They more often than not offer no solution or advice. There are even those who are politically-inclined and deliberately foster this type of thinking with the clever use of the opposition media. Just read or listen clearly to the slants and the outrageous images published or televised. The positive things that are said or printed are few and far apart.

There is no denying that Guyana has its full dose of problems, distractions and controversies. Which society doesn't? The Government's position has been to confront these openly and propose and implement workable and timely solutions. These solutions, in some cases, are unpopular. At the end of the day, the greater majority of the people ought to and have benefited.

There has never been any hiding or covering up of real problems confronting our society. The Government has been taking the lead in exposing these and throwing these matters for full scrutiny and examination. It was the Government which made public the duty-free re-migrant irregularities and recently, the dolphins export probe. The media are invited to visit and provide full coverage whenever havoc is caused by heavy-rain or even local government bodies' neglect. The openness and access to government and officials are unprecedented in Guyana. This is how the PPP/C works in imbuing confidence and a positive spirit which are essential in advancing the country.

There has been work taking place over time by the government to create, among the citizenry a positive mood: a mood for solving problems and lifting Guyana to greatness. When there are deliberate steps to undermine progress, the response of the government is deliver more progress. When the forces of destruction promote hopelessness, the Government actively calls for hope and provides the conditions for opportunities. When Georgetown, New Amsterdam, and Linden suffer from poor municipal administration and neglect, the Government goes into communities and work with the residents to better their environment.

The President's style of leadership has been to remove obstacles in the way of Guyana's progress. A manifestation was the proposed new format for the dialogue between the government and the opposition. Realising that the current format has been torpedoed twice by the PNCR, the President did not abandon his government's commitment to engagement with the opposition, but has instead proposed a mechanism to involve Parliament which can only inspire confidence.

Of recent, there is an understanding among certain opposition and media forces to create a feeling of doom and gloom in Guyana. There have been reports of certain opposition media owners conferring and coordinating their programmes and publications so as to project Guyana negatively with the aim of making the government look `bad.' Just see the elation in coverage by certain sections of the media when something negative about Guyana takes place.

The public is getting tired of this negative campaign. The authors must realise that it will backfire. People see positive developments and progress in their communities everyday. The expectation of faster and more responsive interventions are legitimate. But these must be tempered by our realities and not used as political baits.

There are many good things happening in Guyana. Many more good things can happen if there are fewer gripers and more positive thinkers. The next time you hear a griper convince him or her to be positive. If it's a media house, just tune off. The President and his government have been leading the way. Let's have positive thoughts and positions about Guyana because some of our best days are still ahead.