...respecting your countrymen and country.

Some words have been coming to mind with increasing frequency recently and "respect" is one of them. I think that the concept will become more and more important in our country as we begin to awake to the realization that we are ONE. I believe that respect is something you give to whatever you value, whatever you wish to be associated with. Disrespect is what you reserve for the thing from which you are disconnected, the thing which you do not understand or value, the thing which you would prefer to exclude. When we begin to acknowledge and appreciate our interconnectedness, it becomes more difficult to withdraw into the enclaves encouraged by the "we" and "them" attitude.

As a people, we often disrespect ourselves and each other. I will not try here to list the historical facts which entrenched this sort of selfish callousness but that cycle has to be broken before we are completely broken by it.

Because I had observed that manna and the good rain both fall from high places, I used to make the mistake of dreaming that the initiative to cultivate self-respect and respect for each other could come from governments. I no longer believe this. I think that it will have to be demanded and cultivated by the people. Until we understand how disrespecting ourselves has brought us to this point, we should not be surprised when those within and outside of our society continue to disrespect us also.

"...what you do to yourself or to your kind you cannot but invite others to do the same to you, and to your kind." ---Ashis Nandy

Recently Professor Ramesh Deosoran, reporting on the findings of the Police Service Commission, said:
"the status of investigations regarding certain critical matters which affected the public’s interest would have been put to Gibbs at least six or seven times when meetings were held.

He said: “Those responses have been dilatory, obscure and rather than he (Gibbs) answering he kept asking us questions as to why we want it. “And we found that sort of disrespectful. That tendency seems to be growing on the part of the commissioner and from other information I have gathered from other authorities that tendency of disrespect seems to be increasing and it is something we, as a commission, I think, have to tame that somewhat in the very near future.” SOURCE
It bears repeating:

"...what you do to yourself or to your kind you cannot but invite others to do the same to you, and to your kind." ---Ashis Nandy

If the Commissioner is in fact as disrespectful as Professor Deosaran has alleged, then I would say that he has taken his cue from his own observations of what is allowed in our society.

Whether you choose to view it like this or not, I believe that the Leader of the Opposition is demanding respect. Which other voice in this country has asked of the government more probing questions about how it conducts OUR business? Whether these questions are viewed as pertinent or impertinent depends obviously on the ear of the listener, but questions, even irritating ones, need to be answered. It is disrespectful to attempt to muzzle. I want to imagine that this disrespect is what the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Rowley was referring to when he said in his announcement about the filing of the motion of no-confidence: "We've just had enough."

Disrespect is a gateway injustice. If we do not discourage it but instead continue to invite and cultivate it, it will continue to keep the tracks clear for countless opportunistic and even more intractable evils.
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!