Congratulations to our President H.E. David A. Granger and all who will be tasked with leadership roles in the governance of our country.
May the winds of change cleanse and remove all negative and unpleasant aspects of life in this our land. May these winds be the catalyst that will motivate, propel and sustain an upward movement of economic growth, thus providing the means for a decent standard of living for all.
May our country be governed with integrity, wisdom, honesty and decency. It is wonderful to see that the restoration of our Garden City has begun. The winds of change are beginning to blow away the dirt and squalor of our environment, in the cleaning and rehabilitation of our monuments and the immediate plans to clean our capital city Georgetown and return it to a place of beauty. Thank you Mr. President for an excellent beginning.
Right now, the beautiful flamboyant trees that decorate many of our streets are aflame in glorious colour. It will be a joy to see their beauty mirrored in clean, free-flowing canals and their petals carpeting well-kept green parapets free of litter.
This is our land, a beautiful blessed land. May each of us feel in our hearts a love for our land as in the song ‘this land is mine, God gave this land to me’, as we join our hearts and hands to help our country fulfill her great potential.
May God guide and protect our leaders and bless our dear, dear land of Guyana.
Now that the Elections are over and our new President will be inaugurated on Tues-day, I would like to see Gecom publish the statistics showing, by Regions, the total number of registered persons, the number of those who voted, the number of spoilt votes, and the number of votes for each party.
Authority and Credibility
In today’s society as in every age, people look to authority to guarantee the authenticity of any statement, from the reality of UFOs to the duration of the slump in oil prices. And with the ready availability of the media of communication and information, everyone can set up as an “authority” on any subject. This of course has led to a crisis of credibility: sources once considered irreproachable have been forced to revoke earlier authoritative statements in the light of new information, or in response to the dictates of “authority” whose version of events must now be presented as fact.
Authority may be derived from a person or group’s superior grasp of a particular field of knowledge, so that when they pronounce on a matter within their competence, it can be presumed worthy of credence. The limitation here is that knowledge today is so vast and interconnected, and so democratic, that the sphere of the specialist’s authority is more and more circumscribed. So the medical practitioner may be challenged by the Internet, or the friendly pharmacist, or the latest alternative guru.
In the political sphere, authority is recognised as being vested in particular persons according to the structures of the state, for the purpose of governing the citizens according to the laws of the land. Such authority is expected to be exercised for the common good, and citizens expect protection of their just rights. These authorities in turn can legitimately expect collaboration and respect from their citizens. The problem begins when reflective citizens doubt that authority is being exercised for the good of the greatest number of the citizens, and suspect that the good of authority figures and their associates have supplanted the legitimate expectations of the citizenry.
When this happens, the social systems established for the support of authority are all brought into question. Education is suspected of being an agent of State control, and an enemy of enlightenment and critical appraisal of the status quo. The media of information are scrutinised for their susceptibility to State control as another agent of confusion rather than as contributing to insightful examination of positions advanced by powerful interest groups. These latter wield an authority born of their position in society, either due to economic power, academic status, or class interests, an authority which is unsupported by any moral justification.
Religion also claims authority devolved from God or that religion’s Supreme Being to particular members who, because they belong to the class having superior knowledge of the tenets of the Faith, or have been appointed by rites conferring this authority within the religious group, have the authority to define and maintain the Laws and Prohibitions as handed down by this Supreme Authority. Since the appeal here is to a Supreme Authority, dissent and questioning are particularly destabilising, so that when conflicting explanations of texts in a religion’s Holy Book are offered by other knowledge areas, such as science or psychology, the ground seems to shift beneath the believers’ feet, and they may take refuge in fundamentalist interpretation that would secure them against change or a ritualistic adherence to the letter of the Law, while closing themselves off from the challenge of pondering in their hearts the deep significance of the Laws of their religion. A sort of ‘fire insurance’ that does not engage them but maintains their party card, ‘just in case’.
In the text from Mark’s Gospel read this weekend, the ordinary people recognise Jesus as “teaching with authority”, commanding their belief, not merely in his words, but in himself, because of his integrity. Action, teaching and behaviour are congruent. There are no contradictions in his self-presentation. This integrity is part of the almost universal appeal of Pope Francis – Truth done in Love, and God is Love. Whence do we derive our authority?
Lisa Miller offers advice on ethics and the dilemmas you face in everyday life.January 26, 2015
Q | Dear OMG,
How ethical is it to, say, use your connections to get your child into a private school she might not have gotten into on merit alone?
– Queasy inside
A | Dear Queasy,
Ah. Here it is. The ultimate yuppie-striver dilemma. To what extent do you pull strings to give your own child privileges that other children don’t have? And — you don’t ask this in your note, but your signature, “Queasy,” allows me to discern a modicum of discomfort on your part — does the fact that “everyone is doing it” make it any kind of excuse?
Many have legitimately argued that a parent’s first ethical responsibility is to protect his or her own children. Your job is to keep your own kids safe, fed and healthy — and to teach them the things they need to know to be responsible, independent adults. You do these things for your kids before you do them for other people’s kids, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The ethics of parental responsibility get hazy when we start thinking of advantages — like “fancy private school” or “the latest high-end gadget” or “a coveted internship” — as basic human needs that require a “whatever-it-takes” approach to procuring them.
“Everyone is doing it” is no excuse, as you surmise. It is a rationalization. Why deprive your own child of the same advantages that other parents are scrambling to get for theirs?
Because for one thing, pulling strings perpetuates the deep inequalities that are dividing this society. Because for another, the gospels preach that Christians ought to align themselves with the have-nots and the outsiders, not the haves and the in-crowd.
But finally, you should think twice about using your position to help your child because it teaches her the wrong lessons about how to get ahead. You want her to learn that it’s not who you know, it’s how hard you work. Don’t you?
Readers, have you ever pulled strings to help your child get ahead? Is there anything wrong with it? Comment below.
And if you have an ethical dilemma, send your question to [email protected].
– Lisa Miller
The Holy Mass
Explained to Catalina by Jesus and Mary
Catalina Rivas of Cochabamba, Bolivia, who now dwells in Mérida, Yucatán, México. She is said to receive Messages from Jesus, Mary, and the angels. She has the approval of her Bishop, René Fernández Apaza, who has given his imprimatur to her Messages. The following text is the reproduction of booklet, “The Holy Mass,” in which Our Lord and Our Lady explain to Catalina what is really going on during the Mass in the spiritual realm, and how we should be more concentrated on the great mysteries that are taking place.Bo. Daniel Gagnon, OMI, of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Archdiocese of Mexico, wrote about this book: “I do not find anything against the faith or the customs of the Church. It is not my function to confirm its supernatural character; nevertheless, I recommend it for its spiritual inspiration.”