By Garry Juffa
This whole journey, this election, this amazing adventure of experiencing the beauty and despair around PNG, the hope, the happiness and sadness, outrage and the frustrations has all been worth it. I wish to take time to thank all my friends and those who may not be friends and who may be critics and even enemies, I hold nothing against you, life is really too short. I thank you all for your patience, words of encouragement, sticking up for me, standing by me, helping me with your criticism, constructive or otherwise and your wisdom and humor.
As I sit here, writing yet another piece of my usual rant and watching the final episode unfold I am optimistic but aware that there are always possibilities and impossibilities that occur in life. I may succeed, I may not. Either way, I have committed myself to helping out where I can, where ever my possibilities will allow until I move on to the next chapter, as a friend says “to solve that great mystery”.
I have learnt much along the way, that our nation is a great nation, that we are truly blessed with this nation, this land of milk and honey, that there is much joy in simple pleasures, that our simple people who toil so hard and innocently unaware of this world and its ways and have varying expectations, finding their way through this ever increasingly complex world, need leaders.
I have put my hand up. I am not all powerful and do not claim to possess a magic wand or mystic powers of observation, management and action, I am just willing to work. If it comes to be that I succeed, it is merely the first step on yet another adventure, an adventure of securing our future, protecting our land and being a voice for those that do not have a voice, our people throughout our nation and even others such as our flora and fauna who also deserve to live in this great world, on this earth, this planet, this gift, we call home.
The coming years will be important in our short history as a nation and indeed it will also be of significant consequence to us as a people, as Melanesians, Polynesians, Micronesians that occupy this territory that is known throughout the world as “The Land of the Unexpected” – Papua New Guinea. Future events that transpire will most certainly determine whether we as a nation, survive or falter and become in the near future and beyond, merely history of little consequence, thoughtlessly spoken off by political, economic and history buffs and those who engage in rhetorical small talk about geo politics at whatever events.
Yet to look around us and examine events transpiring around the world, it can also be said that there is an air of uncertainty in so far as life on earth is concerned. It seems that throughout the world, regardless of economic size, political government or race or geographic location, crisis after crisis strike the earth and its inhabitants, natural and man made. It seems the earth is hurting more then ever before in its history. Global warming, environmental destruction and non sustainable exploitation of natural resources, the extinction of species of animal and plant life, many never to be seen again, ever. Warfare and financial uncertainty, emerging destructive ideologies and rampant greed surge to the fore of humanity like a herd of wild beasts.
Where is PNG in all this? Will we be adequately prepared for a crisis should it strike us or will be be unable to mitigate and find ourselves on the ledge of existence so to speak? Will we become victims and trodden under the hooves of globalization and its effects?
These thoughts and others of this nature occur to me from time to time as I await the results of the 2012 National Elections, Papua New Guinea. I scan the political landscape forming and I am at once anxious and hopeful. It appears that ignorance, our greatest enemy is winning several battles and many who should not return, who have lied and stolen in the most blatant fashion or in cunning subtlety, will be returned by a population of voters that seem to either not care or be truly stupid, of course there is that greater portion who were easily persuaded with all manner of promises, goods or services. I sift through what is the murky uncertainties that shroud this political territory and standing like beacons of hope are what look like leaders emerging, genuine leaders who actually possess the compassion and zeal and the ability to care and act for their people. Anxious and hopeful. Good and bad. Could it be that there is sufficient good to counter the bad? Could the people truly be represented (even those who cast their vote with no thought or little appreciation of the ramifications)?. Will their views and interests be appropriately captured and debated and at all times championed in parliament by those they have elected? In many instances the answer is a resounding, echoing no.
Papua New Guinea is but a restless vessel, adrift on stormy seas of globalization heading in a journey to the uncertain future. It has been battered and thrown around for the last 37 years but it is now entering waters that are ominous and where its very survival is threatened more so then ever before. Who are the crew and who are the officers? Where is the Captain and does he have what it takes to guide this vessel and survive this journey or at least stay afloat? Will our vessel along with our hopes and ambitions, aspirations and dreams be battered and destroyed by the winds of exploitation? Will our vessel be burdened yet even more by dependence and aid and will we lose our way carried by the strong current of ignorance to even stormier seas?
Well it started out as a rant on the experience of the elections but as usual I have allowed my mind to wander down obscure and uncertain paths. Perhaps it is just the Election Blues…perhaps it is just anxiety and stress, taking its toll on the mind and the body. Perhaps it is too much available information about the events that are occurring seemingly in the blink of an eye throughout the world and here. Perhaps…