Yesterday, I read an article about the Renaissance which suggested that it was not as much of a positive period as popular opinion would have us believe. Rather, the author suggested that the Middle Ages preceding it was more advanced; he was less than impressed with the Renaissance’s penchant for nostalgia and looking backwards.
Whether it was a greater advance than the Middle Ages, there is no denying that the period produced some of the most beautiful art and literature. This made me wonder whether Guyana was due for a Renaissance any time soon. After all, we have a population that loves to look backwards. Maybe we can put that to good use.
I’m constantly hearing about the ‘good old days’ (when you could leave your doors unlocked and not worry about being burgled) although I can’t place when these days occurred. Colonial times? Dictatorship times? The 90s?
What period of time could Guyana look back at for cultural, philosophical and scientific inspiration? When did we have a flowering of genius?
My good old days were the early 90s when I was a kid and the majority of my closest relatives lived close enough for really great birthday parties to occur. Days when we’d really look forward to the rare barrel and we’d pretend we didn’t know that our parents were wrapping ‘Santa’s’ gifts so that we could get twice the number of presents Christmas morning. When we seemed to have all the time in the world to hang out in the yard, climb the occasional tree, ‘bake’ mud pies and wait for Barney to appear because we really, really believed he would.
After that, I can’t say that the days were particularly awesome. I mostly remember lots of school induced anxiety.
But I wouldn’t offer my glory days as the template for national transformation although for personal renaissance – if you enjoy climbing trees and baking mud pies, just go for it.
Maybe we should be looking to pre-Guyana times and places. After all, if Paris could look to Athens and Rome, maybe there are other places Guyana could cast her gaze. Where would it be? Latin America? Another country in the Caribbean? India? China? “Africa”?
Or maybe I’m too young to remember it and it’s already happened. Certainly, by the way some people unfavorably regard change of any manner it would seem that they believe that we’ve already had/are living our golden age. If one of my five readers could let me know if this is the case, I’d be very grateful.