How Best We As Students Can Serve Our Country
A country needs not only the services of the Government for its improvement but also an active participation in its affairs by each and every citizen, who has the right and duty to play a part in managing its affairs. There are some who are not interested in the affairs of their country, who, instead of endeavouring their utmost to help their country, do things to retard improvement. People like these must make a conscious effort to overhaul their thinking and attitudes and try to correct their lapses. There are others, however, who have the patriotic blood in their veins. These are the people who are willing to serve their country even at the cost of great personal sacrifice even the supreme sacrifice of life itself!
Why can't we, too, as students imitate these people? Guyana is ours; she is our Motherland. She needs our love and service; she is calling on us to love her. Oh boy! Let us go forward and show her that we can give her our services even at the expense of the last drop of our blood or the last ounce of our energy.
One of the ways in which we can serve our country is to apply ourselves scrupulously to our studies. We come to school with an aim, that is, to be trained for whatever profession we may have in mind. Some of us may want to become doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, engineers, and what have you, and by toiling to become better men and women, a bright future prospect for Guyana is ensured. It means, therefore, that the limited amount of time we have to spend in school, let us not spend it destructively in the idle dalliance. Let us spend it constructively to plant rich seeds to blossom and bear fruit in the future.
We can serve our country, too, by being loyal to the needs of our school. We must always try our best to help our fellow students and to be respectful to our teachers. Senior students must not shirk their responsibility; they must take the initiative to set examples of courtesy, benignity, generousity and humanity which junior students may emulate. These are all useful assets we may possess to make ourselves better citizens.
Moreover, to serve our country we must associate ourselves with the numerous and various social and cultural organizations whereby we can have the opportunity to learn more. In this way we shall be more active and know the facts of life and the needs of our country. And these are the essentials in nation building.
Another important contribution we can make to our country is to give voluntary services to self-help projects. Self-help movement is an important actor in welding a true spirit of Guyanese Nationhood. It has been responsible for bringing people of various shades of colour, of varying racial origins, of different religious and political affliliations together as Guyanese, as they tackle various projects for the benefit of the communities in which they live. Through self-help, Guyanese have worked together from daybreak to night to build schools, roads, air-strips, bridges, community centres, recreation centres and the like throughout the country. This has saved Government, over the past four years, two million dollars in hard cash. This contribution is indeed what Guyana wants from us, and we can do our bit. Even if we cannot find time to participate in these projects we can, (at least) offer a substantial financial contribution.
Very closely connected to this, is the fact that if we are to serve our country we must not foster any political, racial or religious discrimination. We must be true Guyanese – not a Negro or an Indian, not a Portuguese, not a Chinese, not an Amerindian, not anything else but a Guyanese. We must not quarrel over religion nor must we hate each other because our poltical leader is a Negro or an Indian. We must dwell in unity in fulfilling our motto: "One people, One Nation, One Destiny."
Most important of all, if we are to love and serve our country we have got to set our feet the farthest in protecting our country from unjustified interference from other States and in maintaining its territory integrity. Venezuela is on our doorstep. What if there is an invasion in the near future? Must we stand up and see our beloved territory taken before our eyes? My God! We have got to throw off the cloak of cowardice and fight like bulls to defend our territory, or else we remain, as one politician remarked "hewers of wood and drawers of water." Guyana is a small nation, weak in arms, and we can through our love and devotion for our country overcome all enemies.
Guyana is ours; it depends on us for its prosperity. We, the young people, have got to enable it to play its full part in the world , and the greatest service we can give to her is our love, our labour, our devotion and our patriotism.