Come on Freddie, the next time you are out with your wife, open the door for her
By Staff Reporter – December 5, 2019 0272

Dear Editor,
THESE days I find the time to examine the media and in particular, the columns which feature the many local viewpoints. Freddie Kissoon’s articles are among my favourites and I admire him for his boldness and fearless comments.
No one should fail to note his audacity.

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Like everything else, there are some matters that he writes about that I agree with and some with which I disagree. This is what makes life so interesting; our experiences as children and adults determine how we see things. Beyond that, there are certain values and responses which I consider non-negotiable and necessary. As Guyanese and citizens of the world we need to cling to these if we wish to be considered civilised, decent and worthy of the respect of others. In today’s, Wednesday piece, titled, “Use this criterion to judge the PPP, PNC and AFC,” he traverses our political landscape exercising his democratic right to express his views. Some may consider these views either myopic or harsh.

My concern is the message he may be sending to our young people contained in the concluding paragraphs of his article, and I quote “ Both female ministers of the AFC have their drivers open the car doors for them to exit and go in. I told Minister Garrido-Lowe that I find such conduct is unbecoming. She looked at me with vacant eyes and remained unmoved.” End of quote.

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He is critical because the driver of a female minister opened the vehicle door to facilitate her exit; Freddie is dead wrong. There should be nothing inappropriate for a driver to assist a senior functionary to whom he is assigned to exit a vehicle, in particular, a female. First, we must adhere to what is known as functional authority and the duties and responsibilities that flow therefrom. Freddie is an avid reader and an intelligent person and he must know that if you tamper with and destroy the basic tools that define a modern civilised society, we are preparing for anarchy, bedlam and destroying the already slender fabric of our society.

Whether a society is Capitalist, Socialist, Communist or what have you, there must be some order. In some circumstances, we utilise the concept of ethics. For example, the army, the police force, our religious community, etc.,can have only one overall commander in chief with several levels from the top to the bottom; each layer understanding their duties and the courtesies required. There must be respect and regard shown by those at the top for those at the bottom and similar respect and regard for those at the bottom shown to those at the top.

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Let us face it, from the time of human existence, from the time of the caveman, there will always be someone at the top and someone at the bottom, whether the measure is brains, brawn, tradition or inheritance is of course, another matter; but at every stage there must be what we call the ‘pecking order.’ As the boys will say, “ dah a life.”

When the Great Emperor, Pope, President, King, Queen or Empress takes his or her seat in a plane or the ship, for the duration of the journey functional authority resides with the ship captain or the aircraft pilot. We play cricket, when we take to the playing field, each team can only have one captain and due regard must be taken of their respective roles, responsibilities and respect of captain and team members. One of the problems we have, in some households, institutions and communities is that the question of functional authority and respect seems to be fading. A sad and sorry situation which must be corrected if we are to survive.

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In every culture, whether it be in Africa, Asia, or Europe, adherence to our respective roles in society are always held sacrosanct. Additionally, there are certain courtesies that we should show our females, our mothers, grandmothers, wives, aunts and sisters that we must cling to steadfastly. Last week I was in a personal banking facility and gave my chair to my wife, since there was no other available as she waited for service. Another male observing this, followed suit.

Yesterday, it was my pleasure and I believe duty to open the vehicle door to help my wife exit the vehicle. I hope Freddie and others will do the same and encourage our male counterparts, whether they be drivers, boyfriends, or husbands to do the same. At secondary schools, there exist the cadre of senior students known as prefects. Their duty is to help maintain law, order, respect and to develop a sense of discipline before we enter the world of work. There are some things which will always be right and righteous and will serve us in good stead. Come on Freddie, the next time you are out with your wife, open the door for her so she will exit easily.

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Regards
Hamilton Green

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