Our lives are molded by a mosaic of pivotal moments and experiences that have been seared into our memories.
During my formative years as an air traffic controller in the Timehri Control Tower, I was fortunate to work under the stewardship of Robert Singh, the Senior Air Traffic Control Officer (SATCO) who was responsible for the administration of Air Traffic Services (ATS). I am emphasising his position because it was a highly respected and sought after. In today's world, that position is the equivalent of ATS Manager.
Although this was three decades ago, his tutelage continues to influence my actions and will remain so until my last day. Robert has recently departed the land of the living, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on through the lives of the people who he led and inspired.
Whenever Robert counseled anyone, he always concluded with the phrase "do the right thing." The frequency with which that phrase was repeated, gives you no other option when the time comes for you to apply the procedures set out by the authorities.
Over the years I have published several blog posts which referred to Robert's influence on me, and now I can safely say that his legacy is the admonition to do the right thing.
In the streets of Georgetown where life is played out unfiltered, there is little evidence that law and order exist. Are people so averse to doing the right thing? Whatever the reason that Robert chose that phrase, it surely worked for the Air Traffic Services, and can do the trick for the population at large if a few influential people perpetually repeat similar words.
In frequent conversations with a dear friend, there are two phrases that may be mentioned: Guyana is not a real place and Guyana is a thin thread away from anarchy.
These assertions are made simply because of the pervasiveness of actions that are not consistent with doing the right thing. Do people really lack care about fellow their citizens or are their senses so deadened that they do not recognize their actions.
It is so rare to see someone taking responsibility for doing the right thing, that it floors you.
A few weeks ago, I hopped into a taxi at a busy intersection in Georgetown. Once seated, I was politely asked what kind of music I wanted to hear. I was so shocked that it took me a minute to respond. I love music but am happy to forego it. I just want to be alone with my thoughts sometimes.
I never knew that taxi drivers had a care about the passenger beyond how much money could be gained for the ride. That experience was a direct contrast to drivers who assault my ears with their boomboxes. On one occasion, a driver lit his joint and smoked while he was transporting me.
I never took the name and number of the polite driver, but that would be the kind of service that I would want. It is worth celebrating men and women who take responsibility for doing the right thing.
With Robert's legacy firmly planted, I will repeat his words whenever the opportunity presents itself and celebrate those who take their responsibility seriously by showing that they care about other people.
Do the right thing!