WARDLEY D BARRY-IGIVISA
PORT MORESBY - Ronald Junior Rohai and his wife took their three month old child to the clinic. The small child died. Kain stori ya brukim lewa gut tru, mekim body weak na aiwara wok pudaun isi isi ya. This kind of story really breaks my heart, it makes my body weak and my tears flow.
Stories like this one tell me that, more than ever, we need to voice our concerns louder so our government can be kept in check, so that essential services can be distributed effectively and fairly.
While we mull over the mundane and flirt with the trivial, let us remember that there are serious issues that not only need our attention, they demand our action.
We cannot sail through life thinking that everything is okay. Our health system is deplorable. Clinics are running out of medicines. People are dying because our government is turning a blind eye on basic services.
My heart is torn for the poor child and more so for the parents. They took the baby to the clinic because they know that's where they will get help. But they went home weeping. And their loss is our loss too.
We just lost a doctor, a teacher, a politician, an accountant, we just lost a precious life who could have been a vital cog to the progress of this country. And who knows? Tomorrow it might be your mum or dad or sister, someone close to you will die not because they cannot be helped, but because the government refused to help them.
So we need to speak up. If you can write, I encourage you to write. Share your thoughts on how you think the government should manage the country, write about where you think society should move, speak about the issues you and your family/community face daily -- this is called becoming a responsible citizen of a democratic nation.
Social media is a good medium where you can voice your insights, make awareness and get feedback. There are also blogs where you can publish your writings. For mine, PNG Attitude ranks up there.
PNG Attitude has a readership of about 5,000. Here you get to make a noise -- whether it's tiny squeak or a big bang -- among some of the bright minds both locally and internationally.
My poems and a couple of articles have been published by PNG Attitude. I found it, among other things, helpful. My writings sometimes score good points with the readers, at other times the response is not quite favourable.
But I have learnt a lot from the dialogue. And that's a good thing. It helps you learn to live in a society that's becoming increasingly diverse socially, culturally and ideologically.
My friends, I encourage you to write and have your articles, essays, stories, poems published on PNG Attitude. Some of you are really good writers and I'm sure Keith Jackson (founder/publisher of the blog) will be happy to see your writings. If you need information as to how to get in touch with him, inbox me. Better still inbox him yourself. Keith says you can do that here.
I encourage you also to read the articles there and share them with your friends.
We can be outraged and mourn the dire situation our government has left us in. But we must ask ourselves, are our cries being heard? PNG Attitude will make sure your voice is heard loud and clear.
Trust me, I've been reading PNG Attitude since 2012 and it's no friend of the government. I'm not saying you should write for PNG Attitude because it's critical of the government (you can write good things too and it will be published), you must write because a critical citizenry is vital to democracy.
The moment we stop being critical, the moment we remain mute in the face of corruption is the moment we lose the essence of being free. Write, my friends. Write lest we drown in our own tears.