As Papua New Guineans, we have shamed ourselves by letting our children fight our battles.
We stood back, tried to cut our losses and kept ourselves out of harm’s way whilst cautiously urging our children – the university students – to fight a battle which would, in many ways, benefit us.
We failed to lend a hand to help them. We failed to guide them. We failed to do MORE! Instead, many saw fit to sit in a safety of our work spaces and serve the organizations we work for and serve the government as the economy struggled.
We found it fit to criticize those who stood out in front. We saw fit to discourage and ridicule them. Because… IT WAS SO EASY!
We became the slaves that Bob Marley sang about when he said “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery… None but ourselves can free our mind….”
We have become slaves who accept slavery. We have become a defeated people too afraid and too comfortable with our own slavery.
We have become like the Israelites in exodus who told Moses “…At least we had food to eat in Egypt…”
We have become like people on a ship who shout and criticize the children who can see that the ship is headed for rocks and are trying to get the captain to steer away.
We go home and sit in the false comfort of our homes. While students like MadMax, Steven and the two girls who took the bullet for you lie in hospital. “Thank goodness, it wasn’t my son or daughter,” you say to yourselves.
One day, the government will not have the money to pay your salaries. One day, the company you work for will lay you off because they don’t have the ability to import any more.
It will happen slowly. You will be like a frog put in a pot of cold water over the slow heat of a gas stove. You will not realize that the temperature is slowly rising until it is too late.
Maybe their methods were undesirable. They protested and boycotted.
But hey! At least they had the guts to stand the fuck up and fight for what they believed in – PAPUA NEW GUINEA AND THE PEOPLE!