Photo courtesy of Twitter

We are drained. At last, after a ninety day struggle, we have a lot to celebrate but nothing left to celebrate with. No fuel, no kerosene, no petrol. No energy.

And once we clear the last vestiges of the former regime from the seats of power, we have work to do.

Right now, while people power is transcendent, we need to make better choices. We need to structure better processes of governance and we need to select better qualified, more capable, more committed and dedicated people to represent us.

If we make what appear to be different choices on the same default principles of nepotism, cronyism, political loyalty and self serving mutual support that resulted in this situation of helplessness, the country will be lost beyond redemption.

It’s going to be a rough few months ahead and plenty of mouthy opportunists will step up to fill the perceived gaps. But compare and contrast their behaviour before and after the 90 days of struggle. Who are the loudest? Who are the most charismatic? Because loud and proud is alluring but ultimately narcissistic.

We have had enough of narcissistic leadership to last another millennium. Vistas of prosperity promised by the big talkers are dreams in the distant future right now. We need to do some basic repair on the groundwork closer to home. Feed the hungry. Support the ill. House the homeless. Restore to our youth the hope of a brighter future. Rekindle in the citizens the pride we have lost, being reduced in just a few years to the wretched condition of a beggar state and a victimized nation, dependent on handouts.

Look at where we want to be in six months and then work backwards from that to where we stand now.

We need people who actually know what they are talking about, who are experienced in the work expected in their departments, capable of making effective policy decisions and leading the country in such a way as to bring us international honour instead of shame.

Let us once and for all put aside the curse of superficiality and materialism that plagues us. Get rid of the puffed up personal profiles, the augmented physical appearances, the unnecessarily beefed up security detail, the vulgar, showy designer brands of everything from vehicles to children’s toys and the performative rituals that confer no blessing and gain no merit because they are not heartfelt.

Along with all that let’s eradicate the normalised misogyny, the vociferous anti-elitism and the class envy, the crudeness, the stereotypical shallow thinking and the petty, whiny hatreds that fracture our public conversations. Let’s elect people who know how to overcome the biases in their own characters, and who can focus on serving the people in all their diverse variety rather than merely themselves and their own family members and their personal greeds and ambitions.

In Buddhist scripture we are told that a wise man is like a vessel whose character, drop by drop, is filled with wisdom until it overflows and blesses his life. As a nation, we have at last started to drain away the damaging effects of a painfully tainted vessel. The dregs of the past remain and must be scoured out. Then we need to start filling the cup of state with good governance and our moral register with  good choices.

This is the next and best stage of the struggle.

The day is finally here!