Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
THE ESSENCE OF CHANGE
Not too long ago, Ghana celebrated its 53rd independence anniversary; I can recall some of the many social debates that were heard throughout the country on the various channels of media communication over whether or not we had achieved anything during that period to merit a celebration. The reason for this celebration, in my opinion, was to remember the change that revolutionized the African spirit of independence. Some even went as far as to embark on demonstrations, while others bastardized the very nature of our political system, calling its practitioners immature, greedy and egoistic. Our neigbours, Nigeria, also celebrated their 50th independence anniversary recently and what we heard through international news agencies was quite repulsive. Two bombs exploding at different times and injuring some people. This is how some people choose to echo their aggravations about how there has been NO CHANGE in many years. These are just a few of the many occurrences of such situations in our beloved continent. We are always crying for CHANGE!
In the Concise Oxford Dictionary, change is defined in its verb form as “to make or become different; to become new.” If I am to probe further into what others -- scholars and philosophers-- have said there shall be no end to what the word change is not, and is. Nonetheless, I have always enjoyed this statement I heard in my philosophy class when I was an undergraduate student: “You can never step in the same river twice.”
When we study the history of our beloved nation one thing is clear we have not enjoyed sustained steady growth in a long while. For if we had, we would be experiencing what economist have termed economic development. This is development characterized by major infrastructural change. This is the kind of change that will increase the per capita income of the people, provide better healthcare delivery system(s), make available excellent educational facilities to all citizens and reduce drastically, if not obliterate totally, the level of poverty in the country. This is the kind of change that the people of Ghana, Africa and the world as whole would like to see.
How then can we bring about this change which results in the creation of a ‘state of utopia’? This is the question that many scholars, philosophers, politicians, corporate CEOs and the general populace have been contemplating about for centuries. One school of thought argues that this change has been experienced in Western countries while Africa and other third world countries are lagging behind. If this is true, could we say then that the explanation for all the horrific things that have been perpetuated by some African heads of state and military governments are because Africa and other continents characterized by these features so desperately need change? Should we associate the brutalities accompanying such atrocious acts as worthy sacrifices for change to materialize in the continent, or should we say that it is just an expression of frustration on the part of these leaders for not realizing the change that we so much wish for? How do we experience change that does not result in a blood bath?
The answer to this question is simple: be the change you want to see. Day in and day out we hear people complaining about the many defects surrounding them, we also observe these very people who continually fuss about such issues do nothing about it. If it bothers you that much, instead of picking up placards and walking on these same streets in the name of freedom of demonstration, let us rather use our strength in organizing the very people marching on the streets to fix the problem. It is the rational thing to do. I am not here to downplay the importance of being able to exercise one’s frustrations in the streets. However, most of the times, the time we spend holding placards could have been used to fix a problem in our homes, communities and country for that matter.
When you are sitting in the church and everyone is clapping for the choir about the song they sung, and you have realized they have been consistently singing off-key, and that annoys you, instead of telling your friends about how the choir or the person who conducts it knows nothing about music, why don’t you volunteer and offer-up your musical knowledge to better the choir. If you are part of those who always complain that there is no job in the system, instead of thinking about who will employ your, start thinking about how to establish your own business so that you can also employ people in this manner, you help to reduce the level of unemployment in the economy.
When I listen to radio programmes, I hear those on the panel and those who call-in accuse politicians of being corrupt. The question that these people often fail to ask themselves is how upright they themselves are. Jesus asked the Pharisees to let those without sin be the first to throw the stone at the woman. How many of us will refuse the ‘gift’ that is suppose to motivate us to carry out a duty briskly. How many of us ask customers, clients, or prospective clients and customers to give us something supposedly for the ‘boss’ or behave rudely to them because they fail to ‘recognize our efforts’?
Upon careful thought I propose these to be the essence of the change we so badly seek:
CHANGE SHOULD BE A CONSCIOUS ACT. In deciding to do what is right, we are consciously saying that we are going to be a part of the process, because inherently, we are part of the problem.
CHANGE SHOULD BE BY CHOICE, NOT BY MASS PROTEST. In the spirit of decision making, let us all come together and agree on what is right, to make our homes, communities and country the place we want it to be.
CHANGE SHOULD BE A DISCIPLINE. Biblical scripture informs us that the heart is deceitful above all things. This tells me how unstable we are as human beings. The Apostle Paul agrees, that is why he said he beat his body into submission when he wrote to the Christians in Rome. There is the need to be disciplined in order to experience real change.
CHANGE IS LIFE NOT A LIFESTYLE. So many people see many things which are necessities in life to be a lifestyle. Life and lifestyle are two different concepts. In order to experience real change we need to acknowledge that Change is life not a lifestyle. Heraclitus said, “you cannot step into the same river twice.”
Changing is one of the most difficult things for some of us, but we should decide -- make a choice, a conscious one for that matter -- to remain disciplined and live a life of change. If we, (humans) are created in the likeness of God, and one major characteristic of God is that he keeps surprising, then we should make it a point to surprise ourselves. We should change!
Behold I am the keeper of order
My presence demands it
My employer does nothing without me
For I am his keeper
The Protector some call me
The Shield some may say
I prefer the Sifter
Yes, I’m much enthused by the name Selector
For what goes and comes is by me
I AM THE GATEKEEPER
If you want to be heard, you better come and see me
The sound of thrashing and bashing
Fills the street with wailing and screaming
The sorrowful shrills of the mothers
Makes the soul quiver at its core
How long shall this unrest remain?
How often do the mothers have to beat their breasts?
The fathers stand aside with conscious fear
Looking for someone to step up and be a hero
Yet no one shows, no one appears, we all are timid!
Full of weakness, terrified with fear of death
The sovereign reigns with terror in the land
Yet there is no hero of in this town
All we hear is the sound of thrashing and bashing
And the cries and wails of the women in the streets.
O MAN! WHAT ELSE
It is written that he shall dwell in this house and it shall be hallowed (paraphrased). However, how do we deal with people when our ideas and actions lead to the desecration of God’s house? Is it the signs of the time, or it’s simply pure ignorance and lack of respect for God and everything pertaining to him. Who should be blamed for the desecration of God’s temple? Do we blame the priests or the insolent congregation? May be, we should blame unsuspecting conspirators who always plan to divide and break asunder this unperfected unity we have in the church.
Let us not be misguided, confusion is not part of God’s being; confusion is an unfortunate characteristic of man. We shall in no sense appeal to reason and intuition as means to escape our uncouth actions. We are all responsible for whatever happens to and in God’s temple. We are guilty in what we have uttered or not uttered, done or not done, whichever position we find ourselves in, we are to blame since we are the keepers of his temple.
The church should fume with righteous indignation, the body of Christ should awake and hear the calls of the angels and saints, we live in a world filled with evil; only those who stand for righteousness will be persecuted. As the saying goes, only the sick need medical assistance; thus, only those who seem to be doing something right will be opposed. Human beings by nature are rebellious to the truth because the truth hurts as the maxim posits. Irrespective of the truth, chastisement should be done in love not anger.
We have an obligation, duty and calling to uphold, if we are true sons and daughters of the church, then we should arise and stand, just as we call on God to arise and let our enemies be scattered. The sanctity of the church should be lifted high, and all of us will make it a reality. Cooperation, understanding each other no matter how different our views are, seeing the big picture not the small one, is the only way we can forge forward. Let us not blame individuals, for God has a triune persona. Before Jesus left this earth he encouraged us thus, “strife for peace with all men.”
Logic and Reason
The fruits of this capability, in a greater majority are growth, development and destruction
A gradual progression from wow to ohh!
It is the gift of our race no doubt about it.
In that same stead, the curse of generations past, present and future
They are the foundation upon which civilization is founded,
Logic and Reason, they are the epitome of this world.
The quest for self-actualization is founded on the principle of logic and reason
However, it ends in utter despair, the search for mundane things
Logic and Reason, they say is what makes us the superior race
Logic and reason, the exact reason why we are suffering
So ironic, very powerful, extremely sarcastic, outrageously cynical
The pursuit of happiness, the driving force of survival for this race
Vanity, is the major characteristic of this race
All these are symbolic embodiment of logic and reason