The Attitude Lounge by Kodwo Brumpon: It’s Time to Heal  


“The mind is like palm oil, when it lies still, we heat it up.” – Akan proverb

Have we hit a wall, or have we hit rock bottom? We might disagree about the degree of failings in our society, but wherever you stand the situation continues to worsen with each new day. We are in a crisis, and as the scale of catastrophe becomes clearer it not only exposes a lack of a contingent national strategy, but also an unwillingness to be honest with ourselves. Thus, instead of innovating a way out, many of us have curiously slowed down to peek at the situation like we are witnessing an accident on the highway. We have become like ghouls drawn to the tragedies of doom and gloom.

Deep down, we know this attitude will not improve the situation. We know that “life goes on” whether we act as spectators or citizens, or as quitters or leaders. Denying the reality, or failing to act, will do us no good. Ultimately, it will come back to bite us. We are where we are because for far too long we let our sentiments rule our decisions. We talked and acted based on our emotions. The danger with that poor attitude was that we almost always ended up with bad decisions. And when we fail to own up to our flaws, we encourage more and more people to go down the same lane. It is a poor way to face life. Sadly, we have followed this path for too long and it has become a cultural tragedy.

Too many of us have cultivated a kind of twisted pride in cynicism. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “We have confined ourselves to criticism of the way others do what we ourselves dare not even attempt”. This cynical attitude is the basis of the blame-game we play in our society. To climb out of the hole we have dug for ourselves, we need to do more than criticising.

We need to stop the blame-game and instead play a positive role in reinvigorating our society. We need a collective leadership strategy. And we need to be open-minded and more objective in our talks and actions. History has taught us that when we face crisis open-mindedly, the impossible suddenly seems possible. And “what appears to be nasty, painful or evil can become a source of beauty, joy and strength”. That is the reset button we need, and that is what we need to do starting right now.

Like every unexpected brush with crisis, our present situation has thrust into our lap a need to account for our actions and inactions; for who we are and who we desire to become; what we stand for; what we have done for our nation; and how we desire posterity to remember us. All in all, we are faced with the elemental question of citizenship. Let us start first by listening to and learning from a wide array of voices, so that we can develop a sustainable development strategy. Thus, instead of looking only in the old halls of power that we are used to, let us also consider the other places we rarely look.

The way to reset is by learning to build consensus and strengthen our cooperation in the interests of our nation. The crisis we are in is not selective. Irrespective of who caused it and who did not, it is eating away our souls. In the present state, we must all join forces to stop it in its tracks and help shape the future. We have to become real citizens instead of spectators. And we must grow in activism by giving ourselves fully to what our national pledge entreats of us – “a promise on our honour to be faithful and loyal to Ghana” and not to our political affiliations. We are called to exercise humility, justice, compassion and mercy, and to be innovators of solutions in the midst of crisis. By exercising these principles in decision-making, we grow “to uphold the good name of our nation”

For those with the vision to see it, every moment is a golden one – especially in these dire times. Citizenship is the common call for all of us, but how we live out this call concretely is dependent on our willingness to contribute toward making our nation great and strong. If we are diligent in our civic duty and act according to the values of ‘freedom and justice’, we will become good citizens and defend the cause of freedom and right.

We do not need to hold office to do that. But if we take our citizenship seriously and live for the greater glory of God and service of our fellow citizens, we can become great individuals. We must remember that to be a Ghanaian is to share in the upholding of its good name. Let us be inspired by the toil of our fathers as we strive to overcome this crisis…


Kodwo Brumpon is a partner at Brumpon & Kobla Ltd, a forward-thinking Pan African management consultancy and social impact firm driven by data analytics, with a focus on understanding the extraordinary potential and needs of organisations and businesses to help them cultivate synergies that catapult them into their strategic growth and certify their sustainability.

Comments, suggestions and requests for talks and training should be sent to him at kodwo@brumponand

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