“Although the snake does not fly, it has caught the hornbill, whose home is in the sky.” – African proverb
The biggest headache in our country is that many of us are more partisan than patriotic. Thus, we have no common enemy and no vision to focus on. Instead, we are each other’s enemy; constantly disagreeing vehemently and vocally about where our country needs to go. And the greater part of our energies is exerted on shouting ourselves hoarse with the manipulative slogans our political parties intellectualise to sway voters. Unquestionably, this attitude is leading us nowhere, and the populace is becoming fed-up with what they perceive to be partisan bickering instead of patriotic conversations.
We have cultured a democracy that is premised on partisan politics rather than on patriotism. It is not surprising we have no legitimate aspirations as a nation. Every issue or policy is tackled from a partisan view, to the point where we cannot do what is right and just. The political landscape is fraught with too many personal attacks that have nothing to do with the serious issues which confront our nation. Every debate gets lost in slurs and accusations of closed-mindedness. We have lost the vibrancy of discussions that democracy promotes; so much so that challenging the status quo and its assumptions is even perceived as hostility.
Our partisan attitude is suffocating our democracy. We are sacrificing the good that was supposed to lift our society for the sake of individuals and groups we like. We are just emotional about politics. But do we want to physically sell our nation into slavery before we wake up? What do we tell our children when they talk about their future?
Do we want to be classed as the generation that ruined the Motherland, and as a result had to sell its offspring back into slavery? Because that will be the logical end of our current emotional political attitude. There are not enough individuals making sacrifices for our nation, and it is more heart-breaking now than ever before. With so many things going wrong in our nation, we are at a tipping point; and it is either we save ourselves and the future of our children or risk fading from the memory of history.
It is a make-or-break time, and we all must play our part. Right now, the best course of action is for us to really assess our attitudes and think about the words and actions that come from them. We need to determine whether we are causing harm or contributing to good. Are others suffering because of our actions and inactions, or have lives been made better as a result of our presence and existence? There is no ready-made answer, but the good news is there are hundreds of plausible solutions that can reset our nation. Let us explore as many as we can. And let us act on the best among them.
All things being equal, we can reverse our challenges – but it will take you and me making conscious choices. We cannot just sit and expect change to come when daily we are stuck in our partisan mentality. The amount of damage we do with that attitude is beyond words. Sadly, there is a set of individuals who assume because they can afford whatever they want they do not need to care about the state of the nation.
Not only is that attitude indicative of a rational despair which is hewn from not believing in the power of truth, goodness and beauty, but it also displays an unwillingness to pay back all the favours life has heaped on them. Before you start rationalising a defence, please understand that there is no self-made person… none. All of us have had chances and gifts bestowed upon us from the experiences of life. Your unwillingness to improve and make life better is a testament of your ingratitude and selfishness, to say the least.
To assume we can dig ourselves out of the pit we have fallen into with the same attitude that brought the challenges upon us is insanity. We need to start doing things differently from what we are used to. We need to innovate and call out for more ideas. We all know individuals with ideas and ideals; let’s push them to the forefront. Let’s work with them to generate solutions for our nation. All of us must take steps to improve the status quo. Let’s tackle our patriotic challenges with patriotic solutions. We need to change the theme of our conversations. They should be centred on cultivating a deep love for the nation, instead of hurling insults at each other.
Life gives us so much every day. Now is the time for us to give back a little of the blessings heaped upon us. The choice is really yours, and that is very powerful. There are really so many solutions which can be implemented if we remove our partisan lenses. The ball is in our court. The talk-time was over yesterday. Now it is time for action. Our nation will bounce back if you want it to. It’s not too late to get it back on track. We know what we have to do, so let us for once act bravely and allow our hearts and minds to shape how we act – instead of our stomachs!
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 which catapult them into strategic growth and certify their sustainability.
Comments, suggestions, and requests for talks and training should be sent to him at [email protected] kobla.com