On building a great nation
“Do not allow the belly to make you useless.” – Maasai Proverb
We can make our nation great and strong if we really desire to. Not only is this statement true, but it also holds a lot of weight. We live in a society that is far from greatness. Not only is there a lot of poverty, but there is so much pain, suffering and corruption around us that more often than not hope even dries-up in the hearts of the most optimistic. Sadly, we have found ourselves in this mess because many of us have cloaked ourselves with the cynic’s attitude. We are always pointing fingers and singing the chorus that “the system is so broken that attempts to change it from the edges are futile”.
The good news is that cynics have never built anything in the history of our humanity, and more importantly they do not control the future. Cynics are a distraction. They always sap our energies because they make us assume it is a lot easier to think we are powerless and that there is not much we can do to make things better. Not only are they wrong, but we should not allow their pessimistic utterances to deter us from striving for a better society.
Building a prosperous nation will take a good effort and lots of commitment from most of us, if not all of us. That task must first start with us. We must look deep within ourselves and reflect on our actions and attitudes. And we must understand that we cannot simply task others to do the work while we sit in the stands like spectators at a sports event. Nation-building demands all of us playing a part to carve a future for ourselves. It requires that we focus our energies on daring to dream on timescales beyond their own lifetimes, and actually taking steps to make that dream a reality.
The truth is we have got to be responsible for our nation if we want to see it flourish. As Winston Churchill puts it, “The price of greatness is responsibility”. It is not going to be easy, but we must start somewhere. We must start with holding ourselves accountable. We need to appreciate that we have the power to create change, but too often we are more concerned with our partisan interests rather than the interests of whole. That attitude should change. In the past, instead of helping to build our nation we cultivated jaundiced views to justify our inactions. And we exhibited an enervating apathy about our society and other people, coupling it with an unwillingness to listen and empathise with those who were unlike us. That attitude is the reason the rot has caught up with us all.
The rainy season we thought we could escape from has caught us here, and the remedy is for us to work to break down the barriers we erected around ourselves and the ones that divided us. It has been easy to focus on our differences, but if we truly desire to build our nation we must learn to celebrate our similarities. There is a reason God made us stakeholders of this nation. We are all human, and we all share the same basic needs and desires. And we all want to be loved, respected and valued. Why then do we work against each other?
It is only by coming together and working toward the common goal of building a prosperous nation that we can hope to create a lasting change. We are all connected, and our actions and choices have an impact not just on ourselves but on everyone and on our nation. To this end, let us learn to listen to each other; let us seek to understand each other and to support each other. We must learn to put aside our differences and work toward a brighter future for all. We must advocate for change by speaking out against every kind of injustice, and we must support those who are working toward a better future. And we must also be mindful of our impact on the environment.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face as a nation. But we must remember that we are not alone. There are countless individuals and organisations around the world who would work tirelessly to support us if we would take the initiative. That’s why it is important never to give up on ourselves, and never to stop working at improving our status quo. We must believe that change is possible even in these dark times. We must have faith in ourselves and in each other, and never lose sight of the wonderfulness that still exists in our humanity.
The time to build a great and strong nation is now. So let us take the first step – not just with our words, but also with our actions. Let us be the change we wish to see in our nation, and let us inspire others to join us on this journey. Let us spread love and happiness wherever we go. And then, together, we can make Ghana prosperous and a wonderful place to live…
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 synergy that catapults them into their strategic growth and certify their sustainability.
Comments, suggestions and requests for talks and training should be sent to him at [email protected] kobla.com