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Opinions of Sunday, 16 December 2012

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

Our Reflections In A Cracked Mirror.

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SOME PEOPLE WON’T BE HAPPY ABOUT THIS ONE. THE 2012 ELCTIONS ARE OVER. Now what is next? You can’t change the election result, but you can change your personal responsibilities.
Are you as screwed up and naïve as the media and politicians make you out to be? Impossible—otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this piece. But if you were to judge Ghanaian society solely by what you read from the press or see on TV and what you hear from the Politicians ,you’d assume that there are only two kinds of people in the country—the smart politicians and dumb voters.
It’s the most simple-minded social analysis imaginable, but it’s how we see ourselves portrayed every day. It’s no wonder that some of our soft-headed citizens buy into that so completely. The rest of us just soak it up, mute with bewilderment –or we get loud with rage and agitation.
The 2012 elections are over. Of course, some folks are happy with the way things turned out and some are not happy at all.
However, it doesn’t matter how you feel about the result. Why... ? Because the elections are over! It’s behind us. You can’t change the results….whining, pissing -off, moaning and cursing won’t change a thing. Analyzing what went wrong won’t do much for you either. And, posting negative comments on Faceboook or sending derogatory text messages certainly isn’t going to help you or Ghana.
In short, it’s time to stop focusing on the election and all of its painful or joyful experiences. It’s now time to look for what you can do today for yourself and your family, so that you can prepare better for tomorrow. Doing something meaningful and better today will help you prepare yourself for any future opportunities.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, as I fully understand why you would be upset over the results. But, calling someone stupid or idiot simply because he doesn’t agree with your party’s politics is not going to help you in any shape or form.
Today is new. You’re responsible for your life, not President-elect John Mahama. When you design a life of your own creation that is greatly unaffected by whomever the political leaders are, you will be much happier with the result of the election. You get too pissed –off because your livelihood depends on it---that is not a great way to plan for the future.
Here are the real things you can change, including yourself:
Personal responsibilities:
Move on. Staying stuck in the election mode, whether or not your candidate won is pointless. It will only take up your useful energy that you could use for more productive and meaningful activities to better yourself.
Change Yourself, Not the politicians:
We have a new day so change yourself. Remember, changing politicians or governments comes about every four years. But we can change the government or the politicians if we change our perspectives. There is a need to fix ourselves first so as to elect the right people. The kinds of governments or politicians we elect are reflections of us as individuals. Case in point: The Kwaebibiriem MP has been winning every election since 2000, but people complain he doesn’t do a damn thing for the constituency. The question is what prevents the voters from voting him out? Lack of integrity is the problem here. We need the right people doing the right thing every day in order for things in our society to change. We need integrity and commitment to affect change.
Take care of yourself:
Stop expecting the government to come to your rescue, Yes, I know that some of the voters do expect some form of government handouts but, I hope you’re not one of them. Become self-reliant and self-sufficient .That means rely on your SELF. Your future is up to you and you alone; not your government, your company, your party, your uncles or cousins— Just you. Take control; of your life and take care of yourself. Turn off your cell phone and get off from Facebook and read one hour a day. You will see the difference that will make in your life.
Get Your Finances in Order:
Try as much as possible to live within your means. If you do that you won’t be so tempted to get bribes to fix your financial leaking faucet. So try as much as possible to stash as much cash as you possibly can. Emergencies happen and most people are not prepared financially for that. The country is living on borrowed money so now the citizens are living on loans from rural banks and Susu Micro-finance institutions; these are loans they can’t pay or have no intention to repay. And once you have financial problems you can easily get agitated.
Prepare For Emergencies:
We have seen just how long it takes the government to respond in a disaster. Does Melcom’s disaster ring a bell? The ambulance and rescue team couldn’t get there quickly enough to help everyone. There are not enough resources to go around when it comes to disaster rescue missions. So you have to be careful how you go about your life. Be aware of your environment when you’re in public places like the bank, market or store. Robbery, fire, or any disaster can occur when you least expected it, and you don’t want to be a victim because you can’t depend on our legal system to protect you-- it’s screwed up. The Public Safety machinery is also lousy and our other social institutions?.... Gee, please don’t get me started! All that I’m saying is, be able to protect yourself, your family and your mind. This is not a sign of abnormal fear of anything or craziness —this is a sign of common sense!
Spend quality Time with Other People :If you had the privilege to grow up in an affluent home, try to spend time with “ordinary” people and learn more about life and what poor people go through every day. If you’re a boss of your company treat your subordinates like your valued customers. Employees who feel valued at work tend to remain honest and devoted to the company’s bottomline. On the other hand, if employees don’t feel that they are paid what they are worth, they are often tempted to make up the difference directly from the cash register or by moving the company’s merchandise out the back door .Or cook –up the accounting books. Remember, happy workers make good products and provide better services.
When you are fortunate to have a job, you have to do a good job. When you’re known as the person who is always working when you’re at work, it’s called “job security”. You don’t have to like, love or enjoy your job, but you need to appreciate it and do what you’re paid to do. Don’t pick on your customers if you hate your job. Customers’ needs are the reasons why you’re hired. If you need your job you better treat your customers right. And stop goofing –off !.
Stay Optimistic:
Interestingly, every meeting in this country starts with prayers but, after that we lie to our neighbors and come up with cockamamie schemes to dupe our victims. There is too much mistrust in the system but, don’t give up so easily.
What goes up comes down. In other words things change. We’re a resilient people. We will survive all of that and more. Yes, it might look much different on the other side than it does now, but that is probably a good thing. If you’re prepared, open to change, responsible, know how to recognize opportunities and seize the moment, and are willing to work hard and committed to the principles of integrity and honesty, you’ll be just fine. Trust me you will be fine, even if your party is not in power.
You may be comforted to know that John Mahama’s win is not going to be the end of things .It is the beginning of a new day for all of us so don’t sweat it. Seize on it and plan your life.
Yes I know I’m just a dreamer. And, you might even think I’m smoking something and perhaps that has gotten hold of my senses again—far from that but,that goes with the territory when one is devoted to the progress of Ghana. However, why should I spend my precious time worrying about things that I can’t control? Life is too short to sweat about little stuff.
Did I raffle enough cages yet? If you have issues with what I have said prove me wrong. Fair? It seems so me!
Got it?
Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (Voice of Reason)
*The author is social commentator.

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