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Opinions of Sunday, 22 April 2007

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

A politician's Last day on earth

A POLITICIAN’S LAST day : Forget the houses you bought under your brother’s name.

……Something to Ponder!

I have some questions for our Politicians. These questions have nothing to do with the scandals or Mr. from –Grace- to- Grass Amoateng. They are not even about the bad publicity surrounding the proposed $ 25 million loan to restructure the Parliamentary services. Quick! If you (as a politician) had just one day to spend on this earth, what would you do to make your mark on the Ghanaian political landscape? What would your constituency remember? How many children did your selfless actions hurt, or lack of injure as well?

Close your eyes and look back over the years. Now, as you look back from the day you entered politics to today (your last day on earth) ask yourself the following questions: A) What did I do with life given to me? b) What was the significant action taken during my political career? c) What qualities of leadership did I exhibit? d) How did the average, hard -working Ghanaian benefit from my time in office? e) What are my most significant accomplishments (if any) while in office? f) Did I go into politics as means to further my career or was I in it for the long haul, to help those who couldn’t help themselves, and better my country? G) Did I help anyone without expecting anything in return? Any regrets? C’mon, I’m sure there were plenty, admit it... What would you have done differently? Did you have the - end-justifies- the- means- mentality? Did your name ring a bell in the people’s emotional archives or it renewed their old wounds ? What is the most important thing you did that you think your country is going to miss most about your leadership? What‘s the most single quality, about your life and career that you hoped to pass on to your children? What would your eulogy be? Is there anything you want to add, before your time is over? Hurry up, you don’t have much time to spare .You had your chance for all those years, but you blew them all: The unpaid car loan, personal loans you didn’t intend to pay back and all the houses you bought in your brother’s name.

Anyone can build a reputation for one’s self. A reputation can be good or bad, but in the end it’s still just a reputation. So the question is which one did you build? There are so many ways for a person to leave his or her mark on society, which will build or destroy an individual’s reputation. .An armed robber makes a name by who he steals from and threatens. A school bully makes his name by how many kids he can terrorize. A poor farmer in the village can build his reputation by how he treats strangers, and how he deals with customers in the market place. A good reputation always out lives its creator. In other words, one’s good deeds live on even when the person is long gone. So as a politician what kind of reputation do you want to leave behind? A person who only helped those when it was an election year? Did you actually help those who asked for it? Are people going to remember your name with kindness, or will your name be just another, linked with misdeeds and corruption? Were you a different kind of a politician who stood out of the crowd? Did the vote that people cast for you actually matter, and help make a difference? Are you sure you’re leaving your office and community in better hands than when you took the position? Were you part of the problems affecting Ghana, or did you become part of the solution that help Ghana grown and its people prosper? How will history judge you, if at all? Hurry! You only have five minutes to say farewell to your loved ones, fellow MPs, Ministers and your conscience.

Very thought-provoking questions, huh? Well, I did not make them up.

Anyone to take this? I’m staying tuned to hear your answers. I’m standing by my e-mail. Let them flow.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi
* The writer’s a social commentator, chairman of Asuom Youth Club (AYC), founder of Adu-Gyamfi Youth Empowerment, educational and apprenticeship programs for Youth of Asuom

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