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Opinions of Sunday, 21 July 2013

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

The Average Ghanaian Loves To Take The Easy Way Out.

Voice of Reason: The Average Ghanaian Loves To Take The Easy Way Out.

This is what is wrong with most of us: We love to take the easier- way -out just to beat the system and acquire many toys and mansions .

No, you don’t have to be a fortune- teller. You can’t see into the mind of an average Ghanaian. And you don’t need to know his history, college degree, or family background. All you need to do is spend a day with him, listen to what he says and watch what he does. His words and actions are going to tell you where his head and heart are .It’s most likely that his mind and heart are programmed to take the easy road all the time.

We embrace wickedness and trailer trash our value system, all the while claiming to be God –fearing people as we gleefully break every part of the biblical commandments---onward Christian soldiers we’re marching on to immorality. The prospects are indeed dim that we’ll change any time soon. You’re mad, aren’t you? Well, I don’t really care how many times I’m going to pluck your fragile heartstrings and ego in this piece. So grow up and whet your appetite! Yes, I know I have lost some of you already, haven’t I? The overly –sensitive folks out there may have their blood pressure soar about this piece. Now, before some of you go ballistic and start blowing your brain gasket or write tacky comments, you have to understand my statements apply to majority of Ghanaians, most of the time. They’re generalizations that are perfect for 99.9percent of the population for 99.9 percent of the time---yours truly included. There are a FEW exceptions and you may have one. I get it!! So retract the claws and take a chill pill.

Yes, I understand that things are tough and times are hard—but there will always be people looking for the easy road to success regardless of their socio-economic status, education, and income or family background.

The average Ghanaians, (especially the new generations) are looking for redemption; for a cause that validates their very existence. They want family and strong sense of community, but they may accomplish that desire through a social network; where there is never any physical contact or presence. Yes, they want to make a sustaining impact on the world and in their communities, but they resist the methods of traditional well-rounded knowledge of culture, business and strategies needed .Yes, they want to be educated, but they don’t have the time or patience to sit in a traditional classroom chair for years. In essence, they want to take the easy road to accomplish their goals and success with no sweat.

Unfortunately, the sad part is that most of us don’t know that if we take the easy way out all the time we’re practically living a life which is too SMALL. We can’t live large life if we want to take the easy way out –period!

Yes, we’ve a sickness in our society; if you say that someone is successful it’s automatically imply that the person has a lot of money. However, living large life doesn’t necessarily mean a bigger salary, mansions at East Legon, cars, or retirement fund. It has nothing to do with fancy vacations or latest fashions. Rather, it means having a life that is full of meaning and purpose and that can occur---or be absent—at any place of the traditional parameters of success .In fact, I have seen and read about millionaires who are living life “Small” and those with scarce financial resources who are living life “Large”.

Repeat after me: If you aren’t sweating, you’re probably doing it wrong. And, in order to be able to live LARGE and stop looking for easy way out we have to be extraordinary Ghanaians; not average.

“How can you say that”? Please don’t get me started!!

Look, there are 275 MPs in the Parliament from different political parties and different backgrounds. The question is: How many souls in the House who are not devoid of humility, humanity and agility and able to stand up with guts and be counted for decency, thoughtfulness and prudence and not put politics above everything else? Who are there for the interest of the nation and the people who voted for them? Ghana is desperately craving for real heroes and heroines to lead her into the socio-economic Promised Land, but where are they? I rest my case!!

This is just a warm- up so don’t go anywhere!

Let me tell you, one doesn’t come to self-centeredness, apathy or crime or corruption by the tyranny of fate or circumstance, but by the pathway of groveling thoughts and base desires. Nor does a pure-minded person fall suddenly into crime or thoughtlessness by stress of any mere external force; the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power. No such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations, or ascending into virtue and its pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations.

Many people take the easy- way- out because they feel good about it but tell themselves they don’t have the time to take the other road. They resort to sakawa and magic oils, but, we all know very well that the road to success is bumpy and uphill. That is the way life is. Again, if you’re not sweating you’re probably doing it wrong.

On top of all that and our sense- of- entitlement syndrome, we have also developed pathetic- whining disorder because we have convinced ourselves that we deserve everything. But, when work is involved we can’t be bothered. The funny thing is that those who complain the loudest about not having an opportunity in life are usually the ones who have no idea what they really want and where they’re going.

How many hours a week do you spend in quiet contemplation? The average Ghanaians (politicians included) don’t read a non-fiction book after graduating from High School. An average Ghanaian is always busy hatching up plans to dupe someone or the system. An Average Ghanaian spends nearly six hours a day watching television or being on the face-book or sending text- messages. An average Ghanaian parent spends only 3.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. Television has become the baby- sitter in our homes. Am I getting you upset enough yet? Stay with me!

Do I have low opinion of an average Ghanaian? No! But, when a group of people expect less from themselves they tend to transfer the same low -expectations to their government , politicians ,Police personnel, pastors, parents, leaders, policy makers, employers ,employees, hospital attendants and our children’s children .

Sadly, we’re very cheesy on integrity therefore we expect our political and community leaderships to be cheesy on integrity .That’s why we’re never surprised when they screw-up and take us for a joy ride.

I’ll repeat that: Ghanaians have very, very low expectations for themselves and their government, leaders and even their service providers and everything else that is why we always get lousy customer service and drive on accident-prone roads.

Now, ask yourself this question every time you’re tempted to take the easy way out: What did people do before taking -the- easy -way -out options popped up? Once upon a time, before we had the option to look for the easier way out people took responsibilities for their lives and actions, work, finances, health and families. But, now everyone wants the easier way out—wants something for nothing. So we try to skip the rules and Natural Laws and develop self-induced amnesia in the process.

Oh, one more thing: What is your life saying to the world, your country and community? Is it so full of meaningless, self-centered tasks that there is no room left for the things that make a difference and your heart sing? Are you creating the legacy you want and can your loved ones be proud of it when you’re long gone?

Are you mad enough yet? Oh, check out the way we handle our river bodies, natural resources and everything else. Aren’t you proud of Ghana’s accomplishments, degradation and its future prospect?

Yes, I know I’m not always right but I’m rarely wrong on issues. So please stop scratching your head and answer me. Fair? It seems so to me!

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (Voice of Reason) Asuom, Kwaebibirm District.Ghana *The author is a social commentator and the founder of the Adu-Gyamfi Empowerment foundation for Disadvantaged Youth of Asuom.