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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Columnist: Gyan, Eric

The Power Of Appreciaton, Kudos To John Agyekum Kufuor

“A nation which does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for.” I may not know all the factors which have retarded the growth of the economy but certainly the country’s ingratitude to those who deserve appreciation and commendation is one of such factors.

Ghanaians are quick to castigate individuals and the various organizations for perceived wrongs at the least opportunity. But hardly do we show appreciation for a good work done. This attitude reflects the old couplet ‘Once I did bad that I heard twice. Twice I did good that I heard never’.

We may not know the magic appreciation works, until we attenuate the culture of hunting for people’s mistakes for their vitriol. The government has recognized the power in appreciation by once again honouring 78 prominent persons for their distinguished and meritorious services to the nation.

This appreciation will place a high demand on them to even work beyond what human frailties can go to justify the awards they received. Also, it will encourage others who are serving in various capacities to live up to expectation in order to merit such enviable commendation from the government .Furthermore, the youth who are the future leaders are encouraged and motivated by this act of appreciation to sacrifice their time, energy, knowledge and resources at the mean altar of the nation being assured of the fact that their names and services to the nation will not be consigned to oblivion. Moreover, the crescendo of selflessness and dedication will seize the hearts of patriotic citizens to continue the sacrificial work by our forefathers, who for the sake and love for the nation risked their lives. It is in this light that the culture of appreciating the heroes and heroines of this nation must be given the necessary bolster by various organizations and individuals in cash and in kind.

I hope this appreciation by the government will go beyond political patronage to include all individuals who deserve to be honoured. The government should also expand the awards to include organizations and institutions whose tremendous contributions towards the development of the nation cannot be overlooked.

We are all called upon as; individuals, organizations, departments and institutions to emulate this good example of the government by awarding people for their immense contributions.

Also, the major political parties must learn a clue from this example since the tide of political leadership can change from one party or government to another. NPP supporters should not turn blind eyes on the good works done by the NDC government; instead they should appreciate the NDC government for promoting our young democracy by handing over power to them in a peaceful manner, among other things .On the other hand, NDC supporters must appreciate the NPP government for the policies that promote the welfare of all Ghanaians and to constructively criticize the government in the spirit of national development. We must reckon that individuals and governments have their own weaknesses. Therefore, we must not only point out their weaknesses, but also their good works. What is so disheartening is to be criticized always and never received any commendation despite all the sacrifices made. This is painful because human beings by nature like to be appreciated more than to be criticized. It is this craving that we must capitalize on to move our nation forward .Who knows! Perhaps our readiness to criticise others at the least chance and unwillingness to appreciate them for their merits is the cause of our underdevelopment as a nation. We must understand that if constructive criticisms can do, deserved appreciation can do even better.

It is against this background that the President and the government must be commended for instituting the national awards day.

Gyan Eric
Department of Religious Studies University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast

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