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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Columnist: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

My message for this festive season: Rewind your memory archive and be generous (Part 1)

The streets of Accra during festive season The streets of Accra during festive season

'Success' has little to do with out-earning and out-spending those around us. It's the ability to remember those who have helped us along our journey. Yes, it's also the ability to develop an interest in a CAUSE which is bigger than us; that can also outlive us. For our positions in life is a direct result of someone’s effort. So now that we have found our bearings we should think of our villages, towns, neighbourhoods and those who gave us the ladder.

With that, I’d like to urge you to be a little generous in this festive season. What would it feel like to be a blessing to someone in this season when we're practically on a borrowed time --literally? It takes intentionality and a mindset of abundance to want to be the one who gives. But, that will open doors of opportunity that most people will never experience.

Unfortunately, many people assume that they'll be generous as soon as they get pretty wealthy or when they hit a lottery jackpot or paid off all their bills, the retirement account is fully funded and the kids' college funds are in place. But, giving first may in fact, be the door opener to wealth. For our potential for wealth is not shown in our bank accounts, as much as in our hearts and actions.

While we're at it, don't forget your parents, teachers, well-meaning strangers, family members, friends, good Samaritans, neighbours and spouses; who had played meaningful roles to shape your current status in life.

With all that firmly planted, you have to stop trumpeting that you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps, therefore you don't owe anyone a thing. In effect, someone had to provide you with the boot. So do not forget that your position in life right now is not your own making or fortitude. Stop beating your chest loudly and patting yourself on the back repeatedly because it's not your own effort that made you who you are today.

Our positions in life are covertly or overtly shaped as a result of special favours we had from other people. Had it not been for those countless individuals, whose names we have conveniently and deliberately tucked in our short-term memory archives, our paths in life would have been atrocious or difficult and different.

Seriously, there is no soul on this troubled planet who can't remember the name of at least one person, who has played an unparalleled role in his /her life--provided one doesn't have self-induced amnesia or selective memory. Sadly, one's good deed is usually written in the sand to make it easier for the wind to blow it away faster. Whereas a bad deed is engraved in the rock to preserve its longevity and historical facts.