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Opinions of Thursday, 15 October 2015

Columnist: Akwah, Nana

When The Power Is Gone, All That Remains Is Your Deeds

It is not worrying and challenging that people are not honest; rather what is worrying and challenging is that insincere people pretend to be sincere and in doing so, mislead and deceive the other.
That’s my bone of contention. I would rather meet a person who is not likable and who does not feel any burden to act likable towards me; than to have the nuisance and uneasiness of knowing people who feel like, they need to be civil and gentle, so they will appear to be good people, at the same time possessing none of those qualities within themselves! It is the latter that causes the pain in life.
Oftentimes we get deceived, and I would rather not be deceived! I’d rather be able to see a person for who he or she is; and not judge a brute for being a brute, but avoid the brute that carries the burden of acting like a wonderful one!
“Definitely I’m really looking forward to that day when he leaves office and whether he can enjoy or get pleasure from what he has helped to destroy.”
Oh, sorry, ready to step in someone might suppose that I was referring to someone in Ghana indirectly, yes. However, I was in actual fact relating to the former President George W. Bush who served two terms as the President of the United States of America.
It is a known fact George Bush left behind America that was engrossed in crisis. This is the very troubled country to which he had to go back to as a normal citizen and civilian for what's left of his life.
No one should doubt it, that life is challenging for him in a country where thousands have lost their jobs, are unable to find any form of employment and are facing hard times.
The stark reality is that, the moments after he had gone back to his home State, they turned their noses up at him in his face, the once powerful Commander in Chief. Well, not just so, but rather at a figurine at which boots were pelted in bidding farewell to the former Commander in Chief.
The message and good word that the next occupant of the office, Barack Obama, gave to those leaders around the world who lay blame on America for their problems, could equally be applied to his homeland and to other countries to whom he may not have been referring.
Obama made a claim to the effect that the leaders of those countries ought to be conscious of the fact that, their people will judge them by what they build and not by what they destroy.
George W. Bush went back to civilian life to live in an economy which he helped out to destroy; he has gone back to muse on a world that he left unfriendly and uncaring; and in a ruined state, all as a result of his ill-advised military expeditions into Iraq and Afghanistan and his ill-considered Middle East policy.
Bush, still however has the succor of living through that, as there is still a sectional of the American population, a sizeable number, who are of the opinion that, his policies were as it should be and will offer him their support. Though he might be enjoying lots of benefits and status and will have an in-group of friends to whom he can turn. In all these he is still concerned about the past.
In contrast, what about politicians in small social environment like Ghana, who when they depart from or quit office have little to look forward to? Without doubt, many of these politicians have found that the return to civilian life is like without a friend in the world and walked out on, and often they are disregarded in the streets of Ghana.
In our own country, we have seen how the mighty have fallen and been left isolated by their supporters and friends upon losing power.
We have an instance of once powerful figured, Jerry John Rawlings stripped of all power in a Party he helped established and referred to as a “Barking Dog”. When the power is gone all that remains is your deeds! I have seen an instance of one powerful figure in the Kufuour administration being stripped of all power and being forced on one occasion to have to run out of this country.
I have seen political leaders when they are in power being surrounded by friends and well wishers that would do anything to retain the friendship of these leaders. But when these leaders no longer have power, I have seen their friends cease to exist like ninjas.
When you are on top of the world, the whole world knows you. When your power ebbs then and then is when you know your true friends. There will be many who will court your friendship when you have power, but when your power is gone, they too will disappear and if pressured they will sing like a canary.
We easily forget that true friends are hard to find. Too much friendship is rooted in self-interest, not itself a bad thing, but this particular kind of friendships do not last, and often disappear after the interests would have been satisfied.
This is why I always encourage those with power to choose your friends carefully and treat everyone with kindness. But more than ever, do not against your will make enemies; do not trample upon the rights of others; do not treat people with indifference and show of contempt; do not be unethical toward anyone, for the reason that, one day you too shall have to return to civilian life. And, above all in small societies like ours, the powerful who find themselves powerless often end up being helpless and lonely.
I have known many a person in Ghana who used to walk the streets with an air of pomp and superiority. I have seen many of them run away from Ghana because they could not face what they did to this country and the many persons whom they treated unjustly.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” —2nd Corinthians 5:10
Please notice in the above Scripture the phrase, “whether it be good OR BAD.” Many believers have the ignorant belief that Jesus will simply reward us for the good we do in life, but not mention the bad. This misconception comes from a misunderstanding about Biblical justice. “Justice” is often symbolized by a scale. Before we were saved, our sins weighed down heavily upon one end of the scale and we were found guilty. The Word of God indicts (brings formal charges against) mankind (Romans 3:19). Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
So do good, build and not destroy, we should learn to let off rather than haul over the coals, be non-discriminatory and selfless. Cast not frivolous innuendos and insinuations, and a show of self-promotion. If you do these things, the world to which you return when you retire will be a better place because you would have helped to make it so.