Opinion

United we stand, divided we fall

22 January 2009 at 03:24 | 1071 views

By Moses Achi Juana Jr., Texas, USA.

Since President Ernest Koroma came to power just a year ago he has been speaking of change and Attitude but the American elections have taught us what really President Koroma has been talking about when people of different skin color, no matter their political affiliation rise above what divide them to their common goal.

Readers, you will be seeing some comparison here between the President elect and our own dear President H.E Ernest Bai Koroma.

“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” (George B. Shaw). Again, let me bring in my man Brian Souza, the author, who once said that “Change confounds us. On the other hand, we know rationally that it’s a natural part of growth. On the other we find it emotionally hard even painful at times to embrace.”

Sierra Leoneans, I don’t think this is a new thing to us because just over a year ago pundits and critics gave no chance to the All Peoples Congress party. Many believed some of the woes that we were going through were most likely brought on us by then the APC or Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, an insurance broker. Not many people initially thought he would win the election in Sierra Leone.

Again, we saw this at play at the just concluded U.S election, where I can say maybe a hundred years ago no one would have believed that the day will come to pass when a BLACK MAN whose dad originated from Kenya will get to a place(White House)which, even by its name, was prohibited to a black man.

This is what change is all about: the impossible becoming possible. Let me borrow Barack Obama’s own words: “We knew how steep our climb would be. But I also knew this. I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallness of our politics. I believed that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe were hungry for new ideas, new leadership, and a new kind of politics - one that favors common sense over ideology; one that focuses on those values and ideals we hold in common as Americans."

Here I am, with the view that Sierra Leoneans knew a little bit about change when Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma took his rightful place at State House amidst the past of the party, as an opposition with less resources, and in a situation in which certain places in the country were forbidden for him to go but one thing that I am proud of is that Sierra Leoneans knew that one thing that will take us forward is to CHANGE our perceptions.

Having said the above, some people would be wondering what am I trying to drive home. As much as we have accepted change, will we be able to work on it? The Bible says that in a nation without vision the people perish. Because President Ernest Bai Koroma had the dream (vision) to get to State House, he is there and Barack has ended up in the White House, a place,which not too long ago, it would have been suicidal for a Black man to walk across not talking about entering the premises(White House).

But what does Faith, Vision and Change have in common? WORK? The Holy Bible says that “even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead be alone” (James 2:17 king James version).

Your belief system is your blueprint of how you build your lifestyle. Well, one may say LUCK but hear what James Thurber said: “The harder I work, the luckier I get there.” And as we are driving on this road, vision, I believe, is something that you can not take away from faith. Whereas a person with clear purpose will make progress on even the roughest road and as I smile with no purpose even on the smoothest road there will be no progress. So what have we learnt from the connection? When we Plan (vision), believe (faith) and put it at work the inevitable happens: CHANGE which is the constant thing in life takes place.

President Ernest Bai Koroma ascended to the seat of power on the platform of change which the people accepted but what are we doing as a people for the president’s dream to be actualized? When talking about change there are two forces at play: the repelling forces (fear & pain) and attracting forces (desire & pleasure). Many people have attacked the President’s personality on this platform of “CHANGE” but he relentlessly continues to talk about change. This is where we see the forces of change at play.

Fear and pain nonetheless protect us from physical harm and it is because of that one will not drive carelessly on Mount Aureol and Signal Hill in Freetown or else you will end down one of those hills. Apart from that whatever makes us harm ourselves is evil. These two things keep us from reaching our ultimate goals. Which always make us to been seen as underdogs, taking away our confidence and making us feel inferior.

In the case of Barack, the community organizer, the inexperienced Senator, the young man and above all Black Man, nothing kept this determined man away from crossing the finish line. Sometimes our fear and pain tell us we are poor(Sierra Leoneans), that we cannot reach the level of countries like South Africa or Libya. Sometimes we say to ourselves how can it be that I am the only Sierra Leonean in the midst of educated or rich people here? These thoughts only bring to us negative experiences and the these forces make things so big we start to think about safety and security.

On the other hand, what can we say about Desire and Pleasure? Those are things that pull us forward according to Brian Souza: ” They attract all that is good in life - opportunity, happiness and personal growth. They help us to see things as the truly are, they enlarge our lives, strengthen us, and make us feel good about ourselves and also help us to uncover our gift and give our life meaning and purpose”.

These are the forces that will tell us, YES WE CAN, as Sierra Leoneans. Yes, we can reach our millennium development goals, whether you are from the East, or West, North or South of the country; these forces remind us that the sky is our limit.

Most interestly, these two forces can be formed in the same place: our thinking faculty: “As long as we control our thought and do not allow our thought to control us we control our destiny” (Brian Souza).

Sierra Leoneans, if we can control our thoughts we will be able to rise above what put us apart, and pay attention to that which united us to work together to bring the change that our President is talking about.

One thing that I believe, we all love our country, that’s why we all attempt to bring up solutions but while doing that we should stop attacking each other on the internet because as a people, United we Stand, divided we Fall.

Remember this: A family that eats together and prays together and in my own version the people that think together bring change. The law of cause and effect says that if you do what other successful people (Nations) do, you will eventually get the results that other successful people (Nations) get.

And if you don’t, you won’t. Let us have it at the back of our minds that nobody is better than us or smarter than us so let us join the President who said months ago that we should forget about politicking now as there will be no election until 2012 and focus on development.

We as a people need to be involved to bring about change. Hear this from the new President elect of the United States President Barack Obama:

“Not just in my ability to bring about change in Washington....... I’m asking you to believe in yours.”

He also went on to say that “The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there”.

Sierra Leoneans, I would like us us to learn from the great leader of change; if a great nation like America cannot get there in one year or even in a term but believe they can get there, let us believe that some day we will get to where President Ernest Koroma want us to be.

As a family and the President the head of the family, let us rally around and give him the support that he needs so as to make the head of the family’s dream a reality for the good of the household called Sierra Leone. A thousand miles begin with a step. Let us come together and stop attacking each other on the internet or any other media, using language that will not take us anywhere but back to where we came from (10 years of destruction and backwardness).

As I walk away from my computer at about 2a.m in the morning, I want to leave you with these questions:

1. What single change would you make that would have positive impact on Sierra Leone?

2. What pain will persist to be on all Sierra Leoneans regardless of where or what tribe they are from, if you don’t make this change and what pleasure will come to Sierra Leone if you do make this change?

God bless the Land that we Love Sierra Leone, and God bless the people of Sierra Leone no matter where you are in this world.

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