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01.05.2000 Feature Article

"Ghana Deserves a Constructive Culture"

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Culture should NOT be mistaken for Tradition. One is solid the other "flexible". Culture is the mentality by which societies preserve values and habits that have proven to work and improve life over a long period of time. These values are transmitted from one generation to the next, giving a sense of continuity and having to avoid the mistakes of the past and embodying knowledge that is suitable to that culture in the environment in which it has evolved, while adapting to foreign influence.

Though cultural values are less difficult to change than religious values, they are nonetheless difficult to change and subject to much resistance when there is a need for such a change. Globalization expedites rapid change where there is a need for flexibility-- be it in the economic, social, or political structure of a society-- the more flexible a culture is, the more able this culture is to take advantage and adapt to and adopt inevitable change.

Ghana Case: Time to stop the hand-wringing self-pity of relying on fate and destiny as reasons for inaction, supplemented by the lead-pimps of the culture encouraging such attitudes to preserve the status quo for selfish self-enrichment. It is easy to underappreciate the effect of culture and its values on civil progress. Like the "Otumfuo Fund" this entails challenging the old laid-back values of Great External Expectations(gee!), initiating radical and productive programs, and discarding those attitudes that are harmful to progress and stand in the way of promoting and elevating positive values. This problem must be attacked at the educational level and through the use of media-- be it political, educational or entertainment-- to cause discussions, to educate, and to entertain and create positive images that embody the values that we seek to instill in our society. In plain English, this is one place where positive propaganda can have a dramatic affect on a culture and its view of itself. The USA and Singapore, two extremely different types of political and cultural systems, "overdose" their citizens with "constructive propaganda" and have managed to each Faithfully develop this art in completely different models to a great and successful ends. So a government like ours that is in a developing state and has great control over most of the media and its assets and has used it in the past for political control and intimidation, MUST now take advantage of the Internet to educate and use the same resources and techniques to create that desired and called-for positive image and values for society by showing and reinforcing the values of community, justice, fairness, hard work compensation, reason, innovation, etc. as the values that Ghanaians should acquire and equip themselves with for the general good. This transformation that a culture needs to go through is a difficult challenge, as are the needed execution and required time frame, and these values presented are "value neutral/dynamic sensitive"-- in that they do not belong to any particular country or culture, but are the positive foundation of any culture that wishes to thrive and be competitive and accommodating. Work & Happiness! This needed cultural transformation must be taken by all who crave progress, and our politicians, preachers, entrepreneurs, educators, and the media all have big roles to play, together and separately, in bringing about a success to meet the aspirations of peaceful Ghanaian citizens for self-empowerment and development. Rational reason, mankind's most elevated and distinctive feature, should guide the way, and formal & informal educational systems should walk along in a cordial and harmonious companionship, not as a drag or a tag. Culture is a cool-tool that is meant to serve mankind and not enslave it; to enhance and not to stupor-entrance; to facilitate and not to debilitate! When aspects of a culture become an impediment to progress, then these aspects of the culture should be made flexible and modified, pronto.

Culture in magnitude as a positive attitude

Forward Ever Ghana!

Paa Kalam
Paa Kalam, © 2000

The author has 1 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: PaaKalam

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