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17.12.2013 Feature Article

Can The Ordinary Ghanaian Afford Not To Be Cynical?

Can The Ordinary Ghanaian Afford Not To Be Cynical?
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Ghanaians have been asked to stop the cynicism and appreciate the efforts being made by the government; this was the call of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. Through this call I have come to believe that our President has observed that our country's citizenry are becoming cynics by the day.


This observation is a good and timely one that has been made by our president because it means he has his hears on the ground and his eyes are wildly opened to the daily struggle of the ordinary Ghanaian. As usual, arguments that are tainted with political party colours have been blistering through our airwaves on this issue but this kind of one sided arguments by political party spokes persons is just one reason why the ordinary Ghanaian is becoming cynical by the day.

Can the ordinary Ghanaian afford not to be cynical in the face of all the daily frustrations of the Ghanaian life? Can the Ghanaian afford not to be cynical when systems and laws are not working effectively? Can the Ghanaian afford not to be cynical, when one has to give a brown envelope out before someone who the Ghanaian has already paid taxes to ensure that he/she is paid in order to make sure systems and laws are working, works? Why will the ordinary Ghanaian not become cynical, when the politician tells the ordinary citizen to tighten their belt in order to secure the future of our country, but at the same the time they see the politician living an opulent life right before their eyes? In order to prevent all these frustrations from taking a better part of them, Ghanaians have unconsciously or consciously resorted to cynicism in order to prevent their frustrations from generating into aggression and violence.

I believe becoming a cynic is just one of the ways the human mind tries to escape the hardship of life that is as brought about by constant disappointment by people we trust and the Ghanaian situation is exactly so. The Ghanaian has been disappointed over and over again by people that are put in authority to make sure things work, once this people get into position they end up enriching themselves to the neglect of the larger population. And anytime the Ghanaian complains these leaders compare our progress to that of war torn and unstable countries rather than comparing it with the likes of Malaysia and India who were once upon a time on the same level when we all started as new nations.

Our President has made a very good observation but the question is that are we safe as a country with citizens who are cynics? What will this cynical attitude of the people develop into in the near future and what can we do to reverse this trend. If these questions are not answered at the right time, then I can say that we will definitely reach a dead in sooner than later as country.

The Ga's say that ''for a fish to go bad it starts from the head.'' So once our fish is getting rotten means that its head is not wholesome and something must be done about it before the whole fish becomes rotten. Well, this is just an ancient advice of our old folks that deals with leadership and I believe those who want to see the wisdom in it will see it that is if they even realise that our fish is getting rotten at all.

Well, I will like to jump off this ''cynicism logomachy train'' but before I do that I will like to make it clear that people become cynical towards a particular thing when they lose hope in the thing, and becoming cynical towards the thing is just one way of preventing oneself from becoming aggressive or violent towards the thing. So my advice to the political class and people in leadership positions of our dear country is that the people are cynical today as our President has observed but you never know what they will become tomorrow because they can be worse than just being cynical. So while we have to the time and chance to turn things around don't let it pass away, for we may all live to regret it one day.

Kenneth Nii Yeboah
[email protected]

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