17.05.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: Responsible Utterances

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FOR some time now, we have been concerned about how people speak publicly on issues of national interest, especially on radio stations.

Even though the trend of loose talk seemed to have died down, recent pronouncements during talk shows on some of the radio stations indicate that the trend persists.

The utterances of the one-time ace footballer, Wilberforce Mfum, in which he ran down referees from the Volta Region, must be condemned unreservedly, for they do not engender peace and unity.

We have said time and again that as a nation, we are blessed that we have not experienced the crises that have been inflicted on some of our neighbours because of some irresponsible action or pronouncement by some individuals or a group of individuals.

In most cases, the incidents are accentuated with ethnic sentiments, which win the heart of those who will not deeply reflect on the consequences of their actions, inactions or utterances.

It is unfortunate that some of our compatriots, including knowledgeable ones in society, have made prejudice to control their reasoning.

Consequently, they box every person from a particular area of our country to some perception that seems to appeal to a section of the public.

Indeed, a careful examination of some of the people that they label in the way that suits them will show that not all people behave or act the way the said prejudice has prescribed.

The tongue, the Bible says, is a fire, an unruly injurious thing; it is full of death-dealing poison. How true that could be! There have been instances when wars have begun because of some thoughtless pronouncements.

There is a management advice so short but weighty which all people who speak to the public could adopt: “It is not what you say, but how you say it”.

It is imperative that all those in responsible positions in society weigh carefully their utterances so that they can win the hearts of those listening to them.

Evidently, various cultural practices in the country amply demonstrate that it is not everything that one has to say in public, apparently because of its effect on people.

It is important that our utterances are made edifying enough to enhance national cohesion, instead of trying to shatter the fragile unity that we have.

Besides, it is important that many of our people slough off the prejudice and perception about other ethnic groups other than their own. This can be effected when we interact with one another more.

It is the surest way in which we can spare the country the agony of going through avoidable crisis and have enough time and energy to develop our economy.

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