The ability of a people to survive in changing times is not magic, nor is it by chance. Success depends on people being able to change to survive in a new environment! And new environments demand new skills for survival. Without certain basic skills, survival will be extremely difficult for any people, in the 21st century. These essential skills are the ability to read with understanding; convey ideas in writing; speak so that others can understand; observe critically; listen actively; solve problems and make decisions appropriately; plan and put those plans into action effectively; to communicate and cooperate with others; guide others; advocate and influence; resolve conflict and negotiate; take responsibility for life-long learning; learn through research; reflect and evaluate; and use information and communication technology. These are the skills necessary to survive in the 21st century.
We, as a people, must immediately disengage from the diversions of mind-deadening entertainment, useless sports, excessive social celebrations, pointless conversations and debates, meaningless media de jour approach to managing our problems. We must focus on the most important issue in our communities – making education and leadership development the highest priority and turning Liberians in to entrepreneurs. We must create a culture of literacy and learning that replaces intellectual apathy and resistance to educational progress, bad governance into providing true and quality leadership. We must build the entrepreneur spirit in each and every Liberian. Somehow, we must re-inspire our children to want to learn and to love to learn as well as to become good leaders, businessmen and great entrepreneurs within our region. But having educated children and entrepreneurs is not enough. We must have educated families and educated communities and to build communities across Liberia where Liberians find their dreams, their purpose, and their goals and then they grow into that dream and realized their maximum potentials. Every Liberian man, woman and child must become part of this new community of learners.
Liberians must take education out of the schools and universities and root it in our homes, our workplaces, our communities, our churches and even in our streets and prisons. The purpose of education is to help people actualize their roles in society as parent/family members, citizen/community members and workers in the economy. If the education system that serves us is not meeting these objectives, it is a disservice to our children and our communities and country. Liberians must also begin to train, develop and raise a new generation of leaders in every home, schools, communities, churches and work places.
We must deconstruct value systems that have caused Liberians to arrive at the cliff of non-existence. We must construct value systems that will rebuild the Liberian families as a source of positive values, cultures, civilization and education, and re-establish the Liberian family as the primary and most important social unit of our culture and society. We must embrace education as the highest value in the Liberian community and see leadership development as a necessary first step for good governance and democracy. We must effectively manage the negative cultural influences that have hugely impacted the thinking and actions of our young boys and girls; and we must understand that for the rest of existence, change is a required part of the living process. The faster Liberians are able to put this plan into action, adopt these new principles and manage change, the more likely we will survive, overcome our nightmares and take up leadership role within the African Continent.
Friend, a cell becomes cancerous when it sees itself as separate and works in isolation. The Liberian man must renounce the cancerous notion of theirs and ours if we are to regain our ultimate potential. We are one people, separated by delusional schisms; egoism, elitism, tribalism, sectionalism. The Liberian man is my brother; the Liberian woman is my sister. Let us return to who we were; one people, with a common destiny! The ills that have divided us has not, cannot and will not sustain us. Our greatest power lies in the unity of ourselves as ONE-one people, one nation. Fellow Liberians, we must reclaim that oneness!
Liberia is not greater because the Liberian child has been entrenched in strange cultures that have manipulated him. Liberia is not better because her brother and sister are alien to her. We have come to a full circle to now achieve our greatest potential by; harnessing our vast reservoir of skill and talent. The human capital that has been preserved for over 400 years must be re-awakened and unleashed with renewed visualization and vigor! Friend, for Liberia’s survival into the future, we must begin to groom, honor and support passionate educators, economists, business forecasters, mathematicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, scientists, farmers and logistics managers as our new heroes and leaders.
Please read the below interesting quotes from some of the world’s great leaders: “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because there’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” Dalai Lama. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Friend, as you read today’s article, it is my hope that you will think differently about Mama Liberia, this GREAT country of ours, than you thought about her yesterday. If you do not, our fate is sealed.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development; strategic planning, wealth creation and team building and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: email@example.com or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776-545-394)