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CommentarySpecial Feature

The Liberian Dilemma

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By Ansu Opa Dualu

The balance of nature is struck and maintained because there exists a mutual agreement of coexistence. Chaos ensues when this balance is obstructed and those forces that create the counterweight which supports that very existence of all in that ecology can no longer sustain themselves in this intentional disorder that has been created. Liberia deliberately continues to put a wedge in its own existence; hence, it is always out of balance! Call it a conundrum, a quandary; in the end, it seems there is always a self-inflicted wound that stagnates Liberia in every sense of reason! Why do we do this to ourselves, and by extension, our posterity?

There is a counterintuitive way that the typical Liberian approaches his well-being:  He wants excellence but selects mediocrity and underlings to provide the results of preparedness and assiduousness! He blocks any form of competition but expects the output of superior scrutiny! The Liberian wants change but is unwilling to pay the price of political agitation, commitment to a higher national ideal, institutional governance and civic duty.

He does not move to promote organized governmental structures, but rather prefers futile “big men” who abuse public funds to build private projects and private wealth while government institutions are left unattended. The typical Liberian celebrates these men because as they say, “at least they built it here” as though that makes it any better. Greed by a few keeps away Liberia’s best and brightest thus minimizing any chance for national revitalization. Wicked leaders prey on Liberians because we ALWAYS turn the other cheek and never stand up for ourselves even after they murder us! The Liberian leader does not fear or has any reverence for the people; he actually loathes them.

The Liberian fears death, but his political decisions kill him like the Mission Ants in the dried season; those decisions even pose an existential threat to everyone around him! He is oddly unusual in his thinking; he shuns the most prepared citizens, those who have put in the time and efforts to master leadership and produce results, but rather he champions illiterates, vagrants, criminals, murderers and rapists while still expecting transformative change. The Liberian confuses infamy with celebrity. My countrymen make a rational being wonder in bewilderment!

The gullible Liberian claims that “education is not important” yet he longs for the fruits of education and spends a considerable portion of his time seeking a diluted form of education in poorly funded government institutions that are free of education!

Liberian Leadership maintains poverty as a way to control the masses without realizing that better control comes from the elimination or reduction of human sufferings. He deifies his leaders and gives them unchecked access to state resources with full impunity in all matters and expects those leaders not to hold themselves far above the people. The Liberian puts himself into difficult and impossible positions despite having the clear option to do the opposite.

His political decisions are continuously perplexing. He sells his votes for rice but remains hungry and begs for rice from greedy politicians when the voting is over. He loves to be pitied when he has the power to be in charge. He creates unnecessary conflicts and hardships upon himself while spending the bulk of his leisure time in quasi-religious houses miraculously expecting “Gari” to turn into Jollof Rice without work.

The Liberian steers clear of industry and diligence but allows hustlers and con artists masquerading as evangelical preachers to pick his pocket using twisted prosperity messages and the promise of Heaven. Right before their eyes, they see these so-called pastors go from wearing rags to $2000 Amani Suits in a country where most of their practitioners live on less than $2/day! Despite all this, they continue to fatten these so-called “Men of God” like a celebrated calf in bone-crushing poverty without any intention to slaughter it. The Liberian even baffles God Himself.

It is a catch-22. The Liberian intentionally puts himself in a sticky situation and expects poverty and Third World Deprivation not to stubbornly cling on to him. Our condition is like a vicious circle that is naively defended by the very people who suffer the most in this puzzling predicament of self-imposed hardship. Moreover, it is not a stretch to conclude that the typical Liberian enjoys suffering given the political decisions he makes and the no-win, awkward positions he puts himself in especially when it comes to taking a rational position.  

Blame this on the gullibility caused by the consequence of prolonged dispossession, sexual abuse, gluttonous exploitation, the continuation of chronic corruption and civil conflict; the Liberian constantly fights against his own upward mobility by directly countering any action that improves his condition. He even prefers foreigners to his own countrymen! His is a psychological complex not yet fully diagnosed.

He separates himself from his family but expects to have one when he needs it. Instead of creating the local environment where each and every one of us can self-actualize, he claims to seek “greener pasture” abroad without taking into account that the likelihood of achieving any true success is near zero given that he is not prepared to adequately function in a developed environment. Consider however, that the argument is not to discourage travel but to ensure we are prepared before we leave home – most of us are not.

The Liberian man breaks up the family, and by extension the society with unfettered promiscuity and neglect, but wants a virgin when he is looking for a bride. The debaucheries of our women in many instances are on equal footing. We brush aside nobility, diligence, loyalty and integrity but call villains “honorable” to give them unearned credibility. Ours is a society sick and weakened with misplaced priorities.

The typical Liberian is infatuated with Academic Degrees; he buys them, manufactures them, and fakes them, have others get it for them even at the highest level of the presidency. Most semi-illiterate gov’t officials titled themselves Dr., Bishop or Professor to make themselves relevant! He loves designations he has not earned nor does he have the training to defend them. He blurts out fancy vocabularies that he cannot properly pronounce yet claims to be right about everything without having the discipline to dig a little deeper to know he is entirely wrong.

He has substituted internet searches for education and is oblivious to the fact that his temporarily borrowed talking points cannot be used as a proxy for transformative education.  He wants the trappings of success without putting in the work – this is why he only focuses on stealing public funds! His homeland is where dreams go to die! Moreover, the typical Liberian spoken about throughout this article will attack this piece not on any valid grounds but because he hates to hear the truth about why his pitiful conditions persist.

Despite all this self-imposed suffering and backwardness, the proper leader (Google and read “A Guide to Picking Liberia’s Next President”) can easily reorient the Liberian thinking and actions because we are an easy people. The question is: How do we get that leader when these dilemmas stand in the way?

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