As I indicated in Part I, I once heard Dr. Patrick N. Sayon say in the auditorium of the University of Liberia that history teaches no lesson, but it punishes those who fail to learn its lesson. Clearly, there is logic to this statement, however contradictory it may sound.
Power Does Change Hands
Experience teaches or should teach us, but a great deal of us fails to reflect on life’s lessons or experiences and to learn to live our own lives in view of those experiences or lessons. Sometimes I wonder whether we do it prepensely or obliviously. Or could it be that we, generally speaking, are just some kind of don’t-care creatures paying no attention to history or the experiences of life, or were we made to overlook history’s lessons? Still, do we behave in this fashion because we are somehow cursed? It does puzzle me.
This tendency baffles me in that many of us continue to engage in the self-same flawed activities or lifestyles that brought either disgrace or demise to others in the past. Are we cursed?
When I consider how some in government treat their fellow citizens and what they say about others, I can’t help but wonder whether they knowingly choose to disrespect history or ignore history’s lessons. Do they think about life after this government? Don’t they realize or understand that this government, too, will one day be a thing of the past? Does it cross their minds that many administrations have come and gone and that this current administration will also go one of these days? Why are they so oblivious of history’s lessons or writings?
Is there some special spell that takes hold of them when they are given influential government jobs, through appointments or elections? Do they think that the status quo will always be the same? Why do some, if not many, continue to make this mistake? Why do they continue to behave as if the saying “Nothing lasts forever” were untrue?
When I see people in government or power in 2012 treating others inhumanely all because of the power they have, then I realize how oblivious we are of history’s lessons. When I see police officers ill-treating their fellow citizens in 2012 all because they have some special power or are occupying some special position, then I understand how ignorant we are of life’s experiences.
When I listen to people in power in 2012 insulting others that challenge or speak against the government, then I remember how stupid we are about the writings of history. When I see people in power today grabbing or seizing other people’s property all because they are in power, then I grasp the fact that many of us will continue to be punished by history because of the willful ignorance we exercise.When I see men and women in power today finding pleasure in humiliating others, subjecting them to hardship and suffering, then I realize how stupid many of us are about history’s lessons.
It intrigues me that – with all the world has gone through, especially what we as a people have experienced in our nation since 1980 – people in power or position or having influence in 2012 would willfully ignore the fact that power does change hands. Nothing lasts forever.
As stated earlier, this tendency baffles me in that many of us continue to engage in the same flawed activities or lifestyles that brought either disgrace, demise or nothingness to others in the past. Are we cursed?
Where are many of those considered untouchables in the Doe government? Don’t we know what happened to them when power changed hands? Where are many of the untouchables of the Taylor administration? Hasn’t power’s change of hands caused them to be reduced to nothing? Why don’t most of those in position or power today realize that power does change hands, and when that happens, situations and conditions do not remain the same?
Just a few years ago, a high-level female public official working with one of the important ministries of government continuously frustrated a young Liberian boy trying to get involved in the private sector. The non-stop hurdles placed before the young Liberian man caused him to cease operation. Today, that woman has been relieved of her position and the very boy she ill-treated yesterday is the one appointed to her position. Yes, power does change hands, and when that happens, history shows that conditions and situations do not remain the same. Since they continue to ignore life’s lesson, they will continue to experience disgrace, demise or nothingness.
Just as the Doe government came and went and the Taylor administration came and went, this Sirleaf government will also go away one day. The people that are slapped or told to pump tire today or their relatives and friends could be the very people in power tomorrow when power changes hands. Let’s remember that life continues after a government is gone.
Why would a woman or a man working in government behave as if history doesn’t exist? Even if they ignore what various Liberian governments or administrations have experienced, why do they also ignore what Liberian political parties have experienced. Why don’t they reflect on what the True Whig Party (TWP) of the Americo-Liberians was prior to the 1980 coup d’état and what that political party has become today?
Why don’t they ruminate over what the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) of the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe was in the 1980s and what it has become since the demise of Doe? Why don’t they ponder over what the National Patriotic Party (NPP) of former President Charles Ghangay Taylor was and what it has become since the fall of President Taylor? Nothing lasts forever! Some of those who are acting frisky or are ill-treating their fellow countrymen at will today all because they are in position or power or wield some influence will also be punished by history tomorrow. According to Dr. Patrick N. Sayon, history teaches no lesson, but it punishes those who fail to learn its lesson.
To be repetitious, just as the Doe government came and went, and the Taylor administration came and went, this Sirleaf government will also go away one day. The people that are slapped or told to pump tire today or their relatives and friends could be the very people in power tomorrow when power changes hands. Let’s remember that life continues after a government is gone.
To be continued…
Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.