Liberia’s success depends on its people being able to change – to survive in a new environment! A new environment demands new skills for survival. Without certain basic skills, survival for Liberia and Liberians in general will be extremely difficult, in the 21st century. These essential skills are the ability for her people to begin 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 lifelong learning; learn through research; reflect and evaluate; and use information and communication technology. These are the skills necessary to survive in the 21st century.
Liberia will be greater if the Liberian child does away with strange cultures that have manipulated him. The Liberian man must begin to see his brother and sister as himself and not as an alien. Liberians must begin harnessing their vast reservoir of skill and talent.
The Liberian man must renounce the cancerous notion of theirs and ours if we are to regain our ultimate potential, for a cell becomes cancerous when it sees itself as separate and works in isolation. Unless we return to who we were; one people, with a common destiny, we will continue to be divided and we must understand that the ills that have divided us have not, cannot and will not sustain us. Fellow Liberians I want you to know that our greatest power lies in the unity of ourselves as ONE – one people, one nation. We must reclaim that oneness!
We must create a culture of literacy and learning that replaces intellectual apathy, resistance to educational progress and bad governance into providing quality education and true 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. 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 their dreams and realized their maximum potentials.
To become a part of this new society each and every Liberian must immediately disengage from the diversions of mind-deadening entertainment, useless sports, excessive social celebrations, pointless conversations and debates, to managing our problems. We must focus on the most important issue in our communities – making education and leadership development the highest priorities and turning Liberians into entrepreneurs.
We 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. We must also begin to train, develop and raise a new generation of leaders in every home, school, community, church and work places for the purpose of having better future leaders that will be prepared for national leadership and for taking Liberia to her rightful place.
We must construct value systems that will rebuild the Liberian family 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 children; 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.
Again, it is my hope that you will think positively about Mama Liberia 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, business development, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning and team building. He also offers workbooks, on-location and train-the-trainer formats for leaders, managers, businesses and organizations. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0770-169-131)