Since its foundation as an independent state some 165 years ago, the Liberian nation, based on prevailing experience, given its stagnated social, political and economic positions, has had to lug or twist low under the weight of poverty, ignorance, disease and all other social vices that had and continue to hinder national growth and development in every dot of the land.
The testimonies are visible and glaring and could be practically counted from the surface while standing far or near. One therefore stands quite correct to insinuate that we, as nation and people, have not adequately applied the healing medication to the longstanding ills that continue to destroy the social fabric of the nation. The ills include the culture of selfishness, the lack of nationalistic spirit; the established habit of denying less privileged people of their just share in national wealth and so forth. Fundamentally these are Liberia’s problems. In order words, we seek social and economic comforts, yet fail to create them through the establishment of an enabling environment where the light of civilization would prevail. Our failure as nation and people to create wealth is potentially responsible for how and where we are. We are rich yet poor; we know not the value of what we have; we pretend to be something that practically we are not; we grow just in age but with no tangible development, etc.
We seem not to discover the secret that the creation of wealth is equally the creation of sustained national security that guarantees national stability and reconciliation. When wealth is created joy is also automatically created. In the face of joy and happiness national reconciliation definitely ensues while the sense of being one’s brother’s keeper becomes the motivating force of the mind. Peace is therefore possible when the mind is peacefully settled. When the mind is settled peacefully the hands are strengthened and would cooperate and implement the plans of the mind.
In Liberia what is real is that grief is visibly spelt out on the faces of the vast majority of the people all because their God-given wealth has never been uterlized to make them believe and feel a sense of belonging as far as meaningful citizenship is concerned. It is therefore pathetic that from time to time the citizens would find themselves in the middle of the water yet cry of thirst. They find themselves in the middle of the harvestable grains yet faced by the dagger of hunger. In the wake of this situation they are most often constrained to hate than love; think evil than being morally driven; talk about the future but one they have little or no hope, recognize their government but one they have no respect for, etc. We preach reconciliation, yet practice the acts of tribalism and nepotism. We peach economic and social revolution, yet adopt the act of greed for wealth and power to the disadvantage of the vast majority. We place the interest of the state far beneath individual interests thereby keeping the nation decimal and insignificant as far as being independent is concerned. From elementary calculation growth and development can never be possible in the face of these habits. These ills are like puss in the sore that often obstructs healing process. Liberia clocks 165 years on July 26 come next week Thursday.
Traditionally the day is declared National Holiday and is expected to be celebrated in grand style. At least this is the thinking of the government that passed the proclamation. In the judgment of the government the citizens would dance and rejoice and wave their country flags up high with pride and dignity. In the opinion of the government gains are made in human resource development, of infrastructures and other spheres of national social and economic life. This is certainly how a distant mind would think and belief considering the Independence Day commandments of the government. But a closer look at the nation proves the opposite-individualism over generalism, rhetoric over reality, selfishness over selflessness; hatred over love; injustice over justice injustice, etc.
As it appears the essence of the celebration marking the day has been reduced since the nation continues to bend low under poverty, disunity, injustices, corruption, etc. The fact remains that the nation is often plagued by vices that suppress its growth and development. Certainly so no one would rejoice who is jobless, poor, hungry, sick, thereby being slave to suppression and oppression in a land that has its abundant share of God-given natural resources.
Yes, we could dance rejoice together provided are made to own and enjoy the wealth together. We could dance and sing hallelujah provided we are made to overcome poverty, illiteracy, hunger it and ignorance. We could dance provided the future is not bleak and if greed for personal wealth and renewed wave of selfishness are not made a way of life.
In order for us to dance and truly celebrate in grand style the nation has to be redesigned and re-programmed so that its wealth would be of spread over all and sundry and not just a few. It should be realized that no one person or groups of individuals own Liberia more than the others. In the absence of this I believe the flag of the land will even join the people to mourn and express sorrow as opposed to joy and happiness on that day since the nation continues to be webbed in slavery even though it had been made a free land of glorious Liberty long, long ago by God.