Doing exploits and adding to the achievements of predecessors: Role of fresh graduate

First, my warmest congratulations to our graduates who have successfully gone through an essential phase of study that determines the future ahead of them.

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We celebrate the hard work of students and that of management, faculty, administrators, parents and guardians who have groomed and supported these graduates to acquire knowledge which is said to be the power for life.

The theme for the graduation, is “Doing Exploits and Adding to the Achievements of Predecessors: The Role of the Fresh Graduate”. The said theme is apt, and I want to start dissecting the theme with two of my favourite quotations from The Book of Life: “...but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32b) and “one generation shall commend your works to another and shall declare your mighty works (Psalm 145:4)

Generational thinkers and leaders are always ready to do exploits for greater works so that the generation to come will declare their mighty works. It is said that if you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.

This is exactly what our forefathers, notably, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana did for the country. Isaac Newton said: “If I have seen further [than others] it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

The above statement is a call to action, a reminder that we inherit a legacy of knowledge, innovation, and progress from those who came before us: each generation builds upon the foundations laid by those who came before them.

We are custodians of a legacy forged through perseverance, innovation, and unwavering dedication. Our predecessors, visionaries, pioneers, and trailblazers have carved paths through adversity, leaving behind a roadmap of progress and possibility.

As fresh graduates poised on the cusp of our own journeys, we inherit not only their achievements but also the responsibility to build upon them to push boundaries, challenge norms, and dare to dream more significant than ever before.

Exploits

What does it mean, then, to do exploits and add to the achievements of our predecessors? It means embracing change as an opportunity, not a barrier. It means harnessing the power of knowledge, creativity, and collaboration to solve the pressing challenges of our time. It means honouring the lessons of history while fearlessly pursuing innovation and progress.

It means daring to envision a future where our actions resonate far beyond our immediate sphere and where our contributions leave an indelible mark on the tapestry of human achievement.

Each graduate possesses a unique set of talents, insights, and passions. You are equipped not only with the knowledge imparted within these walls but also with the courage to navigate uncharted waters and the resilience to persevere in the face of adversity.

Your journey from this moment forward is not merely a series of steps toward personal success but a testament to the collective strength of our community.

Remember what Henry Ford said: “If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability”.


Dutch passport

Some of you perhaps are wondering whether your degree is better than a Dutch Passport. I want to confirm emphatically that a degree from undergraduate to terminal is better than a Dutch passport.

“My people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a) “In fact, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” (Alexander Pope). This is the unfortunate situation, our Ghanaian brother, the toilet cleaner finds himself in Netherlands.   “Education is bitter but its fruit is sweet” (Aristotle)

Impact

As you embark on this next chapter of your lives, remember that the measure of your success will not be defined solely by individual accolades, but by the impact you leave on the world around you.

Take pride in your heritage, draw inspiration from the achievements of those who came before, and let their stories fuel your determination to reach new heights.

Fellow Ghanaians, let us reaffirm our commitment to doing exploits and adding to the achievements of our predecessors. Let us embrace the challenges that lie ahead with courage and optimism, knowing that together, we can shape a future that honours the past while pioneering a path toward progress.

Fundamental values

Today, the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage that create and maintain cultures of integrity are found wanting in our society. Indeed, our values are toxic and totally bankrupt, but I hope that change is coming; a change which will prepare the youth of this nation and Africa to become human assets that will trigger socio-economic development and the commitment to doing exploits and adding to achievements chalked for national growth.

Truly, the youth are the future leaders of Ghana. “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.

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However, if they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished” (Kofi Annan). Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies and emulate the good examples of our predecessors to enhance achievement and growth.

Establishment

Please let me speak directly to the lecturers at this juncture. An academic institution is a social establishment embedded in history, rich norms, customs, and ways of thinking, of which the lecturer or teacher is a conveyer.

It is both logical and essential that for schools to perform their roles creditably in doing exploits and adding to the achievements of our predecessors, they should be able to produce a reliable team of lecturers who are competent as mentors and as professionals to implant the good deeds of our forefathers in our educational system to encourage the youth especially our fresh graduates to emulate and add on.

A lecturer of any academic institution should be able to:

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•● appreciate the importance of understanding the factors and contexts that influence the behaviours, choices, lifestyles, health, and welfare of our young people.

•● help young people acquire and practice specific skills that support positive values.

•● apply principles that forge bonds and linkages among schools, homes, and the community as a means of effective social control;

•● implement appropriate evaluation strategies, and with others, as necessary, to monitor progress made by the youth towards acquiring positive values;

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•● develop a standard of personal life practices that will help maintain the positive self-image of the lecturer in order to serve as a role model to students.

It is essential to indicate that academic institutions have a definite and inevitable role to play in training students to do exploits and add more achievements to those who came before them, hence the growth of the nation.

Again, please permit me to talk to our dear parents and guardians.  Dear parents and guardians, you are vital in the moral development of the youth because you are the first mentor and role models that young people have.

Parents and guardians provide the necessary affective relationship and extensive interactions that facilitate more extraordinary achievement and development. From the discussions so far, the success of our nation’s endeavor to educate our young people in the democratic tradition that respects and nurtures the cultural diversity we have inherited hinges precariously on our ability to transmit this rich moral heritage and our common moral solutions to the future generation.

As adults, we must display imagination, resourcefulness, and creativity to stimulate young people into achieving greater heights than our predecessors.

Sadly, and with due respect, some of our adults, our leaders, our politicians, our civil servants, and our clergymen, our chiefs, to name a few, are failing the nation. We need to become good exemplars for the youth to emulate.

Today, corruption is everywhere, casting doubt on our nation's social and economic development. We need to change and present ourselves as leaders of integrity worth emulating by the youth.

It is said that corruption is the thief of economic and social development, which steals the opportunities of ordinary people (UNODC Chief, Yury Fedotov (2015). Fellow Ghanaians, as opined by Mahatma Gandhi:

“There are seven things that will destroy us – wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, religion without sacrifice, politics without principle, science without humanity, and business without ethics.” Remember that you do not just wake up and become a butterfly. Growth is a process, think about it.

I would like to advise the graduates to pick a lesson from the words of Pope Francis: “I must give the young a credible example to the very end'. “The elderly brings with them memory and the wisdom of experience, which warns us not to foolishly repeat our past mistakes.” (2013).

Change

Finally, we can change Ghana by considering the legacy we will leave in every social interaction we engage in throughout our life time. Every time we talk with someone, email them, or phone them, we leave a legacy, an impact on their lives, for good or evil.

What legacy do you want to leave when you die? We do not want a wasted life or a life full of wasted opportunities. “You must be the change we need to see in the world” (Mahatma Ghandi)

Remember the words of wisdom in Proverbs 13:22, which says, "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children…" Please let Fountainhead University College Management and faculty, together with parents and guardians, be an excellent example for the youth, especially our fresh graduates, to emulate that good pattern. In doing this, the youth will add to the achievements of their predecessors for National Development.

Graduates, I charge you to go and possess the nations and transform your world!

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