Soils produce after their kind. Loamy soil yields abundantly; sandy soil is sparse in vegetation; rocky soil yields coarse and stunted vegetation, and so on and so forth. If a land is endowed with abundant gold to merit the description “gold coast”, what can it imply than that such a land, or soil, is not only rich in gold minerals, but also wont to produce a race equally golden in thought, in aspirations, in conduct, in nobility of spirit, and strength of purpose.
Ghana, formerly Gold Coast, is no less golden by change of name; it is the rich, loamy soil that has no choice but to be exuberant in its produce and precious in its gifts. And the best gift of this golden coast is the people. It is not strange that Ghana has produced the Alex Quaison Sackeys and Kofi Annans for the UN; Generals Emmanuel Eskine and Seth Obeng for UNIFIL Operations; Drs Ave Kludze and Ollenu for NASA, and several others of undoubted excellence at high levels all over the world.
Do Ghanaians see themselves in the light that I portray?
Without explaining in detail the quote above, let it be understood that, as persons created in the image of God, every Ghanaian is divine, with limitless abilities to create and achieve. You are a small god, but a god nonetheless. As your children have the genes of the mother and father, so we, as children of God, also have the divine genes in us. And it is the same as a loamy soil producing after its nature things that are luxuriant, leafy, healthy, and abundant. In short, the Ghanaian is greater than his problems. As a god, he has it in his power to overcome the challenges of development!-
The vicissitudes that the nation has gone through, as part of its maturation and developmental processes, and the challenges that we are collectively facing now, must be seen in a very positive, desirable light. If we do not experience the corruption, dishonesty, partisanship, environmental disorder, unemployment, and feel inwardly horrified and repulsed at the turn of affairs, how can we form the corresponding resolve to hurl ourselves out of the depressing valley of helplessness and poverty that oppress the nation so well?
Put differently, I am saying to Ghanaians that the present state of affairs is the very recipe required for far-reaching revolution of our morality, political systems, mode of governance, planning and execution of policies, and everything that has to do with the development of the nation.
The distress evident in the disillusionment with the economy and governance of the nation is good; very good! Do these things not point to the rich layer of moral and spiritual gold beneath the seeming mindlessness and confusion that is conspicuous in the country?
The question is: Why have we not experienced the gold within us since independence, and the nation is in such disarray?
The first requisite thing is that we must admit and affirm that we are golden! We must have self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, self-confidence, and aspire to self-actualisation.
If non-Ghanaians see the gold in the Ghanaian and the physical gold abundant all over the country, why do we see less? We must know we are capable of building a great and prosperous country. We can make it, and make it big!
The second requisite thing is the cultivation of endurance and sense of purpose. We know that the mining and refinement of gold is not easy. The gold ore is not even admirable; it is ugly! Producing bountiful crops from a loamy soil is equally demanding, because the richness of the soil makes it attractive to several other living organisms and vegetation which, unless controlled, could choke off the growth of the good seed. I think Ghanaians tend to complain and grumble and criticise and whittle down too much and too easily.
The gold in us won’t emerge if we don’t have a spirit of endurance to press on, till the beauty within ourselves, the beauty within a policy, the beauty within an intention, the beauty of a process, and the beauty of time, is allowed to bring to perfection whatsoever we set upon to do.
Impatience could rob us of the gold that is within us, and that is within so many other things.
The third requisite thing is that of consistency. When we are not patient for a beauty to unfold within us, our natural tendency would be to let go a programme mid-way; change our direction abruptly; begin but not perfect a process; and altogether try out new things without first mastering the old.
Ghanaians know that each government has had lovely plans and good intentions for the nation. Do we carry out these plans when the government is no longer in power? No, we don’t! We are not consistent. We relinquish the plans, and start off another thing! Such wavering, indeterminate attitude does not produce gold; never!
To maintain optimism in the face of such daunting national challenges is not wishful thinking; it is not escapism; it is a psychological and spiritual panacea. We must affirm our goldenness; we must reiterate our ability to succeed; we must act out our faith in ourselves as capable people, notwithstanding the contrary reality. For good reasons, Joel admonished “…let the weak say I am strong” (Joel 3:10).
At the height of the Second World War, when Britain was overwhelmed by the air superiority of Hitler, and had been badly battered; at that time when hope was almost gone, Winston Churchill rose to the occasion, and affirming the indomitable will of the British, declared at the House of Commons on June 4, 1940:
“We shall go on to the end; we shall fight in France; we shall fight on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air; we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and in the streets; we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
May these declarations of Winston Churchill be ours too, golden gods of the Gold Coast!
The writer is a lawyer.