“[A] SIMPLE-MINDED MENTALITY UNDERMINES GROWTH AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT”

June 1, 2022

When people don’t care about anything, when they are most satisfied in their backwardness and rejoice in their mediocrity and poverty; when they take pleasure in hailing stupidity, and spurning wisdom, that’s the most dangerous society to live in, and this is a recipe for disaster.

I listened to a preacher-man a fortnight ago on air and he was quite forthright on this issue, speaking about the kind of mentality the children of Israel had, as they roamed about in the wilderness for 430 years before reaching the Promised Land.

He spoke of the “slave mentality”: that a slave does not know, nor does he/she appreciate freedom, and wishes to be continuously controlled by another.(even if the enslaver is inferior to him in knowledge and manners).

When Moses got them (the children of Israel, that is) out of Egypt, they complained about there being a “lack of graves”, should they die in the desert, and lashed out at Moses for getting them out of Egypt (which was both physical and symbolic of  poverty, ignorance, oppression, grief and ailment).

For me, I see a simple-minded mentality as an off-shoot of the slave mentality.

When you have a simple mentality, you are complacent even with the smallest and most trivial of things; things which hold no value or significance at all. You do not see opportunities even if they are all around you, staring you in your face. In fact, you see opportunities as big problems, principally because opportunities demand responsibility!

Simple-minded people do not wish to change their situation, even if they are “catching hell” like nobody’s business. They are so deep in their mess that nothing nor no one can move them to free them. The Americans say, They’re stuck in a rut.

I was in  Souel, South Korea in 2006. I saw skyscrapers, and how I wished we had some in Monrovia (and so many other cities around the world that I visited)!

I posed a question to a colleague as to whether our people, including Government officials, are not seeing these giant structures, and whether it means anything to us as a people. Do we not have a wee bit of envy, or “grudging respect” for these architectural marvels to be in our country as well?

The answer was they come here (and other cities) almost on a daily basis, and they are aware of these developments that are going on in these parts of the world, but nobody cares. It does not move them. It simply doesn’t matter.

My God, what a pity!

There was another mindset. This particular mindset said little about this subject which I was thinking about, but demonstrated more than he uttered. Each time he would ask me to take a picture of a certain building, or Infrastructure that he really wished to see in LIBERIA. He was and is, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, then Vice President of Liberia.

I still remember tons of pictures of key Infrastructures that he requested to be photographed, and I began to wonder what he really wants to do with these pictures of buildings, bridges, schoolsplay grounds, etc.

I remembered we visited an indoor football pitch exclusively built for the less fortunate kids by the Arsenal Stadium in London (England). I could see how JNB desired that kind of pitch for kids right away In Liberia!

When people are satisfied in their backwardness, it is sickening, and worst of all down-hearting, to hail people who are enslaving them, using the their own resources, to suppress them.

Some officials of the CDC mentioned during President Weah’s trip to Lofa that they would give JNB anything he wants, ANYTHING, ANYTHING (they emphasized), if he just dropped his bid for the presidency, and supports CDC for a second term. But then, what  about the people? What about the country?  Where would this leave those who have invested their hopes and aspirations for a better tomorrow? This suggestion was wholly unthinkable!

Moreover, that was more of an insult to a man who has seen the world and how he wishes that those things that have improved the lives of other nations could be seen in our country, could be ours as well.

Sadly, that is a challenge: for, we have a simple-minded mentality; we are okay with the filth, the backwardness of our health and educational systems.We are not moved by anything in this country, and it is shameful. Disgraceful.  Awful.

A nation almost two centuries old (from independence), and over  200 years (from it founding), is still driven on backward systems because we are unsophisticated. We do not reach for the sky, but prefer to wallow in the mud with swines. We have forgotten that former President Charles Taylor called on Liberians to THINK BIG!

He said  Liberians were thinking too small. We needed to think big.

Two top officials during his regime were bickering over gas slips, and the complain reached President Taylor. And this is what he told them: I DO NOT DISCUSS GAS SLIPS. I DISCUSS SHIP LOADS OF FUEL! And that was that.

As a man thinks, so is he. Development starts in the mind before is executed. But when people refuse to put their minds to work, it is a big problem.

Right now it is speculated by those knowledgeable about the problem, that if nothing is done with the youth who are the victims of substance abuse, we could end up with insanity to a degree never seen or known in Liberia. And, anyone can imagine what that would mean when you have crazy people all over in the neighborhoods, due to drug abuse and addiction. An industrial scale insanity!

Who cares? Do we care? Does anyone care, l mean really cares?

Or are we fighting over state funds and resources, and just pretending to care, but in fact actually turning a blind eye to a problem that could finish off Liberia for good?

Laziness is a part of that simple-mindedness. Lazy people all over the place as foreigners gobble up the country!You don’t have to wait for Government to improve your life. Start doing something to improve your lown life and those of your family’s and friends’.

Everyone cannot work for the government, but the government can work for everybody, by creating an enabling environment for all.

The role of the government, I repeat, is to create an enabling environment, but sadly  that’s where the simple mindedness is entrenched.

Government officials do not have plans and strategies, but wait to be fed by others. They want to be told what to do–a slave mentality. They pass by the president’s every morning to ask for what to do instead of developing a plan to move their Institutions to new heights, and briefing the president of their ideas.

Simple-minded leaders leading a simple-minded people is a disaster. Simple as that.

If you feel insecure on the job, you have a simple-minded mentality. If you employ gossip, lies and deceit to maintain your job, you are a burden on a country that is already suffering other ailments.

None of the children of  Israel that were in Egypt reached the Promised Land, their God-given inheritance. This included their leader, Moses.

Some of you may not reach the “promised land” that God has pledged to this nation because of the crimes that are being committed against this country. And it is happening with either the indifference, or the active acquiescence of, it’s inhabitants. My witness is God! My God is witness!

You are already in jail, imprisoned by your own fears, and that’s where you may die because you have a hardened heart.

There’s a selfish-minded mentality all over the place embedded in the  question: WHAT’S IS IN THERE FOR ME?

This is the question on the lips of white collar criminals.That is selfishness and wickedness when children are dying of childhood killer-diseases before your very eyes.

I also learned of the “scarcity mentality” from the preacher-man that the children of Israel had. They wanted to eat  tomorrow’s food today.

Some of us want to take, eat and store things that are not necessary. We want to eat our children’s future.

One day at a time! One day at a time, my fellow countrymen!

If we start thinking big tonight, Liberia will change for the better, tomorrow.

And certainly, YOU and I will change for the better! This is the only sure way out from a simple-minded mentality: one baked and steeped in selfishness and wickedness and greed!

All power to the people.

This is a done deal.

By Atty. George K. Saah

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