by Israel Boafo Bansah

“God bless our homeland Ghana
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever
The cause of Freedom and of Right;
Fill our hearts with true humility,
Make us cherish fearless honesty,
And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might for evermore.”
These are the lyrics of the song I used to sing every morning at my school’s assembly grounds before we go to class. I think this wasn’t just for fun or just to check how pleasant the tone of our voices were. This exercise was for a reason. It was specifically meant to inculcate the spirit of patriotism in us, even as children. As said in the Bible “Train a child the way he should go, and when he is old he would not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 – NIV).
After the National Anthem, we were made to make a lengthy recital known as the National Pledge. These were all in one direction. “I promise on my honour To be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland. I pledge myself to the service of Ghana With all my strength and with all my heart. I promise to hold in high esteem. Our heritage, won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers; and I pledge myself in All things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana. So help me God.”
The words in both the anthem and the pledge are very crucial to the development of our dear nation. If each and every Ghanaian is to honor the words and promises made, we would have nothing but a perfect Ghana, which in reality can never happen. But at least we can make efforts towards that direction.
Today marks 59 years since we gained independence from our supposed colonial masters, the British Government. For me, it should not be a day for celebration, but rather a day for reflection. We have to reflect on what has happened in the past and what we intend to do in the future as Ghanaians. We sit here today to praise some past leaders and criticize others. Ten or twenty years from now, it would be the turn of posterity to assess us. Think about the assessment we are going to get from the next generation. Is it going to be a positive assessment or a negative one?
We as a people are our own enemies. When we act wrongly and things go wrong in the country, we turn to put the blame on our leaders. I am not in any way saying the leaders are Saints, yes they have their own shortcomings but the greatest part of the blame should go to every one of us (the ordinary individual Ghanaian).
Let the words of the National Anthem and the National pledge be your standard for performance and behaviour as a Ghanaian. Believe in yourself and Ghana. Let us reflect on all these things and right the little wrongs we do in our small corners.
When we are able to prevent the petty wrongdoings, it would not aggravate to the massive mismanagement and reckless behaviours we see. Every little action counts and affects our development as a nation. “Little drops of water makes a mighty ocean.”

God bless you. God bless Ghana. Happy Independence Day.
Written by- Aboagye Mark Sefa ©DaCosta 2016

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