Growing up as a child, I didn't have many open interactions with my Dad because I was very naive to understand the things he saw then as an adult. We always felt that he was just being too strict about everything thus many of the interactions were father-child instructions.
Today I am quite old and I fully understand why he treated us like that those days. We lacked the wisdom to understand why we had to do things in particular ways. I am very appreciative that he stood on his grounds because I see the good he did to us even though I still do not agree to everything. I want to make reference to one particular interaction.
In June 2010, the university of Ghana was undergoing a positive revolution under Prof. Ernest Aryeetey as vice chancellor. Many reforms were going to be put in place to make sure the university got a face-lift. Some of which included increase in fees and curbing perching. I went home to talk about it thinking that my dad will support me because he was a fee payer but to my surprise he responded by saying “Young man, every generation produces its own great people and it takes only the few who are mentally prepared to be one of them”
Now if you go to the university of Ghana, you will notice that the university has indeed been uplifted. It has transformed in so many ways. From the overcrowded rooms through to physical landscaping, improved graduation ceremonies among others. But it took a few people like my Dad to understand that quality of life has a direct correlation with quality leadership, and thus the need to be mentally and physically prepared to achieve the desired results.
From that day my perception about life changed totally. I thought about his statement all night and tried to do some analysis. I realised that in my Dad's own generation, there were lawyers, lecturers, doctors, engineers and many more. I compared that to about two generations down and realised that the trend was the same then I panicked.
Today I know that my own generation will also produce its own great people and I cannot stay out without being one of them. Those words have always been on my mind and kept me going. I look around and see many young people my age doing great things in different fields of work.
I am in a whatsapp group called “the Future” a forum of about 90 young men and women with diverse professional and academic backgrounds. These guys are full of ideas and will power to make social changes in the near future. I listen to these guys and my dad's words sound like they were spoken only yesterday.
I listen to Kwakye Afreh Nuamah whom I grew up with on Legon campus on joy fm, and I picture the late Komla Dumor in him in the next 5 years, then my dad's words come back to me. I reflect on where I will be if Afreh becomes one of the BBC’s most valueable journalists. Will I be sitting in my small office criticising him of being “too known”. No, I should be in the position where he can call on me when he needs advice from my field of work as an old friend.
Unfortunately many young people do not have this kind of wisdom. We are quick to reap what we haven't sown and content with very little. Because many young people do not have ambitions to achieve great things, they are easily lured by some unscrupulous thinkers to do the unthinkable. Too many young people complain yet they do not act to make society better but the good thing however is that the few who are working are doing tremendously well to improve society.
The long and short of this paper is to throw a challenge to all young people that every generation is responsible for its own destiny and the need to be interested in problem solving. Yes not every one can be a president or a minister of state but there is more to social development than just being a president or a minister of state. Countries need thinkers who can understand and implement policies for development. Imagine how a country with so many policy think tanks who are not only interested in pleasing governments but focused on putting governments on their toes will grow in terms of development.
I am taking this opportunity to urge all the young people who are already doing things for social change to continue doing the things they believe in with honesty, fairness, and integrity in order to achieve the desired results. If you are a young a person with ideas and you haven't started putting them into practice, the world is not waiting for you. and those who have decided not to think, the few who do will decide everything you do whether you are happy with it or not.
Step up and let your presence be felt, let your contribution count and let your deeds change society for the better. Nation building is a collective responsibility not that of a few ruling class.