By GODFRIED K. ARHIN-KUMI
(Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence)
Let me hasten to warn that by the above headline, I do not mean to discourage efforts at success in any way. Perhaps, the words of a song our English Tutor taught us in secondary school will make this clear.
We went to then Ghana Broadcasting System to record the song – the first time I saw GBS studio. The words, in part, go like the following: “Why should we fret that others ride? Perhaps, old cares sit by their side, and leave us footmen free”.
Yes, that’s that. We are all strangers here, struggling to get our daily morsels in accordance with the biblical bidding – “from the sweat of thou brow shall you eat bread…”
Thus, from the time we wean ourselves from parental support, we launch a fierce onslaught on life to achieve our aims.
Some people, however, ignore this divine order and indulge in short cut activities to amass underserved wealth. While some take to naked social vices such as armed robbery, confidence, trickery, duping etc, others use their high education irresponsibly to steal money from their employers.
Of course, I mean white-collar crimes. Newspapers are rife with reports on unacceptable behaviours involving personalities of high ranking.
In the corridors of politics, the trend is dangerously of a serious dimension. Many people enter politics principally to amass wealth, and Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the former head of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, confirms this thus: “Increasingly, people are seeking public office not as a means to serve their people, but to, primarily, as a short cut to fame, influence and wealth (Daily Graphic of Saturday February 6, 2010).
Thus, in our part of the world, in order to amass wealth, some people have developed a selfish mentality of “everybody chops by his work side” and create numerous loopholes through which they build their nests.
Now, after they have migrated from the cottage of Mr. Nobody to the city of opulence through dubious means, how do they behave? They simply flaunt their wealth in various ways such as acquiring many automobiles, building mansions with different voluptuous women always adorning their company.
It is the behaviour of such people that forces some, otherwise, humble, well-behaved and responsible others to seek greener pastures too. They curse their stars and think they were not “born well”.
They forget that for the many years they have been staying ‘in poverty’ as they think, they feel content with their wives/husbands eating their ‘poor’ food prepared with koobi and kontomire.
A story is told of two female friends. Let us call them Yaa and Ama for ease of reference. Yaa’s husband is poor but reasonably responsible, giving modest house keeping money. In comparison, Ama’s husband is rich with everything at his beck and call.
Whenever the two friends met, their conversations centered on their husbands. Ama always used the chance to ridicule Yaa, saying she and her children did not lack anything, as her rich husband supplied all their needs, making Yaa so envious that she started to harbour attempts at divorce.
But, an event saved her. Ama’s husband was arrested for dealing in cocaine, the source of his unlimited wealth. He was put before court, found guilty and jailed. All his assets, proved to have been acquired from his illicit drug dealings were confiscated to the state. From that time on, Yaa turned over a new leaf and became more loving, passionate and dutiful.
Yes, “why should we fret that others ride?” Don’t you think that, perhaps, “old cares” menacingly “lay by their side”, while we poor people go freely, almost, care-free, about our daily activities, irrespective of our lot?
Let us make do with whatever comes our way and give thanks to God for everything. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.