A modern Gambian is one who is preoccupied with a life highly unplanned for. She peruses things that are less important for her targets and does not have a clear plan and understanding of what she fundamentally wants to achieve within a given time. She has at best a false theory of choice and at worst an irrational consumer negotiating temporary contracts. A modern Gambian is she who uses the money she don’t have to buy things she don’t necessarily need, to impress people she don’t like! As clear as this stupidity, in times when means are very scarce and ends far beyond the reach of many in a predominantly poor society where resources are deliberately misplaced, many Gambians are naturally condemned poor in material wealth and spiritual health.
A modern Gambian is she who buys candies from the supermarket without checking for the origin. She is unaware of the basic global market and its consequences. This paradox is an understatement of how nonchalant we are to achieve self and national independence to establish a national identity we will be proud of without compromising with the future of those still unborn.
From Mr. Barrow down to my poor dad, most modern Gambians have failed to use their means to earn their ends, thus ending to be irrational thinkers and enabling unproductivity. We do not stand for formable goals that will change our lives but falls easily for unattainable dreams. To be successful as a person, one must authored his own aspirations within the resources available to her. That’s the beginning of how to dream. Not allowing other people’s scale of preferences to affect your plans –is the start of how to be independent. Naturally, most Gambians are surely dependent on others for their dreams –and thus smoothly become incapacitated and fail.
In other words, rationality is our mental capacity or instrument we apply to get what we want. Unfortunately, we are rich in natural possessions to be rational to acquire what we want, but cannot put this priceless gift to satisfy our preferences. We have become poor in and outside our souls. Extensively, we continue to misuse our opportunities and resources for short term preferences in a world of exploding needs. Only a few are becoming rational to get the greatest satisfaction from the little they have to reach their goals and satisfy their wants.
There is no way out rather than rationality. Yes, we can decide to be a liability on others, borrow them our brains and become the means to their ends. In short, the central merit to a successful is in rationality. The few who established an equilibrium to survive the test of time and get the best out of a market society, tend to succeed most of the times and vice versa. A modern Gambian is highly a robot in the society dictated by forces he could control but chose to be controlled. This is transparent in all spares of our survival; in politics, science, economics and religion. We do not ask, we just had to blindly follow the paths, most often to an unknown destination and ignorance is to blame. The most dominant feature in modern Gambia. The most tormenting humiliation of all is when you aren’t even aware you are ignorant of the world around you. A modern Gambian is not able to see beyond his nose and if she does, she has reached her maximum.
We don’t do anything out of our own free will of rationality. We got to a standstill even before we started. It’s even more disheartening we don’t know that we are the architects of our own failures. Our society tend to move outside and against the driving forces of mainstream economics. We do not produce what we need but need most of what we cannot produce. We don’t value life as an adventure so we do not innovate. We die struggling to borrow ideas and contend with nothingness. We prefer the easy way to heaven on earth. We dispute economic struggles and efforts to maintain the maintainable. For us to reach some liveable standards of human civilisation, we need a trans-valuation of all of values, to define and reshape our mental universe to catch up with the developed world. We haven’t any other card to play. Our horizons of seeing the world within our closets is profoundly indebted in ignorance and laziness to find things on our own through trial and error. The modern Gambian have no place in the modern world where rationality is the barometer.
Poverty as a man-made instrument to enslave the weak and enhance obedience from the majority is anything but influenced by our combined effort to maintain a decaying ‘retrogressive culture’. The modern Gambian is scared to discover and thus, remain a slave to himself and the majority for no significant benefits. Neither the government nor the citizenry are yet to decide how much poverty is enough, how much ignorance is disenabling us, and how much laziness is too much. From treetops to the tree roots, a modern Gambian has no agenda of her daily activities that make a convenient life. The president, cabinet, parliament down to the ordinary gardener, are all overshadowed by managerial incompetence. Sometimes not because of ignorance, but simply the failure to be rational beings. Yet, the farmer and the president cannot be put on equal footing in any modern analysis whatsoever, even if they all have one vote, they certainly have different roles to play.
When these roles are jeopardise by irrationality, mumbo-jumbo becomes the status quo where the citizens are disempowered and the role of the state reduces to collecting taxes. There is time and a way out of the hell we are living on earth. But then again, only if we know how to create time and use it for the things that really matter in our personal and national scale of preferences, only then can we maximise our potentials and get to where we want. For now, it’s left to the modern Gambians to either perish as impoverished, diseased and highly ignorant citizenry at the periphery of the developed world, or enhanced our given collective resources and get to work with rationality.
Historical development in an overcrowded world that now marches to plunder all its scarce resources beyond the limits of nature has found us unprepared and unwilling to join the march. We are simply satisfied with our religions and cultural ancient thinking that now struggle for survival in a super technological world, where the more rational you are the happier you become. But to put it this way, will be completely illusionary and incomprehensible to a modern Gambian who at best fights to keep body and soul together. Sad.
To combat poverty as the root of all other vices, we have to at least, reach an equilibrium of national understanding; everyone must know everyone else is thinking the same way –to maximise our utilities within the limited resources available. This enhanced healthy competition among citizens, create a market friendly and open society to reinstate the state as the godfather of all. For now the role of the state remains rather insignificant beside collecting taxes. Yes, the role of the state is not just to regulate elections and correct market misbehaviour, most importantly, it’s to distribute the limited resources in the most rational way possible, discourage inequality, create opportunities and empower the most vulnerable minority –those amongst us naturally overwhelmed in misfortune.
To caricature everything as bad is unfair, but neither would it be fair to show on state media only what we’ve known of the good. To balance the equation, every citizen must see and read herself within the state not just as a voter but as an active policy maker, not as a mere consumer but a producer, as a rational thinker and not a follower of some so-called ceremonial laws whose conflicts drag us back, and to see herself as the nucleus of the society not as a single cell floating in an ocean of irrational thinkers.