A friend of mine, someone I have very high regard for, has started signing off his Twitter posts with the words ‘A cursed nation’. Well, I was surprised at first as I know he is not a pessimist, so, I asked why he was doing that. He replied that he couldn’t really put his finger on it, that the country seems devoid of happiness, luck, progress. He said nothing is working, anywhere, there is corruption, theft, murder, rape, and all kinds of vices galore.
I found myself reluctantly agreeing with all he said as I looked around and saw nothing to contradict this gloomy view. Some people may see that as being cynical but one connot blame holders of such a view as the incidents that lend credence to it seem to be happening everywhere and every time.
What is responsible for these negativities? Can it all be blamed on one thing? The answer is no. There seems to be a pervasive downward spiral in the country and one has to be really optimistic to have any form of hope to see light at the end of this very dark tunnel. But there is a saying that ‘hope is the ilixer of life and that hope is the last feeling that leaves a human being. Thus, I still think that there is a chance to turn the tide.
Many folks simply choose to blame everything on the government and the political leaders, the president in particular. While it cannot be denied that the political leaders, the president in particular, have a share of the blame; it cannot be discounted that all of us, Gambians, also share in it.
The saying of the Holy Prophet that ‘Sayyid ul qaumi khaadimuhum (the leader of a people is the servant/child) which comes to mind here. A people get the leader they deserve. Whatever ills we, as a people, becry in the leaders is in us as well. The people are wicked, selfish, corrupt, muderous and all vices that you may think of.
There are those who see only evil in other people regardless how much effort those people make to be positive. We see people who try to police belief/faith as if they were ordained by the Divine to do that, yet, their own moral state is dubious.
The cost of living is skyrocketing daily while the level of income is stagnant at best and plunging down at worst. With all that, we see and hear of corruption on the part of public officials and no accoubtability. The hope, education, seems to be having its own challenges and as a result the doom and gloom seems to increase rather than decrease.
Isn’t it time we had a little introspection and try to diagnose the problems that caused this? Or, are we cursed as my friend says? It is time for a national dialogue to come up with solutions. Where do we start? Is it the reformation of the people or the changing of political leadership? Here lies our catch-22 or shall I say, the proverbial chicken and egg situation?
Whatever it is, we need to diagnose the illness and start applying the remedy before it’s too late! Time for introspection.