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Bad Apples
05. September 2018 at 21:25
I passed by 23 people in about 3 minutes. That is 23 different talents, at least; 23 different opinions, 23 different uniqueness and at minimum, 23 different gifts to the world. They all sure have something to say, an experience to share, an idea to materialize or a knowledge (no matter the depth) about a matter. Even the smoker has an advice under his nicotine breath. " Smoking kills, son. Don't even think of starting." one of their many counsels. Strange how wisdom sometimes lurks within the most guttered of corners.
Not to mention the police officer on the rickety motorcycle without his helmet on. He speeds pass other drivers and overtakes vehicles who can't keep up with his speed. A splendid example of a good citizen! "Afterall, who would dare question me, or even check my license or particulars? I am the law." he comforts himself with high shoulders and a wink, allowing his seven year old son to return his helmet to its hiding place. "That's his trouble" he pelts the helmet into a tool box in the garage. They pull over an oncoming vehicle. "Show me your license, turn on the trafficator lights. Lemme see your air conditioner... erhm, sorry.. your fire extinguisher" He missed the all-famous verse of the 'search anthem'. Too eager to sing the chorus and harp the bridge (if any). Without waiting for the entire concert to end, the driver flags a cool GH¢5.00, then gets back on the road. "That was only an incentive" he tells a lower ranking officer unashamedly. What happened to service to God and country?

They witness their ordeals; see the axe stuck to a skull, hear the screams of the mothers in labour, and observe the garden boy being wheeled down the hallway, stained thick red with blood. His blood. But some, some sat unperturbed, untouched by the scenes and very nonchalantly, scroll through miles of Whatsapp chats and gravely admiring loads of Instagram pictures. They too are nurses, known to be attendants to the sick and ointments to our wounds. The same persons who took an oath of service, even to the peril of their own lives and careers. Not entirely a horrid story though; some do come up at a glance to help. With a healing touch, they nurture their patients' wounds; premiering from words of calm to soothing palms, they stitch cuts and wax bruises expertly like mothers attending to their own whelps. Of course, they all are not heartless; the few nuts sure do spoil the entire hospital soup. Now people are scared to thread these corridors, questioning the integrity of the nurses we have presently. Seems to me that there are more bad apples in the government hospitals than there are, in the privates. So unfair to the poor and less privileged.

It is not that Politics is evil or Politicians have no humanity; truth is, our Politicians have exchanged integrity and morals for popularity and the polls. Now aren't we all partisans before patriots, racists before humans, even ethnicals before multi culturals, yet complain when we discover same in others? I happen to belt a seat by a Swiss missionary on one of my many travels to school and had quite a tall conversation with this fellow. He greatly lamented about the mismanagement of our natural resources and we, exploiting our fellow Ghanaian citizens while being exploited at large, by foreigners who drill larger percentages from our resource gains than our government herself. Karma sure never forgets the addresses of her victims. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the one country with the most natural resources but has had political instability, impeded infrastrural growth, ugly records of corruption and centuries of both colonial and commercial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development whatsoever. Statistics provided by the Focus Economics Consensus Forecast for 2018 nominal GDP per capita, projected the GDP per capita for 2018 to be USD 468 and that of 2022 to be USD 632. Most naturally resourced country yet the first on the list of the most under developed countries in the world. It certainly raises eyebrows.

I may be sounding political, which is alien to my writing but I am a Ghanaian, and I am an African, and a youth for that matter. I too would like to look back and say we left a good heritage, I too would like to talk about my country shoulder high, and not be concerned about the statistical and economical replies and referrals which might follow my boast. I too am a citizen and I have a responsibility to my motherland. He looked me in the eye and said these words 'What Ghana and Africa need are not Politicians. We need Personalities.' I realised then that we are not entirely infected as a country or a continent and we're not cursed either. The virus springs from one individual to the other. This virus is not a respecter of education or literacy, if it were, we wouldn't have professors who spew copious grammar and theories but have never made any impact on their societies, talk less of the nation. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, they understood one thing and one thing only; Fulfillment. Fulfillment of purpose is when the nurse feels your pain and the doctor honks in traffic carelessly just to so he would reach out to save a life at the emergency ward. Fulfillment of purpose is when the police officer wears a seat belt in his vehicle or a helmet on his motorcycle and controls the traffic alertly, till his shift is over before leaving his duty post; and the mechanic repairs the tyre just so you get to your destination safely while trusting in his expertise, and not rather do a shabby work for the payment of his workmanship. I passed by 23 people in about 3 minutes and if each of these 23 has found his or her purpose to strive towards fulfilment, your guess would be as good as mine. Our streets would be a lot safer, our environment would be cleaner, our Ghana-made commodities would be trusted and our country would have a good name.

Cite This Article As: Christopher Tawiah-mensah. "Bad Apples." International Youth Journal, 05. September 2018.

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