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Saturday, June 27, 2009

There's more hope for the HOPE-LESS?

We had a the Partners World Wide meeting this morning and I was reminded if the book " Against All Hope: Hope for Africa. I wrote this post back in May of last year when I hang out at Thomas' job site. I was going to start reading " The Paris Option" by Robert Ludlum but I sat at the desk and saw a book titled " Against all hope: Hope for Africa by Darrow L. Miller and Scott Allen. I usually try to steer clear of such books because it is usually written by folks who have not really experienced Africa in the the sense that its inhabitants have experienced it. Such people can always go and conduct their researches in Africa and decide to leave when they are done or running out of funding. The people in the motherland however, continue to live and make ends meet no matter what. That alone I think should speak to the will power to live and survive against the odds. I have not read the booklet into detail yet but one statement that caught my eye on page 32 was "Resources do not come from the ground but from the innovation of the human mind." That's quite an interesting statement that kept resonating in my mind as I kept reading the book.

There were so many things to be said in response to the authors views and it made me wonder if they were right and I was wrong. I have always been aware of the kind of hopelessness that is evident when you speak to most Africans or Ghanaians to be more specific. According to the authors of the book, our main problem or the root of all our struggles is the fact that our worldview is wrong. The statement they made was that "The root of the problem is inside the minds of the people of the continent." Is this really true? If it is, then what has shaped our worldview? Where did we go wrong/ How did we end up with a fatalist/ spiritist worldview which is deeply rooted in the Animistic culture? As a christian, I have always believed that when you take God out of the equation, then things start going downhill because this has been very true of my life. Is the worldview of the average African really fatalistic and spiritist?

Aren't Asian nations like China and Singapore mainly of a different worldview other than Christian or Godly? Why are they not poorer than Africa? I think I need to have a chat with my father about this issue because my little mind is overwhelmed by the questions. How can we rise out of the dark black hole that we have been portrayed to be in? How can we get our corrupt leaders to realize that the good of the community supersedes that of individual interests?Can anybody give me any answers?

So many people start with good intentions but somehow things usually seem to not end so great. Why are we so pessimistic and so distrustful of each other when it comes to success? Why do we have the PHD(Pull Him/Her Down) syndrome when it comes to success. It seems almost as if some of our people enjoy seeing other people's down fall even if they are family. Man, the effects of colonialism can not be downplayed but we were bullying each other and looking down on other tribes before they came to colonize us. Or? I suppose as long as one person esteems himself higher than another, this will remain a problem. Why is this so in a country where the majority of people profess to be Christian? Aren't we in humility supposed to consider others better than ourselves? But alas, we are only human and we are as fallen as can be and in need of redemption(Yes, I went to Calvin College thus the creation, fall redemption view).

I do not have many answers to my questions yet. I am very excited to think about the possibility of helping to make people's life better without expecting anything in return. In doing so, I need to be more careful about my expectations and the rate at which human empowerment will happen. I guess part of the problem is that we have been given the fish so many times without being taught how to fish so even if we were given the tools to fish, our lazy behinds tend to think about how easy it will be if only someone will do all that work and catch the fish for us. Lord we need to be reminded constantly of your GRACE and how sufficient it is for us.