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[Ponderings] Of Nation Building … and Stepping Up

By Philip Suzara

Pondering … as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.


One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments … to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds … straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there … around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.


I think about what is happening in our country right now, of our current circumstances on many fronts and I tell myself this is just so horrible and unprecedented.


We learn of the government's ineptness in the management of this dreaded virus and turning it into a national malady … a tragedy. This could have been nipped in the bud upon its first instance. Not one from those who have bungled this pandemic has ever missed a single payslip from their functioning as public servants. And we learn of malevolent characters cashing in from this crisis. Profit with honour, most definitely far from it.


The ravage of this Covid pandemic has changed our lives, drastically. It will not be uncommon for those among us to have lost a dear one, dear family and friends, or to learn of friends losing their loved ones. It seems that we have been rendered desensitized and inured to such losses.


These deaths are, in a very bizarre manner, a breath of fresh air if you come from the realities of the thousands of EJK deaths, complements of the impunity of rogues from the ranks of our supposed protectors.


We learn of many people, sectors even, displaced from their work and source of income resulting from this almost two years of lockdown. The emergency Covid response budget brought to our consciousness staggering numbers we have never imagined being spent by the government, plunging us ever deeper into foreign debt. These are unprecedented events, indeed, precarious times, too.


We are witness to assaults on our civil liberties, on our human rights, the foundations of our democracy and freedom. We see the government interpreting and twisting the law to their favour and forcing all its might upon any hapless and daring citizen who exercises himself in righteous conduct, sowing fear and driving the people into a position of inaction and/or resignation.


Our democratic institutions have also been compromised as well as the independence of the Fourth Estate, of those who belong to the free and independent media. We have come to witness the reality of trolls and the troll farms and, we are aghast to sense where the strings that manipulate them emanate. We are appalled at the manner of how our moral compass has been compromised.


All these are perpetuated by the government that promised to bring change. And the demagogue, leading his blind followers, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin ushering his lemmings into their doom.


We rant and complain so that a leader is provided a real sounding board, that is the praxis of democracy … it is dynamic and its dynamism is driven by what we allow, or not. Our Promised Land is what we will be willing to work and fight for.


The essence of democracy is that it is … of the people, by the people, and for the people. If it does not go that way, then, by all means … utilize all the democratic tools and institutions provided for in the constitution. If all else fails, then, by all means, take the bull by its horns and take him down.


When pushed against the wall, PUSH BACK!


We cannot continue to be ranting and complaining.


Change and nation building begins with us and not from leaders … when we do not see anyone on the mound, and no one in sight in the distant horizon, it is time for us to step up and take the lead. And when we do, we will be able to find others who have stepped up, this is our transcendence. We then choose and gravitate towards leaders who we believe share our values, dreams and aspirations.


Let the chaff fall from the grain ... we should all step up and not wait for a leader to move us - it is by Divine design that a Moses, or a David is delivered upon us. A Moses who led the Chosen People out of Egypt, and a David who, not seeing anyone around him, took up the challenge to fight and slay the despotic giant.


In the meantime, let us unite with those of kindred spirit and rally behind those who have stepped up. We choose people to take the lead – and leading means being empowered by a citizenry that desires for what will be in the best interest of the nation and general welfare.


Nationhood, after all, is of, by, and for the people.


And yes, remember … change does begin with us!


Pondering … as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.





Philip Suzara

Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.


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