Thoughts and truths …the true reflections of life & living itself
Thought has been defined as the product of mental activity; that which one thinks like a body of thought; a single act or product of thinking; an idea or notion to collect one’s thoughts; the actor process of thinking; a mental activity; and the capacity or faculty of thinking, reasoning and imagining such as all his thought went into his work.
It is also understood as a consideration or reflection such as the thought of death terrified him; or as a meditation, contemplation, or recollection as in deep thought; or as an intention, design, or purpose, especially a half-formed or imperfect intention as “we had some thought of going”; or an anticipation or expectation as in “I had no thought of seeing you here”; and as a consideration, attention, care, or regard as in “She took no thought of her appearance.”
The same ‘thought’ could be understood to mean a judgement, opinion, or belief as in “According to his thought, all violence is evil”; or as a very small amount; a touch; bit; or trifle as in “The steak is a thought underdone”; and as an intellectual activity or the ideas, opinions, characteristic of a particular place, class, or time as “Greek thought.”
Generally therefore, ‘thought’ as a noun or ‘thoughts’ constitute the act or process of thinking, deliberation, mediation, or reflection; a concept, opinion, or idea; and a philosophical or intellectual idea typical of a particular time or place and application of mental attention and consideration as in giving some issues some thought.
TRUTH, on the other hand, has been defined to include the true or actual state of a matter; the conformity with fact or reality as in the truth of a statement; a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like such as mathematical truths; the state or character of being true; and the actuality or actual existence.
It also connotes actuality or actual existence; or an obvious or accepted fact; truism; or platitude; or an ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience as the basic truths of life; or honesty, sincerity or truthfulness; or fidelity or constancy; and an agreement with a standard or adjustment.
‘Thoughts and Truths’, the book therefore, is a compilation of articles, which seeks to espouse the whole phenomenon of life and living in all its forms and shades, especially its complexities and abstracts in the final analysis at the point of death, do not make sense to the ordinary person, unless you are imbibed with higher levels of discernment – the faculty of discerning; acuteness of judgement and understanding.
What it means to anyone, therefore, is that the real spoils of life will always be for the individual with a high sense of discernment, astuteness, insightfulness, clear-sightedness, sagaciousness, perceptiveness, perspicaciousness and shrewdness to recognise and appreciate one’s lifetime role as a student of this life with all its thoughts and truths; ready to seize moments of opportunity in leadership and politics to ride the wave to change fortunes.
You see, this life with all its vanities, choices, emotions, mirrors, opportunities, frailties, absurdities, mysteries, windows, doors, contradictions, fallacies, crosses, errors, imperfections, inconsistencies, insecurities and complexities: are the seeming mirages of life and all its abstracts; and it has never been for the faint-hearted, naive or those afraid of falling from any height or failing.
Remember Cain, the first ‘politician’, seizing the moment, even with the death of his own brother, Abel and then turning round, when he realised there was bounty on his head to negotiate a ‘curse’ on the heads of the bounties after him.
Such is the bare essence of “Thoughts and Truths” of a person.
We are informed that, those who succeed in this life and rise up to the very top of their careers, politics and life in all its complexities, are those who are never afraid to fail, the number of attempts notwithstanding, and also ready to lie through their teeth and die trying for their moments in history and time.
The conundrum, which faces us therefore as a nation and as a people, is the base of our failings and lack of systematic development, accessible to all and across the length and breadth of Ghana. Truth be told, we are not ready to accept that we have a problem and also lack the right leadership to take charge and address the contemporary issues that confront us.
We are also not ready to accept that we are failing as a nation because we never dream big as we are only content with the small ‘village’ thoughts and achievements.
Look at our drainage systems with all the perennial flooding, recall the objections raised against the building of the Akosombo Dam by the then fathers of some of our contemporary leadership: ‘that it was too big at the time and we did not need the excess capacity’ – just as the thinking against the Ameri Power Plant issue; and yet I marvel at the administrative structures built centuries ago across the Americas and Europe like the underground railway systems.
Why do they always, through generations past, think big for the future, whilst we do the very opposite of thinking small: is that our destinies as a people and as a nation?
Does it not amaze you how the railway lines we had just in the immediate years of our Independence, could not be extended nor expanded to the northern territories with a countrywide networking and yet, railways continue to be the major source of transportation in India, Pakistan and the United States of America (USA) with national and trans-continental and or underground networks?
Not sure if we sometimes don’t see ourselves as an accursed people, living under or subject to a curse and as a doomed, ill-fated, damnable, execrable or detestable people?
Corruption, we are told, is as old as creation and yet whilst others have been able to institute measures that make such acts most expensive to the indulging person, we on the other hand worship every act and aspects, openly and without shame, whilst our people wallow in extreme, abject poverty without the simple and most basic of necessities in our villages and communities; otherwise how on earth will some of our Members of Parliament (MPs) acquiesce to such a deal as Agyapa?
No matter how much we clothe this ‘state capture’, supposedly for a selected few or family members, nobody should deceive himself or herself into forgetting that this ‘EARTH’ has its own way of resetting herself over centuries and millions of years, regenerating herself, otherwise where is all the gold of Mansa Musa, the ninth mansa of the Mali Empire, who is recorded in time and history as one of the wealthiest people in history, for his current family lineages or descendants?
For those of us, non-historians, Mansa Musa inherited a kingdom that was already wealthy, but his work in expanding trade made Mali the wealthiest kingdom in Africa. His riches came from mining significant salt and gold deposits in the Mali kingdom. Elephant ivory was another major source of the wealth and the bottom-line is he did not steal from his people nor deny them their due share as he invested in his people.
Maybe, our politicians need to learn and take a page from the lives of such men as Mansa Musa, a ruler, scholar, statesman, and devout man of faith; a 14th century African emperor, who reigned from 1312 to 1337 with their accomplishments, including building a national mosque with his own personal resources for his people.
If we cannot think far, we should also look at the life and times of yet another black king of Africa – Sundiata Keita, the first ruler of the Mali Empire in the 13th century, who laid the foundation for a powerful and wealthy African Empire and proclaimed the first charter of human rights, the Manden Charter.
‘Thoughts and Truths’ by its mixture seeks to provide us with the opportunity to take a second and third or possibly, a fourth and fifth look at this nation, Ghana and her people, and swear to ourselves that no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves, now and or in future, we will endeavour to always pursue epoch-making pursuits, those non-selfish in nature nor parochial, but always in the best or supreme interest of our people and descendants, the broader society and our nation, Ghana.
We should always only consider actions that will lead to an opening of a new era, as in human history, thought, or knowledge; expand the frontiers of our nationhood, not only in politics but all facets of our human existence as a people and as a nation: that for which you were born into this country as a ‘GHANAIAN’, first and foremost.
The essence of ‘Thoughts & Truths’ is to showcase a real, basic and invariable nature of experiences that will allow one to experience the dichotomies of life, in all its imperfections, making up the real reasons why we sojourn here on earth, no matter how brief.
Finally, have you ever wondered the purpose for which you have the days, months and years ahead of you to spend here on earth; or for you, it is the usual ‘EAT & DRINK, FOR TOMORROW YOU DIE’ – is that why you are here or better still, why you came to the world as a ‘Ghanaian’?
Pause for a moment to think about and ponder over these things because ‘Thoughts & Truths’, indeed, is the true mirror reflection and measure of a person’s life and living itself.
The writer is a land economist & appraiser,
events architect & planner, sport business
consultant, social commentator and an author
By Magnus Naabe Rex Danquah