– Samukai urges high school graduates
By William Q. Harmon
The Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., on Monday challenged the 121 graduates of the Christian Bible Faith Mission School in Paynesville not to be ungrateful to those who helped them in their academic sojourn to attain a high school education, but to cultivate the attributes of discipline and honesty as well as being people with a hardworking nature, if they are to meaningfully impact their families, country and their respective communities. He said being ungrateful belongs to those who are “unappreciative, not displaying gratitude, not giving due return or recompense for benefits conferred on them while they were yet underprivileged.”
Samukai went on to say, “Those who usually make it in the larger society are those who are disciplined and hardworking,” adding, “Those are the characteristics that I have come to beseech you to emulate so that you become successful in your life sojourns.”
He spoke at the 2016-2017 thanksgiving ceremony of the school, held at the Effort Baptist Church in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Samukai said that life only favors those who humble themselves and work very hard, and have a healthy respect for those who helped them to achieve greatness. He challenged the graduates to widen their horizons by thinking out of the box and doing things differently, not the usual way. “I would like for you to think of yourselves and do things differently to take Liberia to the world stage. Do not try to do it as everyone else is doing, because you have to make yourself distinct as you walk out the walls of this school today.”
Samukai informed the graduates that as they leave this stage of their academic journey, their lives will never be void of challenges and that they must adequately prepare themselves to overcome temptations when they encounter them. “Challenges will also be ahead of you, but it takes your patience, perseverance and good judgment to come out of them,” he added.
The Defense Minister cautioned the graduates not to forget their roots, “especially your parents whose sacrifices and sleepless nights and hard work have brought you thus far in your quest for education.” He called on them to grow up and be people of principles. “You need to make the difference. You have to do things that will make not just you and your family proud, but the entire nation,” he said.
Samukai then indicated that nowadays there are many ungrateful Liberians who don’t appreciate society and the people who helped mold them into what they are today. “Ungratefulness is awful; don’t be the one in that category. Please appreciate people who helped you along the way.
“I want each of you to have the opportunity to serve your country and if you are given those opportunities, please serve in a way that you will be remembered for the positive impacts you will make,” he said to the delight of the students.
The Defense Minister ended on a religious note, asking the graduates to seek the grace of God in every endeavor. “I want you to remember that the grace that brought you this far will never leave you. Remember that some of your friends did not make it, but here you are surrounded by your family members and loved ones at such a unique occasion that marks a milestone in your life,” he added.
About himself, Samukai said, “I have been relatively successful, because God has blessed me to make the right decisions and I also beseech Him to bless you so that you can make the right decisions as well. We must trust in God throughout life.”
Meanwhile, the minister provided the dux of the class, Jairus Gorwor, a four year scholarship to earn his first degree from the country’s flagship university, the University of Liberia.