In An Ebola-free Liberia, CHANGING OUR ATTITUDE, BEHAVIOR AND PRIORITIES IS A MUST

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Another educator over the weekend stepped forward to frame perhaps the most pivotal question, (subject, issue) under consideration by almost every Liberian here and abroad: “Why are we now confronted by a deadly virus that is determined to destroy the very fabric (structure, foundation) of our society?”

Ambassador Dr. Mary Brownell, chair-person emeritus of the Universal Peace Federation, (Liberia chapter), undertook to answer her own question, based the on the maxim (proverb, saying) that everything happens for a reason.’

She was speaking against the projection of a ‘post-Ebola Liberia,’ when nationals can no longer take life, government and progress for granted as the always have; instead, they must now roll up their sleeves to make things the way they want them to be—or should.

“We probably need to take a critical look at ourselves both individually and collectively; we need to rethink our behavior, our attitude, and our national priorities: where have we gone wrong and how this epidemic could be an eye-opener for all—no matter the social level, the educator made it plain to those in attendance.

“Have we placed emphasis on our health care system?” Dr. Brownell asked rhetorically. If so, how is it possible for this deadly disease to wreak (inflict, cause) such havoc on our existence, killing doctors, health care workers, and citizens?” she continued.

“Is the system equipped to fight and control anything that develops because it has produced enough doctors and nurses? Do our practitioners have the necessary equipment in their laboratories?  Why do we not have health care centers in all of our counties, to meet the demands of citizens?”

Shifting to education, Dr. Brownell wondered whether the society had used its natural resources responsibly, to provide instructional materials, build schools and vocational institutes, and train teachers.

Reminding the audience that education was a ‘must’ when sustained growth and development of a society was concerned. Mother Brownell regretted that most of the society had not been educated when Ebola struck. Getting information across to the public about Ebola might not have been so problematic; needless to say, many precious lives also might have been spared,” she explained.       

Fast and Prayer no Answer

On another note, Dr. Brownell expressed the assurance that given their hope this contagion, (infection, virus) like others, will pass away sooner, rather than later. “We are neither discouraged nor doubtful, and can never give up hope. We are now thinking about peace and development, after the Ebola crisis.”

But Rev. James Sellee, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church took a slightly different view that was not intended to negate the faith dimension of God’s intervention in the affairs of men.

“An opportunity for change is what this crisis has produced. Fasting and praying is not exactly the answer.  A post-Ebola effort could be hampered by an unwillingness on the part of this people, “…to be responsible. We need to show ourselves responsive by putting in the money required for improvement,” Dr. Sellee explained.

“We forget about important things to our nation and people, thinking only of ourselves, when we come into wealth and power. We must think hard to change. We can change, and we must,” he admonished. “Peace, then, would emerge as a product of our minds and of our attitudes, in cooperation with our God—the author of all things,” Rev. Sellee concluded.

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