Called to Serve, Not To Be Served

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Expectations and excitement have become high since President George Weah began appointing public officials. Those yet to be appointed await anxiously, to get from the President their share of the positions to occupy.

At the same time, those whose names have surfaced are exceedingly excited that they have gotten jobs. The excitement has grown to the point where some appointees who need to be confirmed have begun making their presence felt in their respective entities well ahead of confirmation.

Earlier, some members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) had insisted that they needed to be given preference for most of the positions because they “laid down their lives” for the success of the CDC. The excitement and anxiety for jobs in government bring some questions to mind.

Are people excited and anxious to work in government to serve? Or is it because people want the jobs to repeat what they criticized others for? We raise the questions because of the old “business as usual” attitude that sets in when individuals are named to serve in public positions.

It is an unbending fact that when many Liberians enter government, they develop a high but false sense of superiority and demand respect from people whom they are to serve. A lot of them also enter government with the mindset to embezzle public funds and direct other public assets to their personal accounts.

As witnessed in the immediate past administration, diaspora Liberians that served were boasting that they had come to help Liberia regain its prewar status. But it soon became clear but this help was intended only to help themselves and not the respective entities to which they were called to serve.

They were engaged in squandering public funds without a strong leadership to hold them accountable for their actions amid expectations that they would help restore the broken economy and infrastructure. Foreign travels and attending convivial ceremonies became major government functions.

A lot of those officials, when reporting to work, resorted to the use of sirens installed on their luxurious vehicles to navigate the usually heavy morning rush hour traffic. Such activities coupled with rampant corruption brought criticisms on the Sirleaf Administration which the Unity Party found difficult to shake off to win the minds of Liberians in the recent elections.

We hope officials of the George Weah Administration, whose CDC party heavily criticized the UP for failure, will take note of activities that led to UP’s failure to take preventive and corrective measures that would have assured their reelection.

The philosophy of this administration is to help bring joy to the poverty stricken people in the country by putting into place uplifting measures and development initiatives. One way for this “Pro-Poor Government” to meet its agenda is to create jobs for young people who have been languishing in poverty without jobs.

Some of those young people have been confirmed and begun work while others whose positions do not require Senate confirmation have taken over. As you take over, it is time that you do the people’s work and not to abuse those positions with a domineering attitude.

Such an attitude leads to poor human and working relations and a work culture based on fear. Remember the definition of a leader: A person who influences others to follow him/her.

One who leads should always be the first to set the example.

Having become leaders in your respective entities, set the best examples by being the first to report to work, evaluate workers honestly without biases and call for an audit even if it is not ordered by your employer.

The Lord Jesus Christ told his disciples while washing their feet that anyone seeking to lead must first be a servant. We, therefore, urge all, especially young people entering government, to set the best examples for others to emulate.

The success of the government does not depend on the President alone, but on all who work with him. This is why we feel obliged to inform you via this medium that you were called to serve and not to be served.

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