Electing the Right Leaders: The Power of Positive Thinking

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The Presidential and General Elections are 21 months away and Liberians must begin NOW to think soberly and conscientiously about whom they will elect to move Liberia forward.

Central Bank Governor J. Mills Jones has not yet said he is a candidate for any position, but last week he gave a highly useful advice to Liberians as they prepare for those elections.

Speaking at the opening of the Paynesville Coalfield Market, he admonished Liberians to desist from yielding to the “crab mentality. Instead, elect the person most capable and most committed to lead Liberia forward.”

Coalfield Market Superintendent Korto Rogers praised the Governor and the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) for contributing to the market roofing. This will prevent marketers from selling in the rain. The Governor, she said, had made “an immense contribution to Liberians, especially business women.”

Governor Jones, historically more than any other government official, has over the past several years used public financial resources, through microcredit loans, to empower poor Liberians, most especially marketers, seriously to progress in business. The beneficiaries, most especially market women who comprise the majority of Liberian marketers and farmers, have highly appreciated what the Governor has done for them.

They have often said CBL’s microcredit initiative had empowered them successfully to fight poverty and better educate their children.

Whether or not this was originally his intention, this microcredit initiative, extended to all 15 counties, has catapulted Governor Jones into the political limelight. He is greeted by huge crowds wherever he goes.

This has caused some leading politicians to speculate, long before the Governor himself has said so, that he is positioning himself for a 2017 presidential run. Legislators, prompted by politicians in the Executive branch, last year passed the so-called “Code of Conduct” bill, stipulating that any appointed GOL official seeking elective office in 2017 should resign his/her post two years before.

Many Liberians wonder how constitutionally-sound this law is. Does the Legislature have the power to prevent any Liberian-born citizen who is not a convicted felon (criminal) from seeking elective office?

This matter is before the Supreme Court. Its five Judges will have to look deeply in the Constitution to find any content that prevents any bona fide (genuine, not counterfeit) Liberian from seeking elective office.

The Governor has himself described this move by Legislators and others as reflective of the “crab mentality.” They are behaving, he said, like “crabs in a bucket.” Anyone attempting to escape the bucket is pulled back, leaving them all imprisoned.

Liberians should reject this “crab mentality.”

They should rather embrace what the motivational American author Napoleon Hill called, “the power of positive thinking.” Liberians should begin to think positively, not negatively. Negative thinking can never move any individual or nation forward, rather, continually backward.

One of the prime and most potent examples of positive thinking is Christ’s immortal “Sermon on the Mount,” found in Matthew Chapter Five. It was a recipe of dos, not don’ts.

Christ taught His disciples, for example, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

“Blessed are pure in heart: for they shall see God.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

We are sure that most Liberians realize that our country is in deep and serious trouble. We still lack continuous electricity and water. A woman returning from the United States last weekend said she felt very discouraged when on landing at RIA she saw total darkness and the most inferior airport she had seen during all her travels through America and Europe.

Another Liberian woman who recently vacationed in Sierra Leone reported that she found that country seriously on the move — 24-hour electricity and potable water, hundreds of miles of paved roads, some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a booming tourist industry.

Liberia shall forever remain Africa’s oldest independent Republic, but should we still remain near the bottom of the development ladder?

It is now time for us to think positively and conscientiously about our tomorrow and ponder soberly on whom we shall elect in 2017 to lead our country forward. There is nothing more important than that for us to ponder.

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