When Will We Start Caring for Our Own Medically Distressed?

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Yes, we went through 10 years of terror following the April 12, 1980 coup d’etat, leading us also to a long and terrible civil war. And yes, these led to the worst brain drain in our history.

And yes, it takes time to undo all of that and to rebuild the education, health, infrastructure and other systems needed to put our country back together and on a firm footing.

There is no denial of these realities. And yet, Heaven knows that we do not have to wait forever to see things turned around for the better in our country. Look how long it has taken us to turn around football and other sports and athletics. We are probably the oldest team on the continent yet, as indicated in yesterday’s Editorial, near the bottom in Africa and world football, as well as most other sports and athletics.

The trouble has been that we have taken money and placed it in front of every endeavor thereby creating our own stumbling block. This makes it impossible for us to move forward, for every time we attempt anything, we see money as this BIG stumbling block.

When are we going to realize that yes, money is important, yet it is not what we ought to start with? Remember the Scriptural admonition: seek first the eternal things and all other things shall be added unto us.

So what should we start with if not money? The first thing we should start with in our every undertaking is faith in God, who is the Creator and Giver of all things. With that firmly in heart and hand, we must have faith in ourselves, that we are equipped with the ability, the power, to accomplish all things. Next, we must have the vision and understanding of what it is that we want to do, followed by our seriousness and determination to accomplish it.

Next, we must have honesty, integrity and patriotism, which mean we must focus on the goal(s), and use our own resources and help from others toward success. Our patriotism will further propel us to success, for we would be approaching the task with the commitment of every fiber in our being, freeing ourselves from every distraction, every discouragement, every temptation that tends to obfuscate (confuse, complicate) our focus and prevent us from reaching our goal.

This, we are afraid, is the crux of the matter—our faith, seriousness, determination, patriotism, our resolve to reach our goal(s).

For you see, without these intangibles—the things we cannot see or touch—we may easily lose our focus and our goal becomes elusive (hard to pin down). It is like a father who, after taking pay, instead of heading straight home to his wife and children, stops by the wayside drinking and frolicking then reaches home diminished, unable to address the burning needs of his family. He had lost his focus!

These are some of the deficiencies in our system and souls that make it difficult for us to move forward in this country. This is partly the answer to the question raised in this Editorial—When are we going to start caring for our own medically distressed?

Our Health Ministry, our leading medical institution, John F. Kennedy Medical Center, and even the A.M. Dogliotti Medical College and the Liberian government itself are the first who should answer this question.

And yet, this question is being tackled by a lonely woman, Charlesetta Williams, a 61 year-old grandmother, who has no rubber or any other farm, no mansions or apartment buildings on rent, no wealthy inheritance. Yet her possession of several of the intangibles we have mentioned above—faith, love for her people and her country and her seriousness, commitment and integrity—these have empowered her to help hundreds of Liberian children to be cured of some of the most serious medical conditions. Among these are cancer, heart diseases, closed anuses, severe mouth and throat damage due to children accidentally drinking caustic soda. With the help of the airlines, UNMIL, local corporations, local and foreign medical practitioners and institutions, these children have been and are being treated in Ghana, Germany and other parts of Europe, the United States and elsewhere. Mrs. Williams also runs a small home in Paynesville for downs syndrome, autistic and cerebral palsy-afflicted children.

So you see that though she has no money of her own, that has not stopped her from helping other people’s children in serious medical distress.

We strongly believe that should Liberians embrace and own these INTANGIBLES, we and our country would become more achievement-oriented. Remember how rich our country is. With these intangibles, we could quickly end the ignorance, poverty and disease and underdevelopment that continue to bedevil us.

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