We must check our thoughts, our speech and our actions because we would be judged by these things. In this electioneering period, we must not close our eyes and shift responsibility to others.
Everybody in this country must check these three areas if we really want peace before, during and after election 2020.
We have not seen war before, and we should not even think of it, because the experiences we see on our screens tell us that war is not a good experience.
Let us take lessons from our neighbouring countries and jealously guard the relative peace we are enjoying in our country.
If there is war, we may have the means to travel but we may not get the opportunity to go because we have few amenities in the country.
We have only one international airport, fewer and overstretched hospitals and health personnel.
Let us go through our checklist:
Check our thoughts
Every action be it bad or good begins with a thought. What we think about is very important.
Buddha the founder of the Buddhist Religion once said “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like the shadow that never leaves.
To make a difference and contribute towards peace in the country we must think positively and have optimistic attitudes.
Let us think positive thoughts about ourselves and about others.
Let us not be myopic and discriminatory in our thoughts, for when we do that, as Black Eyes Peas says in his song ‘Where is the Love’, “…but if you only have love for your own race then you only leave space to discriminate; and to discriminate only generates hate and when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah.
Madness is what you demonstrate and that’s exactly how anger works and operates man, you gotta have love just to set it straight, take control of your mind and meditate.
We are one people with a common destiny in Ghana. If we think of ourselves as one people we would work towards that unity. Our thoughts and our hearts must complement each other.
Check our words
The next thing we must guard, is our tongue. The tongue can set raging fires and can do good.
What we say is very important and would surely make a difference either positively or negatively.
The devil uses the tongue to divide people and put them against one another.
Idle and hateful words are damaging because they spread destruction quickly; and no one can stop the consequences once they are spoken.
We must not say something carelessly with the view that we can apologise later.
A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build.
Whatever that comes forth from our mouths should be good, encouraging, essential (how to give good drinking water, provide affordable housing, quality education, employment) and not foul and intemperate.
Words hurt terribly and we cannot reverse the damage they cause, once spoken, hence, let us be slow and sensitive in our conversations and speech. Let us keep these Principles of Communication in mind when talking:
Bob Marley once said if you wake-up early morning[BA2] and quarrel every day, you’re saying your prayers to the devil
The Bible admonitions us on the proper use of our tongue. The following quotations enjoin us: Proverbs 18:21, Matthew 12:34, Matthew 15:18-19, James 1:26, James 3: 2-12 …
In this period leading to the elections, let each one, therefore, be very circumspect with his/her utterances and ask for forgiveness for our unkind words to each other and or about one another!
Let us seek reconciliation with all. May our tongues give life not death to our country!
May we spread the love with our tongue instead of animosity!
Check our actions/deeds
What we do also contributes to our desire to make a difference in this world.
Actions speak louder than words. Pope Paul VI says “people of present generation do not want teachers but witnesses, but if they listen to teachers it is because the teachers have witnessed with their lives”.
One person makes a difference. You are that one person. Let us back whatever we think and say by doing it for people to see. We must practice what we preach.
If we live contrary to what we preach or say, we breed animosity. Let us not interpret the laws to suit our whims and caprices.
Our actions should be that of non-violence. We must do things that would maintain the peace we are enjoying.
Let us not destroy things because we disagree on issues. We cannot all agree on the same issues. That is why we say we are a democratic nation.
Martin Luther King Junior gives us Six Principles of Nonviolence to follow:
Principle One: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people
It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.
It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
It is always persuading the opponent of the righteousness of your cause.
It is only passive in its non-aggression toward its enemy.
Principle Two: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding
The end of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.
The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of The Beloved Community.
Principle Three: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people
Nonviolence recognizes that evil doers are also victims and are not evil people.
The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.
Principle Four: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform
Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.
Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it.
Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its act.
Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous education and transforming possibilities.
Suffering has the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.
Principle Five: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate
Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.
Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
Nonviolent love gives willingly knowing that the return might be hostility.
Nonviolent love is active, not passive.
Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore community.
Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.
Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.
Love restores community and resists injustice.
Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.
Principle Six: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice
The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win
Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.
The Bible makes this emphasis; John wrote, “…but whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but indeed and truth”
If we say we love another believer but let him go on suffering when we have the ability to relieve his suffering, we don’t love him at all. Our actions contradict our words, and actions speak louder than words. (cf.1 John 3:17-18, James 2:15-17, James 3:13-17),
I would like us to reflect on three of Dr. Nkrumah quotes (from some speeches) as I bring my writeup to an end:
“We shall measure our progress by the improvement in the health of our people; by the number of children in school, and by the quality of their education; by the availability of water and electricity in our towns and villages, and by the happiness which our people take in being able to manage their own affairs.
The welfare of our people is our chief pride, and it is by this that my Government will ask to be judged.” Broadcast to the Nation. 24 December 1957
“Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life? ” Address to the National Assembly. 12 June 1965″
“We have the blessing of the wealth of our vast resources, the power of our talents and the potentialities of our people. Let us grasp now the opportunities before us and meet the challenge to our survival. ” Address to the National Assembly. 26 March 1965
Let us know that blood is thicker than water. There are what binds us together more than what disunite us.
We are one family of God by virtue of our citizenship as Ghanaians. God became our father, Jesus our brother and the rest of us are related us brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Let us back our thoughts, speeches and actions with prayers that it may be well with us in order to make the difference.
We are the beacon of hope for the rest of Africa, let us not discourage them by our negative thoughts, vile speeches and untoward actions but our positive thoughts, heart-warming words and good behaviours.
PEACE WATCH FOR ALL
P= Pray for peace
C=Cultivate and care about peace
E=Educate people on peace
W=Watch your Words
A=Watch your Attitudes
T= Watch your Thoughts
C= Watch your Character
H= Watch your Habit
Long live Ghana! Long live our democracy!