Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) French aviator and writer.
About a week or so ago, one of Ghana’s most famous public figures, Mr. Vincent Kuagbenu organized a press conference to announce the release of the 2011/2012 National service postings. The noise and issues that characterized the postings have still not died down. If insults really kill people, the body of the national service coordinator would have been a mutilated one by now. All kinds of comments and unsavoury remarks are still being directed at him.
However, it’s still national service and we must go to wherever we are posted to serve our nation. It might be out of your comfort zone but, hey, have you thought about what others had to do out of their comfort zones to make life a bit easier for you? Have you thought about those cocoa farmers in the villages who work their lives out to lubricate the wheels of the nation, yet their wards never get an opportunity to enjoy high level education which they immensely contribute to? Have we thought about the smiles we will put on the faces of a number of people should we accept and willingly go to certain places? What about the motivation and inspiration we will send there?
One of my mates who was posted to Benumso D/A Primary school in the Ashanti Region of Ghana decided to go and prepare the grounds for his service. He visited the town and came back with an interesting story and equally interesting pictures.
If you look at some of these conditions, you might be forced to rename it ‘National Suffering. They might discourage you from going to serve. However it is not named ‘national service’ for nothing. This is not the dream job you dream of. Neither is it a permanent job. It might look like a punishment. Perceive it as an opportunity to serve humanity and contribute your quota to the development of the nation.
Lets just roll the hand of the clock backwards and remember that song we all use to scream in our primary school days.
ARISE GHANA YOUTH FOR YOUR COUNTRY
THE NATION DEMANDS YOUR DEVOTION
LET US ALL UNITE TO UPHOLD IT AND MAKE IT GREAT AND STRONG
WE ARE ALL INVOLVED IN BUILDING OUR MOTHERLAND
Back then, we just screamed the words of this song without necessarily getting the full import. The words are however a clarion call for all and sundry to put our shoulders to the mill. This is our time. Irrespective of the conditions, let us take a positive look and a positive attitude. You can choose to call it the wilderness experience in preparation for your promised land. It is national service and we can’t afford to fail Ghana. NATIONAL SERVICE….SERVICE TO THE NATION.