“Hurry up!” “We’re late!” “You’re too slow!” How often do impatient words crop up in our speech, revealing our fast-paced lives? We are in an era where everybody seems to be in a rush, possibly chasing the wind unaware. We are clouded by the insatiable appetite for the acquisition of material items, recognition or positions through fair or foul means. As we are so much in a hurry and want things fast track, most of us choose the path that will shorten the waiting time to get what we believe we must get now. We accept this as “success” and hardly question the means through which it is attained.
People have virtually become vampires and sucking blood everywhere. Greed has been honey-coated and now described as “smartness to succeed”. The values governing our society that rewards honesty and integrity have been thrown out. This may be more common in the urban areas as compared to our rural towns where respect for good reputation and caring for one another are still part and parcel of those societies.
We are presently witnessing a whole range of revelations in the media of alleged abuse of public funds by officers entrusted to seek and work for the welfare of all. The amounts being mentioned are staggering sums of money that could have made a big difference in the lives of so many Ghanaians. The Judgment debt payments, SADA and GYEEDA cases are causing great waves all over. Remarkably with such cases, the judiciary tends to move slowly to administer justice. Justice seems only to work in cases involving the small flies. The law indeed grinds the poor and favours the rich.
It certainly takes strong values and principles to withstand all the pressure and temptation to join the crowd and partake in the activities that may seem to bring great financial gains and “success”. God’s creation like the big oak tree started as a tiny seed and went through various developmental stages before becoming the size that we see. Why do we think we can do better than the creator of the universe? As we go against this law of nature, it is only misery that will eventually visit us. The Good Lord have mercy on all of us.
Honesty, integrity, truthfulness, fairness have all become scarce commodities and people are compromising on all these virtues for the sake of making a quick kill.
Activities like deliberate disregard for procedures, arm twisting, over/under-invoicing, back-kicks, diverting resources, bribery are not contagious but are carried out by people who choose to do so for personal gains. Well, let me remind you that we are working for God. He has given us the opportunity to use the talent He gave us to make a difference, honour Him and make a living. Do not abuse the talent and the opportunity given you. You will be called to give a full account of your stewardship sooner or later.
As managers/executives, let us all resist the continuous temptation coming our way to meddle in bribery, corruption or abuse of the country’s or company’s resources. A day of reckoning will come and I pray that we will all have something good to account for. Nobody is perfect, but let’s strive to do what is right as per company’s rules and regulations and in the sight of God.
Let not our lips and lives preach a mixed message. We can fool the hapless public by hiding our little meanness and fraud but we cannot fool God. We do not know when our actions might become an example to others. If we live each day to honour God, our behaviour will model His righteousness, no matter who is watching. 1 Timothy 4:12 which states, “Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” is a good reminder and guide for all of us. Let’s also remember that a good example always makes a good sermon.
Somebody may be thinking that the writer may be living on a different planet or belong to a very old generation and therefore is out of touch with reality. Well, as far as the writer knows, God’s given values or virtues are timeless and universally applicable. Those who cherish and live by them derive great benefits in the long run. It guarantees peace, wellbeing, prosperity, respect and goodwill. Mr. Manager! Mr. Executive! Choose to be an authentic expression of integrity, love and selflessness. Let us not be the hypocrite who prays on Sundays and preys on neighbours from Monday to Saturday. Be a light through your deeds and diligent work.
Ebenezer Ofori Agbettor
Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners