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Opinions Sun, 30 Sep 2018

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Is everyone corrupt?

From the wide array of definitions of the word corrupt, I choose the definition of it as “doing things that are dishonest in order to make money or to gain or keep power”, because I think it fits well for the context of my article.

I find it very appalling to hear or find people keeping to the mantra that “everyone is corrupt”; do they really know the implication of what they say or are adhering to? The motivation for writing this article arose from an argument I had with another who was of the view that everyone is corrupt. The interesting thing I realized was that his points were strictly based on the tendency of people falling victims of corruption and also on human imperfections.

First of all, if a person professes that everyone is corrupt, it means that person has given in to their natural weakness and inadequacies, and also lest we forget that we are what we think of ourselves. It means that the person has agreed of being a dishonest person and thus when trusted with an issue they are likely to fault, and when they do so, they should not be blamed. I am not even sure whether it was worth spending a single minute on someone who believes everyone is corrupt, because probably he might have been corrupt within the argument and was irrational and illogical.

I see no difference between the statement everyone is corrupt, and the likes of everyone is a thief, everyone is a rapist, everyone is a murderer, everyone is an animal and everyone is not trustworthy among others. So if you are of the notion that everyone is corrupt in which you are not an exemption, you don’t have to mind when I call you a corrupt person which of course I know you wouldn’t, but what if I call you a thief, a traitor, an idiot, a fish, a dishonest person, etc. would you take them lightly?

If one ascribes everyone as corrupt because we have the tendency to fall prey for it, but the question here is that, what don’t we as human have a tendency to fall for? So should we continue dwelling and trying to prove that we are everything, come on. Our system has become so loose that the word corruption or corrupt seems so enticing and not as stinking and being frowned upon as it should be, let us not forget that being described as a corrupt person is no different from a thief, a selfish individual, an inconsiderate person, a traitor and many more.

Let us look at these two instances, one, considering our imperfections as humans, we may be carried away by circumstance to the very edge of making the hard call of compromising our values and dignity for corruption, such a person will be bitter and full of regrets. And also, a person volunteering, willingly and intentionally shaping and compromising a well-established system to create holes for corruption without being pushed by urgent circumstance but just due to his own insatiability and wanting for more for oneself without being considerate to the outcome of the act.

By law both persons are culpable but probably might be sanctioned differently with the first individual probably having a subtle judgment. I personally might not ascribe the first person in the former instance as corrupt, but will consider the individual being a victim of circumstance, there may be other terms also plausible for such a person, as the person being blackmailed, deceived, intimidated, etc, because corruption is something done willfully for selfish gains and is usually without regret until the individual is exposed, this is not to encourage people to find or create circumstances to be corrupt. With the second person, there are no two ways about it.

The real implication that everyone is corrupt

The dangerous implication that everyone is corrupt is that “no one has the moral rights to pronounce judgement on anyone”. This is because we are all at the same level of incompetence since we are corrupt, thus none can judge the other (not in terms of religion), then basically there should be no law and order. It is simple, “how can a thief judge a thief?”. This is a total mess and a circumstance meant to bring about chaos, it is as walking back to the dark ages or uncivilized era. So which means everyone can do whatever he or she pleases to do, huh, how funny that some people want to experience anarchy.

As leaders, future leaders and individuals, we owe the nation, the people and the future generation the responsibility of impartation and great development, to bring about necessary changes and to touch as many lives as we can. We have to bring about a change in our society by changing the people in it, and as always, the best way to change others is to change ourselves and the best way to change ourselves is to change our thoughts.

Let us have hope and trust in our nation, and work towards improving it with a sound mind. Other nations have done it, that is my evidence that we can equally do it. I believe in my country; I believe in Ghana.

Columnist: Amadu Muntawakilu

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