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Old wineskins, new wine

Kobina Ansah Kobina Ansah

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 Source: Kobina Ansah

A man can’t live beyond how far and wide he thinks. If you want to see how big a man’s mind is, look at the small things he thinks about. How a man thinks today tells how far he can go tomorrow. If Ghana has to be any better, it comes back to one thing: our mindsets; how we think collectively as a people.

We are our mindsets. Our mindset is us. We can’t behave any differently from how we think. A new Ghana means a new pattern of thoughts; a paradigm shift. A new Ghana means a change in attitude which can only be possible if we change how we think!

We can’t expect to see Ghana change for the better if we still bear the same, old thoughts. Ghana can’t be any different from how we perceive issues; our pattern of thoughts. Ghana can’t be any progressive with our outmoded thoughts! You can’t put new wine into old wineskins. They wineskins would rupture!

Change is impossible if we keep on doing same old things. If we are expecting a new wine called Ghana, we had better changed our wineskins; our thoughts. We had better changed why we do what we do.

We had better changed our perception about leadership. Leadership is not big titles with no results. Leadership is not effort making. What matters is results, not efforts! We need a change in mindset.

New wine has nothing to do with old wineskins. Absolutely nothing! Why are we still battling with basic necessities as a people? Why do children still have to study under trees in this technology-driven era? Why do we still have to be given electricity in tots? Why should everything be in queues in this nation?

All these questions boil down to one answer; change in mindset. We need to change how we think as a people. Our minds are the greatest of all our possessions.

Why should our leaders always have needless convoys… even when going to commission a toilet facility? Answer: Our mindset.

Why should politics be another’s source of livelihood? Our mindset. Why do we vote the way we do? Our mindset, too.

All the supposed ‘rocket science’ challenges that face us have one common root; our mindset. Why do most of us vote, for instance? Based on who’s more handsome or younger. Maybe based on which political party or ethnic group one is unflinchingly affiliated to. Some of us even vote so we can queue at the doorsteps of such for our daily bread in case they win. Our mindset!

When our meter readings start running at the speed of light, handsomeness won’t solve it. Brains will need to. When utility bills climb high enough to reach the Heavens, ethnicity won’t be the solution. Brains may have to. When all promises remain choked in a pipeline, it doesn’t matter whether you have a party card or not, you will have your share! Vote for brains… not faces.

If only we would change our mindset, this nation won’t have to go bootlicking at the feet of donors. If only we would change how we think as people, we would change why we do the things we do! Money spent on convoys may be rechanneled into something more needful. Money wasted on wants may be rechanneled into needs. If only we would have new wineskins…

Ghana has enough resources to be a superpower. However, we are still struggling to satisfy even our basic needs primarily because of leadership and followership failure.

Most of us don’t know why we vote our leaders into power and they, on the other hand, don’t know why they have been voted into power. If we knew that whoever we were voting for was going to affect our lives majorly, would we have voted any differently? Probably yes.

Would we have changed our minds? Would we have voted on realities instead of trivialities? Would we have instead voted for who had proven with a track record what they have been able to achieve on their own in times past… even if they belonged to the least party? Until we change our minds, we would stay in this politics of empty promises for quite a long time. Until we wear a new thinking cap, things are not going to change any soon, trust me.

Are we ready to hold our leaders accountable regardless of their political belonging? Are we ready to maturely decide on our own fate without the influence of a GHS 5 note from a politician? Are we ready to charge our leaders to serve us and serve us well rather than they assuming serving us is only a privilege? Then… we need a new wineskin.

If we vote for the wrong reasons, we obviously suffer for the wrong reasons. What you vote for… is what you get. If you vote for handsomeness, don’t expect brains. If you vote to affirm your political loyalty, don’t expect much at all.

Our nation can only change when our minds change. There can’t be change when our leaders are full of titles and entitlements yet little or no responsibility. There can only be a change when the one voting thinks right… and the one being voted for thinks right, too.

You are your mindset. You do what you do because of how you think. If each of us thought positively towards nation building, we would all have lived well to make our nation a better place. After all, we live what we think.

If we want Ghana to be a new wine, it behooves on us to wear new wineskins. We need to think deeper into issues. New players need to wear new jerseys!

Columnist: Kobina Ansah