On the throes of Ghana’s economic collapse: The intellectuals’ role

Thu, 26 May 2016 Source: Badu, K

It seems illusory and somehow ironic with the notion that a highly educated individual also possesses wisdom. I beg to differ in this instance. Intelligence differs from wisdom. Someone may be highly educated, but may lack the wisdom similitude to that of “biblical King Solomon”. Biblically, King Solomon did not possess top academic qualifications, albeit, King Solomon had an unbelievable discernment. King Solomon was a true leader; a paradigmatic leader who did not need a doctorate degree in order to differentiate between right and wrong.

Interestingly, Oxford English dictionary defines intelligence as “the faculty of thought and reason” or “the capacity to acquire knowledge”. On the other hand, knowledge is defined as “familiarity, awareness or understanding gain through experience or study”. Conversely, wisdom is “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right or lasting”. Based on the preceding dichotomies within intelligence, knowledge and wisdom, we can deduce that an intelligent person does not necessarily possess wisdom. We can also postulate that an intelligent person can acquire knowledge, but may also lack the requisite wisdom, which would guide the individual to apply such knowledge effectively in his/her day-to-day living activities.

In Ghana today, we have the elitists who claim perquisite to leadership, albeit, the vast majority of our intellectuals are wisdom deficient. Of course, we have abundant knowledgeable men and women, regretfully, however, many of them do not apply wisdom in their endeavours. Let us take a look at the Ghanaian political landscape today, and you would agree with me that some of our politicians, many of whom are highly educated are not applying wisdom in their entrusted responsibilities.

Undoubtedly, we have highly educated individuals, but I am not sure whether we have enough critical thinkers. I mean individuals who can think reflectively and help move the nation forward. Just look at what is happening in Ghanaian political scene today, and you would agree with me that our intellectuals are not ready to apply wisdom to help move the nation forward. If that is not the case, how can highly educated men and women always put pen to paper without due diligence? You see, my mother who had had no education whatsoever, would not even put pen to paper without applying a little bit of critical thinking. Seriously, my mother would ask someone to read thoroughly the details of the contract before making any decision. So, if our intellectuals who are supposed to know better persistently put pen to paper without due diligence, then we have a long way to go as a nation.

Our leaders’ are squeamishly unwise; otherwise how can we command copious resources and still remain one of the poorest among nations. We have leaders who are arrogant, unwise, greedy and fraudulent, have no vision, only thinking of themselves and their cronies. How can we develop meaningfully as a nation when our leaders are shamefully squandering our resources? Simply put, their venalities are out of this world!

In fact, our visionless politicians should bow their heads in shame and accept the fact that so long as they have no vision; so long as they are myopic and don’t think that every child can be educated and giving skills to excel in this world, Ghana will probably never develop in our lifetime.

To be quite honest, I am reluctant to admit the apocalypse of the politicians lacklustre performances, but the true picture is that, Ghana, as a matter of fact, may not see any meaningful development, in so far as we have Leaders that are myopic, and only boast of their achievements with how much loan they are able to secure, and the number of schools they are able to remove from “under trees”.

What’s more, so long as we have Leaders that have no vision, and are greedy and incompetent, we shall forever remain "Modern day Slaves".

In ending, I would like to state categorically that we do not necessarily need useless intellectuals who cannot see their backside from their elbow to lead the country, but we rather require limpidity- critical thinkers who may think reflectively and help move the nation forward. In practice, we need massive leadership- individuals who possess wisdom similar to that of “King Solomon”.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Badu, K