“When there is an absolute need to know something, when an intellectual void must be filled, we will accept what only moment earlier we’d rejected for centuries” Nancy Friday.
Developing an innovation culture in Ghana is the greatest strategic hope for our productive future in this economic region. The biggest obstacle we face in doing this is the cultural lack of value we place on ‘thinking’ and ‘innovation’ compared to the value we place on being ’right’ and defending our point of view.
Since the church designed our European education system in the Middle Ages, the traditional focus of education has been on teaching children what to think.
In the increasingly competitive global business theater. World-class corporations are realizing that the cleverness of their employees their brain power is the ultimate corporate asset. There is a new trend towards developing, managing and measuring the “Intellectual capital” of the corporate enterprise.
If a child goes to school for ten years and never has a thinking lesson, that child can be forgiven for getting the impression that thinking is not important as knowing things. They feel that being ‘right’ and defending one’s viewpoint is more important than escaping from one’s viewpoint to find an even better one that cognitive process calls innovation.
On the other hand, if a child receives regular deliberate training in thinking skills, if ‘thinking’ has a place on curriculum, then that child sees a value being placed on ‘thinking’ and has shown it values thinking and has positioned itself as having an ‘innovation culture’.
The main point about this article is thinking, can we learn it and to re-create ourselves? BIG YES! Because every decision and action we take, as human beings will have to pass through a process known as thinking. If so, then it is important to find out whether it’s the cause of our problems and whether it’s the same perspective that we need in order to solve our problems here in Ghana and other parts of Africa.
However, if we really want to move ahead, we actually need to help ourselves and how to do that is the subject of this article. We need to look at many factors, but our main concern here is to look critically at the way or mode of thinking style we adopt.
Unfortunately, thinking is not taught as a subject in our schools right up to the Universities even though thinking is the most important part of knowledge.
It is therefore, important to have a second look at it dispassionately with an active mind- let us take a look at how we seek power outside ourselves and inside ourselves and the outcome of the two modes of thought.
One is that we rely too much on outsiders to help us develop our country for us and the other is when we over rely on God to solve every conceivable problem we face. Or are we trapped? All these are referred to as external authorities for solutions. The question is, has these two approaches helped us over the past years? If not, then we have to re-examine our thinking mode, we have to be honest to look at everything else dispassionately. We are where we are today because of our thinking styles or software we are using.
One thing that strikes me over and over is a statement by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah made some years ago after independence on both education and science. He said, "Indeed, education consists not only in the sum of what a man knows or the skill with which he can put this to his own advantage. A man’s education must be measured in terms of the soundness of his judgment of people and things and his power to understand and appreciate the needs of his fellow men, and to be of service to them. The educated man should be so sensitive to the conditions around him that he makes it his chief endeavor to improve those conditions for the good of all”.
Here, his thoughts on education is far reaching beyond critical thinking we might say, by linking it to the ability to be a creator, a producer of value to others thereby improving their lives is a very clear thought which definitely comes to thinking, decision making and action we make each waking moment. Compare to being consumers for others to survive on.
The second quote on science he says; “Unless science is used for the betterment of mankind, I am at a loss to understand the reason for it all. It does not require a clever brain to destroy life. In fact, any fool can do that. But it takes brains and extraordinarily brilliant brains to create conditions for human happiness and to make life worth living”.
What attracted me to this statement is the point that it takes brains, and extraordinarily brilliant brains to create conditions for human happiness and to make life worth living.
From these points, I begin to think that the solutions to Africa’s problems and for that matter Ghana will certainly comes from within African’s themselves, that is from our very best creative minds. I have addressed this issue in a special report entitled "What When Wrong" yet to publish.
We need honest liberated minds to face the reality with a lot of courage so we can free ourselves. Only Africans can develop Africa. That creative ability is in every one of us, above all, it can be learnt like any subject. We have to turn within ourselves by using our brain power.
Let us look at some common social and economic issues for example; hawkers on our streets rampant increase of utility services like water, electricity and petrol being control by the state.
How many times have the state used force to move hawkers from the street?- Has it worked? How many times did the regulators increase the rates of these services and how many times did they not increase the cost of petrol etc in Ghana? We hear all manner of excuses they use to justify every rise in these services but the actual fact is it’s just a clear case of mediocre or a naked exploitation of our very own people by the elites who are making decisions on this and that issue; an excuses for any human action is weak mindedness.
With the current achievement of mankind, we in Africa and other parts of the developing world can overcome all major problems we face within a short period of say ten to twenty years but with the current trends even hundred years we can still be lagging behind. If ever, there will ever be any paradigm shift someday, it will come from us individually, thus taking our own personal responsibilities.
The critical shift required guaranteeing a healthy world for our children and our children’s children will not be achieved by doing more of the same.
The world we have created is a product of our way of thinking. Nothing will ever change in the future without adopting new ways of thinking as a fundamental response.
Ultimately, leadership is about creating new realities. Personal self leadership is the ideal where you think for yourself where you find lateral thinking more useful for transforming ones attitudes, learning, problem solving, goal setting, creativity, relationships, and how to develop success skills, integrity, and wisdom.
Above all, if your purpose as a human being is to make this world a better place regardless of your own personal comfort and pleasure, you are given greater knowledge to achieve that purpose, this will be elaborated later in my future articles.
Honesty needs no support save the evidence of reality, while dishonesty begets myriad distortions of reality in order to sustain its frail existence. The voice of honesty is confident, firm, yet quiet. The voice of dishonesty is uncertain, flimsy, but loud.
The loud voice of dishonesty seems to have prevailed throughout history by the sheer force of its volume, yet it is the voice of honesty that has permeated the world and carried humanity always forward.
“To save the world is the simplest thing in the world. All one has to do is to think” this was said by Dr. Leonard Peikoff a renowned thinker and philosopher of the 21st century. I hope we can learn from this simple statement. What we in Africa needs badly is our ability to think clearly about our issues and address them consciously, to be objective and rational as well.
Knowledge is power. Integration of knowledge is power. It is through knowledge that one can control the destiny of his life, his environment, and his universe. It is through knowledge that one can achieve his true individuality, an indivisible conscious wholeness, and the self that is genuinely his. It is through knowledge, and through knowledge alone, that the flowering and ultimate fulfillment of what it means to be human and what it means to be conscious, can come to exist.
Let's save the world by consciously learning how to think, join me at x10Thinkers Group now, just an send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
I am standing by to help you travel on an incredible journey of personal evolution to re-create yourself, your mind and even for a better health. I make mine digital in the process!
It’s a small group of individuals who want to evolve their thinking to become thinkers. It’s quite an amazing experience for you to use both sides of your brain and bypass mind control that prevents us from being free. Extend your love and views. Thank you.
The writer is the Publisher of Entrepreneur magazine, SISOT member at the School Of Thinking both in Australia and USA, A Self-taught Cognitive Scientist, Lateral Thinking Instructor. For all your comments or further enquires please sent your email to email@example.com or by post to P.O. Box KA30508, Accra. 0262281500