The Ghanaian Mind
by Ernest Armah
The story of the journey of about 25 million people from poverty, despair and chaos to stability and prosperity is akin to the Passover narrative of the Israelites. Enslavement in the land of Egypt for 430 years made the Israelites acculturate to the conditions their Slave masters reduced them to. Even after liberation from the bond of slavery to a land flowing with milk and honey, Canaan, the beliefs and traditions of Egypt still lingered. On their minds.
Mind is the set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment and memory – a characteristic of humans, but which also may apply to other life forms (Wikipedia, 2015). Our consciousness (awareness) influences our perception and reflection of events, and our eventual response to them. What goes on in our minds often manifests in our behaviour.
In Ghana, confronting our realities makes you appear like an angel of doom. But considering the weight of our natural and human gifts, we have every right to demand more from ourselves; every right to be dissatisfied with our present state.
The Ghanaian mind is distorted and wanders outside its home in search of a nirvana. It works to meet the basic necessities of life. It admires the achievements of other races and is enthralled by their rich history whilst downplaying that of his/her home. It believes in the competency of anyone other than his/her own. It is conditioned to work better in a master-slave fashion rather than an environment of freedom. The Ghanaian mind is lazy at home and hardworking abroad.
Compared to its tragic past, Ghana may be doing well presently but its people, Ghanaians, are losing the battle in the mind. What is lacking is an inspiration to explore pathways of making our home a better place, the commitment to make our home better and the tenacity to sustain the focus of making our home better. If in the face of racism, we could still strive and make it in Europe and elsewhere, then in the face of our present political and economic difficulties, we could do same here.
The Ghanaian mind has to go beyond ideologies. Religion, politics and tribalism are the satanic trinity to our development. They rise against the things that bond us and divert our attention away from what need to be done. They should be tamed.
Change begins in the mind. It is necessary for us to make conscious efforts to unlearn the lingering traces of slavery and poverty (of the mind). Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of our minds.