JOHN K KAMASUA
“Poverty is man-made and can be reversed by the actions of human beings” - Nelson Mandela
THE EARLY PROMISE OF DEVELOPMENT has eluded many Papua New Guineans. There is a need to reverse the trend. Every policy document or plan done at all levels of government in 2014 onwards should begin with the line: “It is unacceptable that …”
This current government with its crop of leaders has what it takes to reverse the tide. The government is moving in the right direction with key policies and plans. But more quality work needs to be done at the local levels – districts and local level governments.
Sometimes, when we are out of perspective, we need to take our cues from some of the giants of history.
“When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance,” said Sir Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727).
Not only is the earth the right distance from the sun, but the earth had been prepared so well to support many life forms including us. It follows from this that we are not here by chance.
There are laws in nature such as the law of gravity that affect us all. Other natural laws in place govern the universe. Many of these laws also control our natural world on earth. All these laws appear to be precise and orderly every time, all the time.
The universe appeared to have humankind in mind.
If that is so, why are many people struggling in a country that appears to have everything - favourable climate and good weather all year around, abundant natural resources and land, untouched virgin forests and unspoiled seas and beaches, youthful population whose collective potential can be harnessed for a lot of good for our society?
To be precise: Why is poverty and social development indicators not improving for many people in a country that has some very good economic and social development plans and abundant resources?
The answer to some of these questions lie partly in the manner we have related to one another!
It is a lie that there is not enough to go around! There is enough in this country for everyone. This is the truth. It is a lie that the “resources”, “funds” or “opportunities” are limited. Not everyone in this country wants the same things or is doing the same things, or has the same needs.
Not everyone in PNG wants a VX, to live on Toguaba Hill, to get a PhD, be a millionaire, or to be a politician! But we all need peace, good health and education, and an equitable access to the wealth of this country in one form or another; and most importantly hope in the future.
If we use the resources at our disposal in ways that reflect a concern for the greater good, we will stretch them and make them to go beyond our limitations. We may even surprise ourselves with some of the results. This is not wishful thinking or imaginary craziness.
We already have very good laws, policies and plans. We just need to be purposeful and orderly in the way we implement them with the resources we have.
Handout mentalities, marginalisation, lies, and pessimism among our people are results of many years of negative conditioning, which makes them to believe and accept their current conditions and ways of viewing the world.
But deeper examination of the purpose of man and the natural order reveal to us that we are living our lives way below the potential of what nature intends for us.
We must think and act prosperity, health, and happiness for all and at all times. Not only during special times like the Christmas. Life is supposed to be good. Life is meant to be worth living.
Nelson Mandela is said to have demonstrated the qualities of truth, fairness and a consideration for all. (He did not need to be religious to show those qualities.)
On Robben Island where he was prisoner, Mandela did not allow the chains, the cell bars and concrete walls, and isolation to make him despair, become bitter or lose focus. He found the courage and strength to transcend his physical barriers to embrace the universal spirit of hope and peace, and the values of forgiveness and reconciliation. He did it with a certain dignity and ferocity of mind.
He through his life gives us a glimpse of what is possible to live life to its possible best and fullest - even amidst adversaries, deficiencies or limitations. There are others like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Theresa and other historical icons such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. These and others appeared to transcend their ordinary circumstances.
The human potential and spirit must never be underestimated.
We are all meant to be unlimited and infinite beings. We are bound to be creative and to have dominion over the earth. We have the power to create our own realities as we go along. We are the masters of our own destiny.
When we begin to think and act purposefully and orderly, positive results in all aspects of our lives are bound to show.
Then we can cross the boundary from being ordinary and just living our lives; to being extra-ordinary and living the incredible lives that we are truly capable of living. This will be a situation in which everybody is not only trying to get the best out of life from this country for themselves; but also giving their very best for others, their communities and the country. Such outcomes and state of affairs would make our country truly a great place to live.
Mandela said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Such a message is worth spreading through this Christmas.