AS A student I grew up reading about the doom and gloom of Papua New Guinea being a failed state.
Then PNG's fortunes changed and we were one of the few countries on earth that didn’t need a fiscal stimulus during the global financial crisis.
Maybe we got cocky after that and have borrowed heavily.
Now we're in huge debt but the ship is still steady. Not because of politicians but because of the complexity of life in PNG.
Many people recognise that we live in a hybrid of tradition and modernity.
Customary land tenure and the subsistence economy cushions the majority of the population against poor monetary or fiscal policy or global economic downturns.
In failing to account for data or variables that do not fit western political or economic theory, many make wild predictions like Professor Helen Hughes did when I was a primary school student.
Despite all her intellectual arguments about PNG becoming a failed state, we never ended up being one.
After gaining independence many predicted we would go down the coup path like African states. We didn’t.
Time and time again experts of western narratives fail to take into account Papua New Guinean nuances.
I am reminded of Maya Angelou's poem of defiance 'And I rise' because I know that, despite whatever challenges PNG may face in the near future, we will rise above those challenges.
"Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave."