LIBERIA: The Call for Diversity

 

Recent results from Liberia’s national presidential election in October 2011, in part, suggest the country is still divided along tribal lines. If nothing else is to be learned, Liberia’s 14 years of civil war must be a wakeup call for the need of all Liberians to come together as one people and one nation! While the rebuilding of Liberia will require a considerable amount of efforts, dedication, and sacrifices from its leaders, Liberia’s future depends on all Liberians.

 

As a nation, Liberians must put aside the negative forces that have destroyed the country, and begin to capitalize on the commonalities that bind them together as one people and one nation. The infighting amongst tribal groups and political rivalries will not strengthen the nation, but it will destroy it. It is time to replace egoism or selfishness, power struggles, nepotism and tribalism with altruism, unity, transparency and diversity.
Liberia does not exist in a vacuum; it is the selfless devotion of its people to nation building that will put the country on the right path to development. As quoted from the late President John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” It can be deduced from this famous quote that the citizens must seek ways on making a difference or bringing positive change, rather than expecting the country to solely invoke change.

 

With Liberia’s diverse population, in terms of culture, dialect, and ethnicity, primarily from 15 geographical regions or counties, these differences can, and must be harnessed as valued assets that all Liberians must respect and embrace. This is called diversity. Nothing is wrong with being different; in fact when individuals’ or groups’ differences are valued and respected, they solidify the foundation of its people, as well as the nation. Additionally, when the people are united, great things can be achieved.
Every Liberian is uniquely created by our Creator with certain traits which set one apart from the other; this is not a bad thing. It is imperative for all Liberians at this time to put aside their linguistic, cultural, ethnicity, religious and political differences, and support those who aspire to move the country in a positive direction. Therefore, employment opportunities and electing public officials must be based on qualifications and experiences, rather than social, tribal or political connections. Ultimately, the success of Liberia will be measured not by a particular group of people, but by the collective efforts of the Liberian people as a whole.

 

To achieve a diverse Liberia where the differences of its people are valued and respected, it must begin in the schools, as well as in government and private establishments. There must be public awareness throughout Liberia concerning the importance of diversity, including its strength and value and its importance to the unification of the country. This public awareness must be done through open and honest discussions in the schools and offices, as well as on various media outlets (newspapers, television and radio stations) in the country.

 

In order to take the issue of diversity more seriously, the government must advocate the implementation of policies. These policies must not only address the importance and need for diversity in every sector of Liberia’s public and private establishments, but must also include the prevention of discrimination based on ones’ gender, religious, tribal, cultural, or political affiliations. If Liberians cannot get along, they will not progress as a nation. That, Liberians cannot afford; therefore, Liberia must not fail!

 

Jackson Blamo: The Call for Diversity in Liberia

 

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