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FEATURE: Father, if itís possible   
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This appears to be what President Mills might be saying. I canít imagine what he is going through, especially within the last two months. The going has been very though, and like Jesus, I think he is saying father, if it is possible, let this ďcupĒ- presidency pass over me. But, folks, you know what? Many a times we donít know what we ask for until we get it.

President Mills, I think was the happiest man on earth when he won the presidency, but at the moment I can confidently say that he isnít. Unlike Jesus who had the burden of the world on His shoulders- to redeem mankind from sin and eternal condemnation, and thank God He didnít fail; President Mills has the burden of only Ghana on his shoulders, a burden he can decide to abdicate if he so wishes. Unlike Jesus who singlehandedly had to execute that mandate- go to the cross alone, our president has an administration to help him to carry out the mandate. This means that when the going gets very tough and rough, his helpers- ministers, parliamentarians from his party, party faithfuls, etc. etc. have to assist him to steer the affairs of the country in the right direction.

In any social group, when a member falls into any problem, the group comes to their rescue; they stand behind them to give them the support they so badly need to surmount the problem. But it seems our president is want of this social bond that is so critical to give him the right frame of mind to enable him get over the myriad of problems confronting the country. Itís like all is against him, and chances are that he might be going through psychological and emotional turmoil. I am not against those who are legitimately pushing him to positively change and strengthen the fundamentals of the economy- putting the economy on the right track of progress and development. I urge them on.

What is going on in Ghana at the moment regarding the incessant pressure that is being mounted on the presidency is a very healthy development. It means that Ghanaians of today expect results from their chosen leaders and nothing else. It sends a signal to anybody nursing presidential ambitions to look before they leap; and when you promise the sky, the people will ensure that you do fulfill it. Those who promise the moon, those who deliberately lie or should I say pander to win political power should begin to fathom that the days of game playing in order to win political power is completely gone.

Although the demands of the people, and the disgruntlement among some folks in the ruling National Democratic Congress, which have led to some leading members of the party lambasting, and even doubting the faculty of the president to lead us to the better Ghana they promised us are completely justified, and suggest they continue, I would also add that this is the moment for the president to shine.

This is the time for him to demonstrate to all and sundry that he is still in the driving seat and nothing would be able to derail his sense of resolve in tackling the hitches on our way to economic prosperity. Great leaders are those, who when all is against them are able to make history. They are not people who try to prove their critics or skeptics wrong, rather they are those who stay strong, are focused, and determined to make a difference in the lives of their subjects. I would like to explain these three qualities that our president needs in order not to disappoint the people and posterity.

First, he has to stay strong- It is difficult to stay on course during trying times, although doable. This is the time that our president has to stay strong and have the strongest believe in himself. This is what Albert Bandura refers to as self-efficacy. The belief that one is capable in whatever they are executing and thus they can make a difference. This is not the time for whining; this is definitely not the time for blame games, it is obviously the time to think deeply and do something out of the ordinary. Those who stay strong during these times are those whose names are painted in gold in the annals of history.

Second, he has to stay focused- This is not the time for him to allow the incessant criticisms against him and his administration to eat him up. This is the time to stay focused and be committed to realizing the better Ghana he promised the good people of the land. People who are still able to achieve monumental feats in their careers and professions and disciplines during difficult and trying moments are those who never take their eyes off their goals. To them, the goal they have to achieve is very important and it overrides all other issues. Nothing is mastered in one giant leap forward. It usually takes planning, preparation and practice. It requires modifications and adjustments in both thought and action, not just once, but over and over again. The ability to go on and do something, even if we don't feel like doing it, will take us one step closer to our goal. The person who is focused doesnít allow criticisms to wear them down; they say to themselves I will let the results of my action do the talking.

Third, he has to be determined- Determination is one of the greatest assets we can possess. It can bring out the best in us. It is the tool we use to defeat discouragement. It is the instrument we use to overcome temporary failure to prevent it from becoming permanent. It is the weapon we use to produce patience and feed our faith and starve our doubts to death. The ability to stick with a project or situation until it is completed regardless of setbacks and disappointments and criticisms, especially negative ones. To be a function of our dream, and not a function of our immediate desires or impulses, it will empower us to reach our potential. If we want to be successful, we will have to work patiently and persistently, taking a step at a time in order to continually grow. This is why I would like to impress upon our president to be resolved and never look back or dwell so much on the challenges that appear to be insurmountable.

Although, I am not going to relent in chastising him and his administration if they fail to do the right things that are needed to propel our dear motherland to socio-economic successes, as a Ghanaian, I will never wish that he fails. To this end, I would ask all the unpatriotic guys around, whom because of their quest to see their parties assume the governance of the country, are wishing the downfall of the current administration to bury their heads in shame. We have the right to belong to any political tradition of our choice, but we should never ever allow it to blind and sear our conscience; that is what we need as a people and not blind and senseless political loyalty. We donít grow and develop if we are parochial and bias in our judgments.

In winding up, I would like to send this piece of advice to our president: this is his moment to shine; the time to lead Ghana to a better future; the time to write his name in the annals of our history. Franklin Delano Rooseveltís name is still living on the lips of Americans because he shone in a difficult moment in the worldís history- the great depression. We donít know how he did it, but I can vouch that the above attributes were the guideposts. Likewise, President Mills can shine if he keeps his head up, fight on, and never give up.

When we're forced to take a step down that famous ladder we all like to climb, in order not to be defeated we must rest, regain our balance, rethink our previous tries, and get a second wind. We can think of these setbacks as guideposts, not hitching posts. We can use them as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Trying moments give us the opportunity to regroup, but we must not become stuck. When denied or rejected, we must not cry so hard that our vision is blinded. Failure or difficult times are merely a part of the learning process, and a much better teacher than success. Mr. President, this is not the time to fidget, but an opportunity to shine. Stand up and be counted. God bless Ghana!!
Source: Kingsley Nyarko, PhD, Psychologist & Educational Consultant, IAF- Munich, ([email protected])

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