I’ve heard stories of how families have disintegrated and made close family members lose love and respect for one another as a result of politics. I’ve even seen a son who shamelessly raised his hand against his father for same reason.
I, however, did not expect it to happen to my family. Not in my wildest dream did I imagine that politics could make me and my favourite cousin be at loggerheads.
As I write, all efforts from me to reconcile with my cousin have come to naught. He has flatly refused to have anything to do with me. Not even a plea from my uncle, his father, could make him soften his stance. My only crime is that I had the guts to look him in the eye and tell him the truth.
Some people may be tempted to say this write-up is tantamount to drying my family’s dirty linen in public. I totally agree. But what they do not know is that some clothes need enough sunlight to dry well and be free of foul smell. If doing so indoors wouldn’t do the trick, drying the clothes in public is definitely a better option. Also, as the Abusuapanin, you may be able to reconcile us; thus succeeding where others have failed.
My cousin and I have come a long way. We grew up together in Nima, attended the same primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. We are both in the teaching profession but diametrically opposed politically. He is an ardent supporter of the eagle-headed Umbrella, while I have a soft spot for the Great Elephant.
Surprisingly however, our political differences, instead of causing a rift between us, rather brought us closer. On countless occasions, we shouted our voices hoarse and argued over which party was better. We teased each other when either party won or lost presidential elections. All these strengthened our family ties and the bond of friendship between us.
I was therefore very shocked when about a fortnight ago, a ‘harmless’ statement I made irritated him. At least, I thought it was harmless until I saw him seethe with anger. He has one daughter who would be writing the WASCE next June and another who just completed JHS awaiting the Computer Placement results to enter SHS. He complained of financial stress and wondered how he was going to raise funds to pay his daughters’ fees.
I know my cousin very well. I know him so well that I can read him like a book. He seldom complains about financial matters so anytime he does, it is obvious that he needs some help. I then jokingly chipped in that if he and his kind had voted for Nana Addo’s free SHS policy in 2008, he would have been spared this wahala.
How such a ‘harmless’ statement could infuriate him still beats my imagination. Immediately I finished speaking, he sprang to his feet like someone possessed and told me to spare him the free SHS sermon. He said I should have had the guts to tell him I wouldn’t help, instead of hiding behind Nana’s free SHS policy to spite him. He left without even giving me the opportunity to clarify issues.
I first tried to convince myself that his erratic reaction was due to stress. After his continued insistence not to be on good terms with me again, I doubt if I can still hold on to that excuse.
Am I worried? To the extent that I’ve lost a brother and a friend, yes. I’m worried that he felt offended by the truth. Perhaps, he is just epitomizing the fact that the truth is bitter.
Indeed, there comes a time in every man’s life when he is faced with the difficulty of choosing among many alternatives. Whatever choice he makes has its advantages and disadvantages. In making his choice, he should be prepared to live with the consequences of his action. Blessed, therefore, is he who makes a good choice; and misery becomes the lot of he who makes a wrong choice.
My cousin made his choice in December 2008 by voting for propagandists. He willingly voted for the mendacious reduce-fuel-drastically theory and the elusive one-term NHIS payment. He did not believe in Nana Addo’s free SHS policy. That was his choice; so he should be ready to accept the consequences.
We all know from basic Economics that ‘choice’ and ‘opportunity cost’ are closely related. Choice is choosing from many alternatives and opportunity cost is the cost of the alternatives not chosen. Simply, one cannot eat his cake and expect to have it. If despite being aware that he was financially handicapped, my cousin willingly voted against free SHS, why should he turnaround and blame others for his indiscretion now that he is struggling to finance his daughters’ SHS education?
Time and again we are told that the free SHS policy is not doable. The President himself believes so, and even tells us free SHS is not a priority. That is very understandable considering the fact that he has always had his priorities misplaced. It is very obvious that his priority is to splash over 51m cowries on cronies in the name of judgment debt. Is it any wonder that his acronym, JDM, is said to mean ‘Judgement Debt Manager’?
Like many of my compatriots, I do believe in Nana Addo’s free SHS policy. If JDM, the son of a minister in the First Republic, was given the opportunity to enjoy free SHS education, why not the sons and daughters of farmers, teachers, traders and the like?
Indeed, Nana’s free SHS policy is doable. My cousin and his ilk can save all of us the hassle of running to friends and family members for school fees, if they act wiser and vote for Nana’s free SHS policy. As President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts today.”
Do remember that blessed is he who makes a good choice; and misery becomes the lot of he whose choice is the wrong one. Let those who have ears hear me loud and clear!
Source: Eric Bawah/D-Guide
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