A Clash Between Cash And Character Among Liberian Youth
By: Martin K. N. Kollie
The young generation of Liberia is experiencing a serious integrity crisis as dishonesty increases at a high-speed in a small country still struggling to rise above poverty, ignorance and disease. The clash between moral and money in Liberia is gaining prominence very fast as most young citizens continue to chase big pockets and purses in search of survival and better living condition. The moral bank of this 21st century generation is encountering rapid recession and if urgent measures are not taken to prevent its overall downfall, Liberia might slip into a pit of social, economic, and political extinction.
The struggle to hurriedly amass wealth and gain instant influence among Liberian youth is a common practice nowadays as most of them continue to sell their self-respect for just anything. This insistent attitude of compromising character for cash is so evident to an extent that it has given Liberia an unpleasant image among comity of nations. The campaign to bury uprightness and satisfy short-term goals has taken center stage. This egoistic syndrome is infecting every stratum of our society and judging from existing reality, our nation is gradually turning into a belly-driven society where credibility no longer matters.
As greed takes precedence in Liberia, the need to anxiously harvest affluence is becoming a normal routine especially among youngsters. It is evident today that indignity is succeeding dignity in a country widely known for its ill-transparent history. The semblance of corruption is everywhere and almost every young man or woman is unwilling to cultivate a path of sincerity and honesty. It is not just enough to preach the gospel of generational change through sweet words, but it is important to go beyond its real meaning by showcasing good deeds. The sustainability of any vibrant nation is tied around an innovative young generation whose ultimate vision is built upon great principles.
A huge number of young comrades in Liberia have become professional beggars and gamblers due to their inability to invest more time to hard work and the insensitivity of their government to create an enabling environment. They get themselves involved with unethical ventures which undermine human dignity. It is difficult for good ideas to spring out from within them because they are always seeking greener pastures by hook or crook. They are not willing to make sacrifice and endure economic hardship for even one minute. As a result of this, they usually roam around like dying parasites busy hustling to survive. They have taken this indecent habit as a specialty and what is even more disgusting is that they go about slandering others just to accomplish their naked ambitions. They sometimes appear blameless, but they walk in the shadow of vagabonds and vagrants.
In an unfortunate quest to satisfy their economic thirst, they refer to dishonorable people as honorable. They call thieves as heroes and heroines. They describe exploitative characters as humanitarians and philanthropists. They label warmongers as freedom fighters. They pay homage to rascals. They maneuver everyday to seek unmerited rewards from pillagers and political miscreants. They march in long line behind their slave-drivers day after day, blowing trumpets of deceit and falsehood. Against their own will and consciences, they bend their heads in shame to spread visible lies about individuals they know nothing about. They careless about protecting their reputation as they market their integrity cheaply. They line up their empty pockets to fill them with illicit cash from their paymasters. Surely, they are puppets and charlatans masquerading as champions. These infamous imposters and ingrates are polluting every echelon of our State.
Does Liberia really have a future with this greedy young generation soon to take over? Can anyone depend on this young population for good leadership when it is already experiencing integrity deficit? Will there be a new Liberia of change for generations yet unborn? How do young Liberians intend to make their country a better place when they lack an attribute of trust? How can any young person think about achieving vision 2030 when he/she is making less effort to ensure corruption is fought and corruptors are imprisoned? These are questions that seem very easy to answer considering current happenings.
A new era is possible in Liberia if young people are willing to make wise choices. A dawn of a new day can only come if virtues outshine vices. It is mindless for any young person to trade his/her prestige for unworthy benefits. The struggle is not about cash, but character. It is not about money, but moral. It is not about rewards, but reputation. It is not about self, but others. Until young comrades can understand these hard truths and earnestly put them into practice, our country will make no progress. It is time for Liberian youth to abandon self-seeking objectives and engender a real sense of patriotism.
In Liberia today, an alliance of blind loyalists is budding rapidly. The society has abundant of pay agents who continue to indict individuals with good reputation into a web of mere fabrication. There is an ongoing spree of character assassination in almost every sector as bootlickers and certified crooks intensify their money-eating campaign. Dishonesty is a common way of life for most Liberian youth as they use their tone so loudly in defense of people with bad records. The primary concern of these gullible foot-soldiers is to bark at anyone who tries to expose their bosses. Every morning they wake up, they monitor and call on almost all the talk-shows busy trying to portray a good image of their employers and tear apart those who have refused to give in to their sinister agenda. They wander from one government office to another hustling every day in an attempt to maintain their false economic status. Due to their cowardice mentality, they appear like modern clowns in some quarters.
What is even more disappointing is that the proliferation of movements in defense of immoral characters in Liberia. If it is not movement for the re-election of candidate X, it is movement against candidate Y. If it is not Citizens in defense of Hon. X, it is Masses for the election of Hon. Y. Even though, there are some genuine movements and organizations whose ideological concepts are based on firm convictions, but many of these self-styled movements and interest groups are money-driven and principle-drained. In this day and age, it is good for people to express their dissatisfaction through protests. This is what a true democratic system requires. It is sad to note that some young comrades in Liberia are using protests as a means of fund-raising and survival. They allow themselves to be used by big pockets to protest without understanding why they are protesting. This fake mode of operation among Liberian youth got to stop now!
The mindset of most of our peers needs to change if our society must make real progress and play a leading role in transforming Africa. It is time for this emerging generation of young Liberian compatriots to refine their worldview and define their role if they must make impact locally and globally. They must reinvent a new moment to protect their integrity against abnormal tendencies. They must reconnect themselves to a model of truth-telling. They must redesign their thought pattern in conformity with moral tenets. By doing so, this young generation will once more embrace an image of respect and reliability. Certainly, they will rewrite a history of great legacy worthy of public honor.
The time to selflessly advocate for youth empowerment, employment, and education is now. Therefore, this government will not take youth-related issues seriously until young people stand up with courage and credibility to demand what rightfully belongs to them. This can only happen if young Liberians unite to fight against unpatriotic practices. The future is ours; as such, we must redeem it from a cartel of high-class tricksters who continues to misrepresent the true character of this generation.
The campaign for change is not about cash, but character. It is not about reward, but reputation. It is not about money, but moral. It is not about possessions, but persistence. The struggle for equality and justice is not about capital, but consistency. Above all interests, Liberia is Supreme!
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About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is a Liberian youth activist, student leader, an emerging economist, and a young writer. He is currently a student at the University of Liberia reading Economics and a member of the Student Unification Party (SUP). His passion is to ensure a new Liberia of socio-economic equality and justice for ALL. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org