Things Can Change

I had the honor of meeting Patrick G. Awuah Jr., Founder and President, Ashesi University. His talk was centered on ethics and he used Ashesi to explain how a culture can be built and propagated. He talked about ethics and how they have maintained an ethical culture at Ashesi University. Ashesi boasts a rigorous honor code, community service involvement, and an intensive 4-year leadership seminar series that weaves ethics into all aspects of learning.

It got me back to thinking about the many problems we have in African countries.

We go about our lives only worrying about our individualistic needs. We pay for expensive insurance because we can afford it saying that the government healthcare system will never change. We work extremely hard to ensure our children can go to better schools than most of us were able to afford. We also say that the government school system will never change. We join companies and institutions and refuse to do anything to improve them because we have resigned our fate to “That is just how things work.”

We choose to conform more because society is more accepting of that. We give bribes because it is faster. We watch people who continue to propagate toxic culture such as sexual harassment in the workplace because they are untouchable. We elect people from our tribes because people from other tribes are not to be trusted. We tell men and women that they need to conform to the societal expectations of their gender.

We tell people how to own their own bodies. We laugh at those who think that they can change things. We have made it cool to not care. If you care too much you are sucking the life out of things. We do not want to seem like we might upset the status quo. We say, be yourself, but not too much.

That is how we are, we say. Here, things don’t change

I am tired of not caring. I am tired of thinking that this is how it is, this is how it will always be. I am ready for new beginnings. Ready to put in the work to see the change that I want in the world.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do, Robert Siltanen

I hope that you are too.