Thinking about what really matters

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

There is no doubt about it. These are very interesting times in our history. 

They are times defined by uncertainty, conflicts, violence, climate extremes and political challenges. Amidst all these, it is easy to be distracted and lose focus of what really matters.

Which is why a reminder can never hurt. You see, we go through a rough patch in our journey called life, perhaps we need to remind all our leaders to start thinking strategically about the future. 

It is the future we must always keep in mind because we know what we do today will influence that outcome. We are talking to government, church, village and family leaders.

We want them to be alert if they want to leave our children and the generations of tomorrow in this country with an inheritance they can be proud of rather than a future they would be ashamed of.

The worry is that looking at the way things are today, the future is uncretain. In other words, the picture we see is not very bright.

Nobody likes that. But we say this because from where we stand today, we see that some of our morals, values and precious possessions are slowly but surely being swept from beneath our feet. There is so much suffering, wanton violence compounded by the stories of struggles, poverty and hardship we see on a daily basis. 

And that’s not all. Whereas our language and land – the core of our existence and the stuff that define us - are under a great threat, looking at the way the government has been behaving lately, there’s reason to believe we are sliding.

While some people will happily tell you about the so-called progress, it’s clear our leaders are not doing all they should to quell public suspicion that corruption continues to undermine the great work being done by others.

We dont need to look far. We see the abuse of power and public property has become so widespread no one seems to care anymore. While those taxpayer-funded cars are being blatantly abused for all to see, some officials act as if they own these properties.  There is an attitude of entitlement  that cannot be ignored. And so an old tale of bureaucratic ineptitude, political lassitude and downright arrogance on the part of certain government leaders contuinues to unfold before our very eyes.

Let’s not be fooled here folks. We cannot just view the incidents at the Ministry of Police and other incidents in our law enforcement agencies in isolation. These all somehow have a common factor. And that in our opinion is the result of a culture of corruption that has been allowed to fester for so long. 

It started as a sore and now it has grown into a full-blown scab that needs to be operated on. That’s the only way to deal with it.

The point is that we have known for some time now that people in powerful positions will invariably resort to acts of arrogance to deflect public criticisms, paint themselves in public view as untainted in character, and above reproach.

That’s why they choose condescending words like “idiots”, “fools,” “cowards” to divert the attention from the real issues.

But let’s not allow such nasty and cheap political games to sidetrack us from the real issues. 

And that is the future of this country is at stake unless the leaders of today wake up.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s think about hardship and poverty. Everyday on the Village Voice section of your newspaper, there are stories of people living a life of hardship, yearning for a better future. They are screaming out for job opportunities, better money generating opportunities and a helping hand.

There are other challenges we cannot be ignorant of.

Let’s talk about the invasion of our shores and the exploitation of our people by foreigners who don’t care at all that Samoans are being enslaved in their own country. 

Let’s also not forget our foreign debt that has spiraled out of control and the fact that although they keep assuring us our customary lands are protected, there is no guarantee that is the case. And then there are those monstrous structures they continue to build left, right and centre while the people are getting poorer and poorer. 

What about the millions of hard-earned taxpayers’ money being wasted on expensive trips to all corners of the world by the leaders of this country? Imagine how many more schools we can build with such money?

Come to think of it, here’s a thought. Isn’t the government system full of problems today because the people appointed to those positions hardly have time to do some real work since they only transit in Samoa? And how many meetings do they need to have before something is actually done? 

Lastly, have you stopped to consider the fact that more and more of our people are resorting to begging as a means of living? 

What about those children on the streets every day and night risking their lives to make a tala or two? What does that tell us about Samoa today?

Write and share your thoughts with us.

Have a wonderful Thursday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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