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New Year Resolutions: Our attitudes, which way Sierra Leoneans?

New Year Resolutions: Our attitudes, which way Sierra Leoneans?

New Year is a time of the year that is celebrated all around the world. Many people celebrate New Year in many different ways. In the United States people like to make “New Year’s resolutions.” A New Year resolution is when you try to change something about yourself that would make feel better about being you. New Year resolutions are ways to start over.  (Photo: Joseph Sherman, author)

To have New Year resolutions doesn’t mean you have to change the world or join the army it means to do something long term or short term to make you feel better about yourself and to feel like you have accomplished something. These resolutions don’t have to be big and no one has to know about them they are for you no one else.  As a New Year begins most people make New Year’s resolutions and goals and talk about planning and how to accomplish their goals. Some are carrying out proficient tactical planning at the present, while others develop calculated plans to later accomplish their resolutions. The newness of the beginning of a new year is a moment in time to reflect on how we arrange the strategies that move us ahead. Therefore, it is fitting to deal with critical thinking as an important part of the intentional planning development of ourselves.

Sierra Leone is in dire attitudinal straits. However, the nation’s situation is only a reflection of our personal failures in our inability to accept responsibilities. We must have everything and we must have everything now. We have become a country of consumers instead of a populace of producers.  Dangerous and cancerous habits have engulfed our society to the extent that one wonders which way Sierra Leone is heading.  A once land of respectability, hospitality and moral norms and values has depreciated to a doldrums of moral decadence and cultural lapse all in the name of politics.

The call by President Ernest Koroma for “Attitudinal Change” is a step in the right direction to achieve development and progress for Sierra Leone.  An attitude is a stable and enduring disposition to evaluate an object or entity in a particular way.    Attitudes can be formed by many situations in life, and they are constantly evolving to accommodate new information. When someone takes a stand on an issue, it is rendered in terms of his attitude. When one has an attitude, he or she is no longer neutral; he will keep that attitude until he adopts a different one.  The process of change is simply moving from the current way of doing things to a new and different way of doing things. President Ernest Koroma believes that it isn’t the actual change that individuals resist, but rather the transition that must be made to accommodate the change. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, and the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.

Sociologically speaking, Sierra Leoneans are people of rich cultural norms and values, therefore the cultures in which we are born profoundly affect our behaviors, values, attitudes and personalities.  It influences our sense of we are what we believe and what our goals in our life should be.   Ironically, this is not the case anymore in Sierra Leone.  Political opponents in our society have invented and sanctioned the cultures of lies, misinformation, greed and above all pessimism of a government striving to restore the dignity and pride which they the opposition helped to destroy.

The APC government must remain buoyant and cohesive in championing the cause of a progressive Sierra Leone despite many distractions it is encountering from the opposition.  It is important that all the opposition should prevail and assist the government of President Ernest Koroma to captain the ship to a fruitful destination.

There are always at least two ways to view life and the experiences that we encounter. As human beings we tend to be self critical, viewing the cup as half empty, and berating ourselves for drinking too quickly or spilling things because we were overly anxious and tripped. The challenge I put to for 2011 is, take this opportunity to change your attitude.  Start simply; it is not the end of the future of Sierra Leone, rather the beginning of another promising future; an opportunity to start fresh. Give yourself half an hour to sit in a favorite chair with pen and paper and write out your goals for the next 6 months how you are going to contribute your quota to development of Sierra Leone.

By Joseph S. Sherman, Washington, DC

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