THE LITTLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE SIERRA LEONE A BETTER PLACE
September 10, 2020
Before writing this, I asked a couple of random questions on my facebook wall and this article is as a result of the few responses that I have gathered over time on some of these questions.
You see most times, we assume that we know what is best for our country, for a given situation and so on, but we never really propose solutions to make things better, rather we state the problems.
I have made the assumption while writing this article that we do sincerely care about our country, about our fellow citizens and the people around us but we do not necessarily know what to do or how to make suggestions to improve the state of affairs.
This flaw- ‘our inability to state very clearly our position on things’ has made us come out as being negative, arrogant, hateful and the like.
As you read this article, I challenge you to give serious thoughts on the suggested tips below, you will then be able to unleash the power behind them and be effective in your personal journey and in making Sierra Leone a little better.
1: Make your bed
Many articles have been written on the leadership implications of bed-making. Yes! I mean that literally: wake up in the morning and before leaving your room, making your bed, has a leadership implication. But this is not about any of those articles, this is about how you can make Sierra Leone great from your bedroom.
When you are making your bed, you have the time to think about your day, what it might be centered around, what you can do to improve yourself. Doing this actually helps you acknowledge your role in society, by doing things this way, it helps you become a better version of yourself, bit by bit.
2: Think about your family often
Most times, we think we think about our families before everything, but we actually don’t. You must have to be very intentional in thinking about your family, about their future, about how you want them to feel, about what pains you want them to overcome. Doing this helps you understand that other families around you are struggling in their own way and helps you empathise further.
3: Think about how you feel and why
We are very emotional people, the majority of our actions, are as a result of this. That’s remarkable, being emotional helps us experience ourselves and who we truly are. The downside is, even though we know when we are hurt, sad, happy etc. we never truly ask or explore where the feeling is coming from. When you establish why you feel the way you feel, you can now make decisions that are not emotionally charged, since you have to take a time-out. Doing this helps you correctly ascertain what will hurt the next person and how to avoid making them feel any negative feelings, you do not like to feel yourself.
4: Start with I think or what if ?
Criticism seems to be in our “blood” ,well to put it fondly. It is a very common practice to always want to criticise at any chance we get, whether our criticism is logical or not, it seems like it is an impulse we cannot control. So, the next time you want to criticise someone, especially when you are not clear on their reasons for doing what they do, why don’t you start your statement with “I think” or “what if”. This will give the opportunity to the person at the receiving end to be able to acknowledge that this is your view, and this is how you see things.
Accepting criticism is usually very hard and people will be as defensive as they can if you outrightly attack rather than suggesting an alternative to their solution, opinions etc.
5: Always lookout to help
Helping is a powerful thing and it brings people together in the most extraordinary way possible. But before you help someone, avoid assuming that someone else will. Helping does not mean giving people money, but it can mean sharing their story, it can mean talking to them, it can mean advising them etc. You must understand that helping does not come with expectations, if you are expecting to have or gain something in return for your help, then it actually isn’t.
6: Be Upfront with your expectations
Being upfront with what you expect in life in general, helps mitigate complications and misunderstandings. Be open and be upfront with people, including your family members. State what you expect from any relationship you get into and allow the opposite party to establish if they can meet your expectation or not. This avoids disappointments and builds trust- something which we desperately need.
7: Mind your words one day at a time
Words our powerful and minding what you say in every situation is important. Instead of saying “Salone get Sweh” say “God help Salone”, instead of saying “Alaki leaders” say “unqualified leaders”. The importance of this is simple, you cannot curse something you hope to benefit from, nor can you curse the land you want to grow your food. It is a simple principle of understanding in general that what you say, someone else somewhere is repeating and this become powerful enough to actually make a shift. No one can grow beyond what they think of themselves and nobody can be valued beyond what they say about themselves.
I do not expect you to automatically change how you talk or what you say at a certain time, in fact for most of us, saying certain words have become an impulse reaction. But you can start one day at a time, by challenging yourself to say one positive thing about Sierra leone or your community on a daily basis.
8: Look for opportunities to collaborate
Competition is great but what is even better is collaboration, when you collaborate, you provide more powerful energy and give a more impactful solution. Unfortunately, in a population of about 7.9 million people (as of the last population and housing census), we compete more than we collaborate. We compete in areas of advocacy, in politics, in entrepreneurship etc, and most of these competitions are unnecessary and the solutions can be more effective if we collaborate. So before you start that new project, start that new business etc. think about collaboration first and look for opportunities to do so.
The above will easily set you up to make more productive and effective decisions: like not throwing dirt by the roadside, building ethical standards that will not allow you take bribes, help you understand that everyone deserves a fair chance at life, seeing things from different perspectives, but to name a few.
Little things done frequently build a character and making Sierra Leone a little bit better is a magnification of our character.