Words are powerful, it can make or unmake someone. What are the words you use? Does it empower someone or destroy someone?
Over some years now, I have been contemplating on how Ghanaians celebrate the death more than the living. Of what essence is it? Meanwhile, a brother or sister is going through a trying situation and thus needs some words of encouragement to empower him or her to overcome that situation. It is not wrong to celebrate the dead because, our culture demands it. My problem is the way we celebrate the dead, how we praise the dead, if the same attitude and demeanour was to be shown to the person while he or she was alive, it would definitely be beneficial to the person.
Many people die due to emotional stress especially depression. Depression is a common mental disorder that presents one with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. It may come as a surprise to you, but by the end of today, five or more people in Ghana would have taken their own lives, a phenomenon known as suicide.
Available statistics from GhanaWeb.com on suicide in Ghana put together by the Network for Anti-suicide and Crisis Prevention over a year indicates that Greater Accra region had the highest number of deaths by suicide, recording 431, Northern Region 276, Ashanti Region 132, Upper West 118, Brong Ahafo Region 114, Upper East 102, Western Region 102, Eastern Region 98, Volta Region 97, Central region 86, which sum up to 1,556.
We wait for all these people to die due to depression before we go to the person’s funeral and celebrate him or her, give the family huge money for them to know you love the person. Meanwhile, when the person was alive, you never showed him or her care or love. Hardly will you check up on the person, sometimes they call you or message and you don’t answer, all in the name of being busy. When you are less busy, you don’t return calls or reply messages. What prevents you from showing the person love while the person is on earth? Sometimes, people don’t need money to come out of their situation. They need words of encouragement, company, advice, compassion and love to help them get strong and to overcome their depressing conditions. We will never celebrate our living loved ones, wait till the person dies before we decide to celebrate the person.
Once in a while, use their pictures as display picture (DP) or status and let them know how you value them. From time to time, send the person a message as you tell him or her how you appreciate their presence in your life and what they mean to you. Doing this, will make the person confide in you with his or her problems, you can then help the person in addressing the problem. Doing this, will boost the person’s self –esteem and make the person feel he or she is important in someone’s life. It will do a lot of good than harm.
Celebrate the Living
When someone is embarking on a worthy cause or does something good, hardly will you see someone encouraging the person to keep it up or supporting the person. Let someone say something bad, and then you will see people hastily condemning the person. It is always good to criticise someone constructively, but not to condemn the person. We are fast in condemning someone rather than appreciating or celebrating someone. We need to learn to criticise people constructively to make them better people. We are in the world of competition, healthy competition is very important, because it strengthens our systems. On the contrary, people compete and some wish for the downfall of their colleagues. They will do everything possible to pull a colleague down. Surprisingly, even some churches are in competition. This is factual not an assumption beyond reality. Honestly, the sky is big enough to accommodate all of us. Therefore, let us wish each other well. Let us learn to encourage each other, inspire each other, support each other and teach each other to become better persons. Let us empower each other with words, because words give us hope. Words revive our inner being, words restore lost hope. Sometimes, it is not only about money, but it is about encouragement. Your words can light up someone’s future.
Empower the Living
What are the things you write on your social media platforms? Does it inspire or break down someone? Write on your social media like your child is reading. If you see your brother, sister or a friend in a sad mood, do well to say some words of encouragement to the person even if you don’t know the problem. We don’t need to help people we only know. Helping someone is like planting a seed; you don’t know when the fruit will ripe. Helping someone today will benefit you tomorrow, probably your children might be the one to enjoy it. We are in a small world, let us empower each other with words to build a stronger and better society. Speak words into someone’s life!
I speak for change! Be a change agent!
Editor: Mr Louis Owusu