Never Trouble, Trouble, Until Trouble Troubles You: Barking at the Wrong Tree!

Siahyonkron Nyanseor
Lawrenceville, GA
October 16, 2013

The adage, “Never trouble, trouble, until trouble troubles you”; is the appropriate title for my response to Mr. Fayah J. Nyumah’s reckless attack of my article.

Brother Nyumah, “You should always hang your hat where your hand can reach!”

The problem with some of you is - you are convinced that God has given you the exclusive rights to be the one to lead ANY discussion regarding Liberia, and the way you see things should be the way others should see them.

Brother Nyumah, you said so many things in your rebuttal but, for now, I will save you the headache. I will rather let you know why I do what I do.  You see, history does not contain only the future. One will be narrow-minded to think so, and forget the past. The past is not something one forgets easily. It is part of our experiences! Past history serves as a vehicle for correcting past mistakes and improving on past successes.

As a matter of fact, we (Liberians) are where we find ourselves today, because most of our people were too afraid to rock-the-boat or did not have the guts to look the truth squarely in the face to say, "Enough is enough", but we rather engage in hide and seek, deception and hypocrisy. Many religious leaders are guilty of this kind of behavior too. Instead of condemning wrongs, as Jesus did, they let the opportunities for change slip by. And they continue to tell the Liberian people how good it is to forgive and forget. It may be fear and other factors that make them to remain silent on many of these vexed and nagging issues. Personally, I feel something is wrong with this approach!

You see, several decades ago, The Student's Companion written by Wilfred D, Best was one of the most cherished English language textbook supplements that students in Liberia used in the 1960s. The book was resourceful with extensive vocabulary and proverbs. One such proverb goes: "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". This wise saying conjures the complexities of the Liberian experience, which you are now living; therefore, I will let you have your wishes to believe you are riding the horses fast as you dare lecture me about what will save our country– from violence and senseless killings of innocent Liberians. But, remember, you do not have a FRACTION of the EXPERIENCE that I have. I mean experience as an active PARTICIPANT- not as a BYSTANDER.  Age does not qualify you! And you CANNOT claim to have the “Wisdom of Solomon” either!

In Liberia, the past doesn't seem to be going away. Instead, it continues to haunt us. Can we forget the past as suggested by some of you? The answer is NO! It cannot be forgotten; it can be forgiven with the right things put in place. In fact, this is one of the reasons we are being constantly reminded of it through history and the Holy Scriptures. Even then, those who made mistakes in the past will have to admit (repent) and accept the responsibilities to have those mistakes corrected so that they will be forgiven – like the way God forgives our SINS.

To forget the past in the spirit of peace and reconciliation without the wrong doers first admitting their wrongs is to ignore the dynamics of history. This approach has never worked in the past, and I don't think it is going to work for Liberians today, because history as recorder of past and present events has to address the past, without which the future cannot be planned or predicted.

Yet still, if the majority of our people continue to remain silent on these vexed issues, Liberians will end up with a WORWOR (ugly) system, and WORWOR leaders. These WORWOR leaders will continue to violate our rights, including the constitution they swore to uphold.

So, my question to you small brother, what in my article, “Blind Faith in Man: Supporters of Ellen and the Unity Party Government of Liberia” that is not TRUE? You did not mention it in your rebuttal. The word rebuttal is:  a speech, written statement refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument. To rebut is not to state unrelated issues in a debate or argument. Brother, you did a VERY POOR JOB attacking me! Please do a better job next time; I will be waiting.

Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune reminds us, "When justice hangs in the balance, the silent people can be the most dangerous."  I chose not to be among the silent people; I’d rather continue to present the truth about Liberians’  “false pride” and “corrupt practices”. The suggestion to remain silent or join the chorus of opportunists, in defense of the government, especially, a corrupt government is not being HONEST. I honestly believe that is not the way to go. It is not that I dislike those that run our country, but I do so because it is my patriotic obligation; and more importantly, the truth has to be told for the public to decide which side is presenting the truth. Moreover, it is paying my dues for the gift that our Creator has blessed me with. You may disagree with me, but that’s how I feel! And there’s NOTHING you or President Sirleaf’s ULAA DIASPORA CABINET can do about it!

Moreover, my reason for presenting the other side of the “Liberian Palava” is to honor the past in order to shape the present for those who are willing to learn from it; because without knowing the truth about the past, one will not be in the position to make valuable contributions in the PRESENT. Perhaps, this is the reason the late Liberian writer and poet Bai Tamia Moore wrote:

    It is not the dress we wear that counts
    But what we are and what we mean
    For men will soon or later change
    But what we do will here remain.

    Men care not where we come
    But watch to see what we have done
    And when we’ve gone and turned our leaf
    The watch the victory we have won.

NOTE: *ULAA Diaspora Cabinet of President Sirleaf:

President Sirleaf Meets with Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA); Leadership Expresses Willingness to Work with Government - Saturday, 28th September 2013

Gaye Sleh greets Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 

“Mr. Sleh appealed to the Liberian leader to provide his organization office space in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to coordinate its activities and strengthen ties with the government.  The immediate former President of ULAA, now Public Policy Advisor in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Anthony V. Kesselly, has been appointed to coordinate the affairs of the Association in Liberia.”