Welcome to the 21st century where social media is the new normal. Each handle provides news around the globe, causing fear or panic, humour or motivation. Though its negative side surpasses the positive, its positive impact has improved life for the better.
It has become a tool to which people display their everyday lives, businesses, talents etc. some for good reasons, others to get into the limelight. In all, it serves the purpose of its patronage.
In Ghana, social media is a recognized tool aside from the broadcast media for everyday happenings. One I’ve come to love is the fact that, when someone does right or wrong whether the person is known or not, his history could easily be dug out in a matter of seconds.
It has immensely provided help to people in need especially when they have pathetic plights. Whilst some do it for the cameras, others do it genuinely. Nonetheless, the purpose of help gets done by the end of the day.
The question is, is it the right way to go? Centring around our oldies or youngies in the entertainment industry and more, from years past till now, until their plight or demise hit on social media that is when we seek to provide them with the necessary attention.
Have we asked ourselves, before their attention was drawn on social media, how were they faring? Sometimes, before it gets onto the media, their situation had worsened and are near death; a typical example of ‘Apraku my daughter’.
According to sources, before his video popped up, he had called on friends including pastors he had helped travelled abroad or enriched, but none came to his aid. Taking a look at people he’s helped but refusing to help him led to his unfortunate state. It was rather fortunate or unfortunate to have received that video on social media.
Until his predicament came to light, his family and those he called friends most of which are pastors, who didn’t care to help, what are they to do now with his death? He may have received typical comments like, “your time is past, just die for us to live in peace, everybody will see your end; look at you, so upon all the money you made, you had no use of it and you’re now coming to us for help” amid insults and even threats of being arrested.
The agony, pain and how hateful they become of themselves when treated as such is meted out to them is almost as death. The video depicted mockery but yet, in time to let the world know of his plight. What if it had surfaced earlier; looking at the swift response of provision of help to him.
But was it needful to come to that? Should anyone in need of help jump unto social media? Are people quick to help when they see videos or pictures circulating? What if it’s already late by then?
All those seeking help are neighbours of us all on social media. Yes, the next-door neighbour who has been sick for months and lay on that sick bed waiting for death is heavenly in need of your help. But you close your eyes and shut your ears of compassion toward him. Yet when you get on social media and see people in need, tears draw out of your eyes.
How pitiful can you be to people you don’t even know but take quick steps to bypass the beggar at your junction? There are claims that some beggars take the money of givers to voodoos whatsoever, but have you verified that? People need help, and they will get it only from you.
I do not want to believe in the statement, Ghanaians love the dead. We are loving people, very hospitable, the very reason we have all people across the world living in peace with us. Why then do viral videos move us to show our compassion? People are living in pain, guilt, depression and neglect, yet we see them daily and show no sympathy. The aggravating part is; we know who they are but we pass them by each day.
They cry in their hearts as you pass by with the bags of food and drinks with joy written all over your face. They feel it when you knock them by foot without saying sorry. They will even love to hear a greeting or an exchange of pleasantry or at best giving them some words of hope or better still some amount of money, even if it could only afford water.
Don’t go online, and be all pitiful when in your neighbourhood, streets, workplace even in a church you see and hear of the plights of those around you. You keep saying, “do you know what I’m also going through” madam, let go of that phrase for a week, and be a blessing for a few days and see the outcome. The overflow of peace within your heart could even surpass what could be weighing you down.
We are all not rich, but since the rich wouldn’t help, what do we do? Do we wait for people to die so we post their pictures on our handles telling of their friendship or goodness? Or travel a thousand mile to their funerals, when they were just across the streets and you couldn’t check upon them? They wouldn’t hear or see your praise sweetheart, why? Because they are dead!
You see flyers of obituary everywhere, do get closer, check if the funeral is near you. Check on the family, if it’s a widow or widower, or parents at a loss of their child, draw closer, a word or two of encouragement wouldn’t go waste. Put something little in an envelope and leave. If another passes by to do the same, what have we done? At least, we have taken some cost off their burden.
That girl or boy who is always shouting for the sale of his wares in the flat pan on his head, around your neighbourhood, buy some, please. You will get fresh ones at the supermarket I know, but please buy it. Your only purchase could be what will put food on their table for the day; be merciful, and kind, even, the good book requires us of that.
Be helpful to individuals not just when it benefits you. In your time of need, it could be a fellow stranger at your door to help. You have a long contact list, but just a few you chat with. Pick a day and get in touch, you will think of finding solutions to help but you will never know your call will lead you to your helper.
Choosing to ignore people who are suffering around us brings nothing, after all, they will die or get out of it. How would you feel when they die or when they survive? Your goal in life shouldn’t be set on just what you can achieve or what you can gain, it should as well be planted in ways to which you can help support or impact the lives of others.
People who impact the world for the better know that the helpless are not perfect. They understand how their knowledge is not complete; there are always gaps, biases, limitations and prejudices. Thus, they stretch out to help them.
Seek to nature and groom the youth, as you do to your children and family. Blood isn’t only that creates a family, we are family in the Lord, and being each other’s keeper is what it means to be a good neighbour.
Thousands of people do not believe in the meaning and purpose of giving something to discover or pursue in life. Others believe in it but wouldn’t take the risk to honour it. Those with positive influence feel otherwise.
They have found that there is a purpose to their life which involves their turning their mess into a message, or using what they’ve learned, often the hard way, as a means of being at service to others.
People with a sense of purpose on giving, are driven with focus and committed and therefore are lit up from the inside. They can’t be deterred or distracted from what they believe is their calling on earth. This sense of meaning gives them inexhaustible drive and offers guidelines to follow along the path.
Be a positive influence in the lives of your mates, coworkers, family and friends, even to strangers. Positive influencers don’t take short cuts or an easy answer. They don’t view some arbitrary goal or outcome as a destination, to them it’s all about what their learning experiences and buildup of others that define their endpoint.
They embrace failure more readily as information that guides them. They are more fluid and flexible and more open to the ‘how’s’ because their ultimate goal is not about upholding their income or reputation, status or power but about ways to help and share what they know. Let’s all join hands in doing kindness, and together, Ghana will continue to be a beautiful place.
Watch our YouTube videos below: