The President of the Republic of Liberia H.E Joseph Nyuma Boakai has spoken highly of the need for Liberians to make strategic adjustments and changes to their mindsets, if the society is to transform.
Serving as Commencement Speaker Tuesday, January 30, 2024 of the United Methodist University 19th Commencement Convocation in Doemah’s Town, Margibi County, President Boakai said change must first start with Liberians individually before it permeates to the larger society.
Themed “Transforming the Mindset for Societal change” the speech emphasized the President’s deep conviction stating that the society stands to accrue if citizens adopt a new sense of patriotism.
The President said the bitter experience of civil war is hurting society to the extent where Liberians continue to tear each other apart and bring one another down.
“We must always remember that our mindset informs our behavior, which in turn shapes our society, and to build a better society, it is important that we begin holding conversations that will lead to a positive mindset shift now.” He said.
According to President Boakai, it should not be about harmful individualism that leads to greed and corruption but about societal change for the common good.
By undermining each other, Liberians are missing the opportunity to upgrade themselves their country he said.
He recalled: “We are aware that years of war and violence have had a social impact on our country, but we must also acknowledge that we have had many years of peace, stability, and opportunities to reshape society, in ways that should allow us to frown on behaviors that eat the very fabric of society.”
The President said the growing decline in good moral standards is of great concern to him and added that unless Liberians come together to address bad public behavior in society, the next generations will only believe norms that are inimical to society.
“The lack of respect and love for each other is demonstrated daily in many ways across society in the way we think and talk and use media channels including the radio to tear each other apart for greed and selfish reasons,” the Liberian Leader asserted.
He also said that citizens undermine each other, and lie to protect their jobs, no matter how detrimental it is to the public good.
He opined:”It is disheartening that very few people now subscribe to values and principles.”
According to him, such vices are becoming pervasive in society with young people feeding on them as the new normal. President Boakai called on citizens to begin challenging “these predominant norms that have overtaken our society and negatively impact behavior.”
“We need a mindset shift to break the recurring challenges of underdevelopment in our country; we must see things differently, treat others with mutual respect, and view service from a more compassionate lens than individualism and greed,” he further asserted.
He told the graduates and Liberians in general that change only comes when they develop the mindset to break from the past and free themselves of undermining progress.
“The change we must seek should challenge these societal vices and their agency. A transformed mindset that opens up the space and grants everyone equal opportunity builds the foundation for an equal and compassionate society,” the Liberian Chief Executive rallied.
According to him, education is the only to the transformation society needs, while urging the graduates and students to challenge the current mindset and question norms that are contrary to love, compassionate spirit, integrity, honesty, and peaceful coexistence.
President Boakai challenged graduates to ensure that their degrees are not just be about the knowledge acquired, but how well they use it to impact the society and bring about collective change.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Liberia: Executive Mansion.