We’ve tough choices to make in 2019

We’ve tough choices to make in 2019

A former priest at the Maseru United Church, Pastor Bryan Pinches, once told a story during one of his sermons about a man who was losing his sight.
Even though Pastor Pinches has long retired and long settled in the United Kingdom (UK), his sermon remains relevant and fresh in my mind.
While I was deeply in thoughts about what could have gone wrong in my beloved country, I came across a few notes I collected from Pastor Pinches’s sermons.
The pastor used to wait by the church entrance to ensure that everyone gets a copy of his notes of the sermon. This particular sermon, I found inspirational and relevant to my country at this point in time.
The story is about a man who went to an optician for the examination of his deteriorating eyesight. After examination the optician told him that glasses wouldn’t help. He had a medical problem. So he went to a doctor, who sent him to a specialist, who prescribed him a course of pills.
He was delighted that his eyesight had improved dramatically. He could now see things he had not seen clearly for years.

Instead of having to grope his way forward, peering down to make sure he didn’t trip over anything, he could now stride out confidently because he could clearly see ahead.
However, as time went on he realised that he was finding it difficult to remember things. He became so confused that he couldn’t even remember his way home.
So he went back to the specialist who told him to try leaving off taking the pills for a while. He was relieved to find that his memory improved, but his eyesight began to deteriorate again.
He returned to the specialist who put him back on a lower dose of the pills, which improved his sight but affected his memory.

Finally, after several return visits to the specialist, he was given an ultimatum. “It’s up to you. You have to make a choice. You must decide whether you want to be able to remember where you have been, or be able to see where you are going!”
Fortunately as Basotho we have never had to face such a choice! God has enabled us to do both. Nevertheless I am afraid Basotho have chosen to only remember the past and not to see where they are going. We have been stuck in the past for ages.

Similarly, the Roman god Januarius, after whom our month of January is named, had two heads with two pairs of eyes. One head was staring backwards, and the other forwards, so that Januarius could see the past and the future at the same time.
Unfortunately for Lesotho, during the past 53 years of independence, Basotho have mastered the art of being able to see the past only. Basotho have lived in the past for too long.
Our country is constantly hurting, in pain, filled with hatred, political segregation and no progress because all we do is to remember where we have been.

We are unable to see where we are going. In fact, we have never been led by visionary leaders with a clear vision of where to take this country. We have had mis-leaders who only reminded us of our past and that’s were they have kept this nation for decades – in the past.
My fellow brothers and sisters, this is our last chance to fix our fundamental problems.

We have lived under poverty, shame, underdevelopment, depression, terrible roads, corrupt governments, dilapidated roads and buildings, nepotism, mediocrity, and disrespect for hard work and quality, economic recession, businesses closing down, high levels of unemployment, government reserves have been depleted and revenue streams keep on shrinking, no service delivery, giving jobs to the Chinese and laziness for too long.
January is the month when we can look back over the previous 12 months and indulge in retrospection and re-evaluating some of the choices we made in 2018.

We must decide as a generation that enough is enough with remembering where we have been only, we must be able to see where we are going!
Political battles have been part of every generation. Frantz Fanon argued that “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity.”
Ntsu Mokhehle and Leabua Jonathan’s generation fought for independence. Pakalitha Mosisili and Thomas Thabane only maintained the past generation’s achievement of independence.
They were only able to remember where we have been as a nation. Every generation has something to fight for.

The battle for my generation is to make sure that this nation is able to see where we are going! We must fulfil the dream of an economically independent state and economically empowered Basotho.
We must remember victory does not come by accident! In order to fight any battle, one has to have the right strategies and resources. In the midst of all our problems, I am convinced that my generation has what it takes to take this country forward.

They have demonstrated resilience, determination, courage and ingenuity. This gives me hope for the future. Louie Carrillo is correct when he said: “Purpose is discovered in the solution to a problem. No purpose, no dream, no goal, no reason and no goal (leads to an empty and lifeless life).”
We must be grateful that we have so many problems because that presents us with an opportunity to discover solutions for them. Our problems are economical in nature.
The solution to our economic problems is industrialisation.

We must use industrialisation as a way to boost the economy. We need to industrialise and add value to everything that we produce – from agriculture, to diamonds, water, essential oils, medicinal plants/herbs and wool and mohair.
I wish to thank God for His protection, provision and guidance during the last year and also look ahead and trust Him for the future.

By Ramahooana Matlosa

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