'The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts today.'
Those are not my words. They are the words of one of the greatest politicians ever to grace the shores of the planet earth. The 32 nd president of the United States of America (USA) is the man I refer to. If you still have clouds dangling in your medulla, then Franklin D. Roosevelt is the name.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is a mentor because his life inspires hope and confidence. He never hesitated to use the least opportunity to inspire the youth to dream and struggle to attain those dreams. Even in death, the two words most of his sayings resonate are 'hope' and 'confidence'.
Taking over the presidency in the midst of the Great Depression, he steered the affairs of state so meticulously that he endeared himself to the American people. As a result, the American people gave him the opportunity to serve four terms as president of the USA.
Born in 1882, he was struck by polio at the age of 39, but overcame his physical struggle to become president a decade later. Indeed, he is the only president elected to more than two terms. If Franklin D. Roosevelt were alive today, I have no doubt in my mind that he would be the first person to say Nana Addo's free SHS policy is doable.
Abusuapanin, believe me or don't; Nana Addo's free SHS policy has given members of the ruling government a lot to think about. 'The policy is too costly' is now the song on their lips. They claim the nation does not have the wherewithal to finance such a policy.
Ha, ha, ha! Even if their claim is true, I can promise them that just as the nation was able to get cowries and engage in frivolities in the name of judgment debts, so will it get some more to finance important projects such as the free SHS policy.
The free SHS policy Nana Addo is promising us is not rocket science. It is not a project that is planning to send an astronaut to the moon. Neither is it a project that intends to transform our filth-ridden capital into a modern city like Tokyo or Dubai. Even if it were, why do we have to tell ourselves we can't, when others have done it before? Is it that we are lesser humans than they are?
My late father always told me there were two categories of people- optimists and pessimists. Optimists are visionaries. They believe in the can-do spirit in man and are always hopeful of the outcome of an event. Pessimists, on the other hand, are doubting Thomases who always find reason to pour cold water on very viable plans.
It is very apparent that members of the ruling Zu-za belong to the latter. They have no idea whatsoever as to how to fund such a project so they delude themselves into believing it is unachievable. Since they can't, they are convinced others too can't.
You see, that is where they get it wrong. We do have different talents and abilities. The fact that they cannot do something does not mean others too can't. A classic example is when the National Health Insurance Bill was passed. Members of Zu-za, who were then in opposition, boycotted Parliament and even swore Heaven and Earth that the National Health Insurance Scheme would fail.
Has the scheme failed? Has the scheme not worked very well until they took over and plunged it into a mess?
The Vice-President tells us free SHS is not a priority. To him, what is priority is splashing 51m cowries on cronies in the name of judgment debt. Unprecedented achievement indeed!
I fully understand the scepticism being expressed by some of my compatriots about the viability of the free SHS policy. Having been hoodwinked into believing Kwaku Ananse tales of a one-time health insurance policy, the 'reduce-fuel-drastically' policy and the STX Housing policy; it's understandable if they assume Nana's promise of a free SHS for all is also a ploy to hoodwink them into voting for him.
However, I would implore my compatriots to use Nana Addo's own history in judging him and not use other people's failure as a yardstick to judge him. Nana Addo, we all know, is a man whose word can be trusted. He is no hypocrite to say one thing and do another. He will not promise to reduce fuel drastically and do the exact opposite.
I would be lying if I said the policy would be problem-free. One thing that is certain is that there will be challenges. We can address the challenges as we go along. As Albert Einstein puts it, 'A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.'
Mohammed Ali, arguably the greatest boxer of all times, once said, 'A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he will never crow. I've seen the light and I'm crowing.'
It's pretty obvious that Nana Addo is crowing because he has seen the light. His critics too are mute because they are still in the dark. Let's all therefore rally behind Nana Addo for real hope and visionary leadership. We should all remember that we are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of our own minds.
See you next week for another interesting nkomo!