Samoa is such a wonderful puzzle. That much we cannot deny.
It has got so much potential in many areas of life yet it just cannot seem to find what it does best so that as a people, nation and most importantly an independent country, we get the feeling we take one step forward and two backwards.
Which is the worst feeling ever.
You see, when we sit down and consider what is available, challenges and the reality on the ground, you would agree with me that there is so much potential in this country.
Socially, economically, spiritually, we have it all.
But we just cannot seem to find the right gear to allow us to fly.
Let me give you an example. Think of tourism and how wonderful Samoa is as a destination. Think of sports – rugby in particular – and what a talented lot our people are. And yet we just do not seem to be making enough progress that would really let us fulfill our destiny and full potential.
There are other areas of life we can talk about but we will stop here. You get our drift.
One of the problems is that here in Samoa today, there is so much injustice we believe is holding this country back. The stench emanating from the government, the church and villages’ failure to address some of the more pressing issues confronting this country – including abuse of power - is hard to fathom.
We’re talking about rising social problems and inability to address incidents of corruption that are hurting the most vulnerable people in our community.
When it comes to the government, these incidents have been highlighted by the Controller and Chief Auditor as well as the Officers of Parliament Committee (O.P.C) reports to Parliament. They have been told in detail on the pages of this newspaper time and time again.
Transparency? Accountability? Good governance? You’re kidding!
Inside the church, there is reason to believe that some shepherds are doing more harm to the flock, leaving them in sorrow and suffering. They are more interested in what money and materials they can get from them.
Love? Care? Tender mercies? Absolutely not.
As for the villages, we believe the matai system can offer a lot more to help the government and the churches address the problems of today. It involves using the immense power they have to influence young people positively. It also involves them leading by example by doing what is right. Just because you are a matai doesn’t give you the license to abuse and use other people. You are there to serve not to dictate and do as you please without considering others.
Today, let us once again remind our leaders in government, churches and in the villages that they are occupying those positions for a reason.
That reason is not to protect wrongdoing but to uncover the truth, bring about justice so that the blessings from God for Samoa are equally shared among all.
And since many of them love claiming that they have been put in their positions by God, let them also be reminded that it is God who gives authority, he also removes authority. In his own time.
So while they are in a position of authority, we urge them to use it well, use it wisely because one day we will all be called to account for every little thing we are doing.
What about you and me? Well we all have a role to play. Parents have a role to play; children too have a critical contribution to make. That’s how a country is developed. It’s about making people feel appreciated; it’s about taking ownership of all the problems, challenges and the blessings. It’s about honestly assessing ourselves, reevaluating where we are and then being humble enough to make the changes.
Looking at Samoa today, it must be said that some changes are sorely needed to allow this country to fully realise its potential. What do you think?
Have a peaceful Friday Samoa, God bless!