What’s missing?

PNG will turn 36 years come September 16th, and it is only a few days away. When Independence Day arrives, will every citizen of this country know the words of the PNG National Pledge and the National Anthem by heart?


Honestly, I have struggled to memorise the Pledge and would certainly fail should I be asked to recite it from heart. By extension, I can safely assume many are in the same boat and even more cannot sing the anthem without pausing to check if they are singing the right words. Don’t you think all educated PNGeans (all who have gone to school) should know them by heart?


This is not surprising as many of us do not think highly of our country PNG. We think only in terms of our regions or provinces or districts or clans. And there is very little evidence of patriotism for PNG. This compartmentalization, if you will, has unfortunately kept us from creating fruitful people to people relationships that may otherwise have set the foundation for a truly national force.


On this note I’d like to post below the PNG National Pledge. Please learn this and find a place in your crowded hearts to keep its words – words that are powerful enough to inspire the patriot in each of us to wake from an all conquering slumber.


The Pledge



•united in one nation

•pay homage to the memory of our ancestors—the source of our strength and origin of our combined heritage acknowledge the worthy customs and traditional wisdoms of our people—which have come down to us from generation to generation

•pledge ourselves to guard and pass on to those who come after us our noble traditions and the Christian principles that are ours now.

By authority of our inherent right as ancient, free and independent peoples

WE, THE PEOPLE, do now establish this sovereign nation and declare ourselves, under the guiding hand of God, to be the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

AND WE ASSERT, by virtue of that authority

•that all power belongs to the people—acting through their duly elected representatives

•that respect for the dignity of the individual and community interdependence are basic principles of our society

•that we guard with our lives our national identity, integrity and self respect

•that we reject violence and seek consensus as a means of solving our common problems

•that our national wealth, won by honest, hard work be equitably shared by all


Now PNG has been politically independent for almost 36 years. During this time, we have witnessed upheavals that threatened our democracy; others harshly demanded an abrupt change in the course PNG was taking; while others tested the patriots in each of us. In our diversity and at the most trying of times we continued to hold on as one nation. This fortunately is testament of our resilience and determination to remain one nation, one country and one people. And this may well be the only shining achievement thus far.


Upheavals and many setbacks PNG experienced were unfortunately internally caused. And many would have been easily avoided if it were not for our Melanesian, or rather PNG way of doing things. For instance, PNG Time, Wantokism, the over rated Big Men system, cargo cult mentality/free handout mentality and etc. These are demons that have combined together to keep us from achieving bigger things.


We quite often preached education would liberate us from the stranglehold of our way-back ways, but the opposite is happening. In fact we use education to fine tune and utilize in smarter ways these demons, then, stand prepared to defend ourselves if the results are undesirable.


The conducts of our political and public service leaders are classic examples. Many commentators, especially foreigners, use the cliché ‘the land of the unexpected’ to mock us but we seem perfectly alright with the way things are going and seldom come together as one people to fight for what is right. Thus we’re all guilty of making this country whatever it is right now.


With a huge pool of educated leaders and public servants, successful business men and women, big multinationals and the massive potential we have in terms of untapped natural resources; so far nothing has gone according to plan every time we embark on what initially may seem promising. So what is wrong with us? Have we overlooked something?


I, in all honesty will not subscribe to any thought that may remotely or otherwise suggest lack of experience, knowledge, resources, or plain guts. In fact we have all but something seem to be lacking still. What might this be? I would like to think that it is wisdom that is missing.


It appears , as Wikipedia puts it; ‘a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought’ is glaringly lacking or non-existent in this country. Furthermore, ‘wisdom often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the passions) so that one’s principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions’ is again almost missing.


Though this world isn’t a perfect one, when have we heard or seen something done in this country that consistently produce optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought? Or when have we heard or seen something done without producing half baked results or none at all? We as a country have been inconsistent thus far and the future seems unlikely to change. As another author, Martyn Namorong, correctly puts it; ‘the only thing consistent in PNG is the absence of justice.’ And sadly we excel in this regard.


We suppose to make the best use of our knowledge to achieve optimum results however, to our detriment, we have consistently failed and the state of this country is a testament to this. And this should send us all to the dens of shame and wailing. But why do we continue to maintain this status quo? Why do we still not react and be alarmed that in all these confusions and tragedies we live each day, we’re slowly drowning?


About febijefwhispers
I love reading and writing poetry!

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