“Money is thicker than blood” is definitely a weird comparison to make. What we are used to is “blood is thicker than water”
The economic situation we find ourselves in here in Ghana and of course most part of Africa today calls for such a contrast. Most people are bruised by the economic pandemic we have now. This is causing family ties to loosen, “hard earned” or established friendships twisted and people who depended on hand outs on the street drastically reduced.
There is definitely some considerable amount of truth in the recent lamentation of the government that times are hard, yes, nearly everywhere. It is also perfectly understandable that “Adam” (the government) will find it suitable to blame “Eve and Eve, the serpent”.
Shifting blame on others and current global challenges for our current crises is an easy and convenient approach to adopt as far as our exacerbated economic state of affairs is concerned. However, the real reason for this is that there has not been judicious use of the money in the public purse. This, in my opinion, should be our main focus; how to come up with measures or systems that can uphold the judicious use of what is in the public purse. When you put in place support systems that favor you, which make you live lavishly, certainly, when there is a storm, you would be taken up by surprise.
Most African leaders pretend not to see the hardship written on the faces of their people. Most of them have failed to jealously protect the public purse as distinctively promised during their inaugural speeches. Public offices are meant for rendering services and not for serving our monetary desires. However, politics has become a very lucrative and quick way to acquire wealth on the African continent especially through greed and corruption. Some people enter into public office to make the wealth society cherishes and to make life more comfortable for them at all cost. This is partly because contemporary African Society tends to value wealth and the wealthy above virtuous and principled living. The wealthy tend to be respected often without scrutinizing the source of their wealth. This has driven many people to look for whatever means would make them acquire wealth. This has thus made a lot of people: families, friends and even religious groups to value or desire money more than anything, even a blood relation.
Truth be told! “You cannot make bad things or evil go away by pretending they do not exist”. We have slowly glorified evil so much that we tend not to know or see the difference between wrong or evil and what is right or the truth anymore. Today, many families will not hesitate to disassociate themselves from relations who are in dying need or find themselves in one predicament or the other. This stern economic hardship has challenged people’s loyalty to the truth, trust, respect and other virtues that are meant to hold the good name of the families, friendship, an organizations and even religious communities.
We can run for help to salvage the situation, however, the truth still remains that if we do not put some serious measures in place and strictly adhere to them, those moves will be a step in the wrong direction. It is not the amount of money we have or get that makes the difference but the prudent use of it.
The birds in the air know when a season is about to change and therefore gather enough to sustain themselves. Natural disasters, pandemic or economic storms should be something we should factor in our planning; prioritize either as a nation or government, family or any other organization.
Some of the sure ways to survive this and any other storm, so that we can still maintain our family ties, friendship and live honorably is to first accept the fact that there is a storm and it has taken everyone by surprise. Blame games now would not change the story or situation.
Secondly, we have to shift into the “stormy gear”, which is putting in place temporary and disciplinary measures regarding our way of life; check wastage, unnecessary celebrations, glamorous weddings, expensive funerals, use less fuel and walk more.
Thirdly, this is the best time to make a clearer distinction between “need” and ”want”. Go for what is needed for now. Inculcate the same habit in the younger generation.
Fourthly, be more generous towards others, especially those who can hardly make a day’s square meal.
Be security conscious, particularly with the people around you. Every hardship or stormy period ignites some form of energy for survival at all cost. Beware of tricksters and fraudsters of any kind (including some friends and even family members). As much as this might be difficult for many to bear, we should still price higher the peace we enjoy.
Dissuade friends with bad and dangerous motives, otherwise, the little blood that still connects as family will be drained out for the want of money, which has now become thicker than blood.
Source: Nicholas Nibetol Aazine, SVD
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC Coordinator)
Divine Word Missionaries, Ghana-Liberia Province