I saw a TED talk this morning by a guy called Seth Godin and he talked about stuff that’s broken [i.e. not working as they should], why they’re broken and how there’s a huge potential to make things unbroken. The big problem is that we usually don’t realise they’re broken. Or we just happen to find a whole bunch of complicated reasons to complicate things. Or we just ignore them and get comfortable. I guess sometimes we all need reminders of what BROKEN means. #wakeupcall
If I think it’s broken, then it’s broken. Same applies to you; if you think it’s broken then its broken.
If you watch the talk you’ll probably agree with me that he glosses over some things too lightly, jumps too easily to conclusions, and is a bit too idealistic or perhaps, too harsh on some broken things. But even if so, I think he has a point, and it holds, if nowhere at all, here in Ghana. So far, this summer, I’ve had to deal with a whole lot of things that are obviously broken: telecommuniation, transport, services, and the rest. And it’s as if no one sees anything wrong. Too often I’ve heard people say, “but this is Ghana”. It’ll be great to be on the “but this is Ghana” end of the arguement. Afterall, everything is in your favour. Break speed limits or deliver poor services and you’ll get away with it. But he got me thinking. How we can’t be comfortable with this for too long.
I’ve already mentioned my horrible experience with the barber in an earlier post; such poor service. That’s broken. I get stopped by a policeman, who tries to intimidate me because of my age [I’m 19 and licensed]. That’s broken. Same thing happens to my brother. He gets
intimidated insulted because of his accent, and his claim to not understand twi. That’s broken. My internet goes off, every morning for like a week or two. That’s broken. Whilst driving, a trotro just stops in the middle of the road to pick up passengers. That’s broken and it’s probably familiar to everyone who’s used a road in Accra before. There’s an open gutter in the middle of the road. That’s broken. The newly tarred roads have potholes after only a few weeks months. That’s broken. The shopkeeper’s rudeness/laziness. That’s broken. The light-offs. That’s broken. Underpaid staff. That’s broken. Understaffed establishments. That’s broken.
I heard on radio the other day, how to sit in a Benz 207 trotro and survive is a miracle. What happned to roadworthy tests and driving tests? That’s broken.
But ah well, you complain and they say “but this is Ghana”.
There’s a huge potential to get these things unbroken. And it all starts with us.