“JUST BE IT AND DO IT”
People are constantly complaining about how corrupt our government is; how unprofessional our government employees are; and, especially, how much nepotism there is among the government agencies. It seems that with each new administration, we find people to place blame on for anything and everything. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: "Is it the government that needs changes, or is it our perspective?"
As we take a closer look at each of the forms of government around the world, we will find that there is no perfect government, including the U.S.
I am in no way, shape or form providing justification for everything that our government does wrong. In fact, I agree with most people that our government does, indeed, need a lot of adjustments. However, I am tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. We have become so critical of our leaders and our employees that we focus only on the negative things they have done, never acknowledging the good things.
How are our leaders supposed to know which things work for us if we only respond to the things that do not? How can we expect our leaders to lead efficiently if we are constantly attacking them for not having a more advanced educational background, or come from a better, or different, family? How can we expect them to lead if we are not willing to let them?
We need to stop looking at our leaders (and each other) through critical eyes, but through eyes of compassion. We need to help them run our government; help them make better decisions. These individuals were not chosen to work for us; they were chosen to work with us, to better our communities.
A well-known criminologist and theorist, Travis Hirschi, established that good decision-making was greatly impacted by various areas of one´s life — emphasis on "various." Hirschi found that good relationships between individuals, amongst the government, families, communities and churches together greatly influenced the ability to make better decisions.
So instead of criticizing them for what they lack, give them a compliment or two, then lend a hand.
Write to your leaders and get your voice into the Fono. Do whatever it takes to get their attention. Show your support and make it known that you want to help. Let your leaders know that you are willing to go the extra mile with them to make our government better; let them know that YOU can help create a better future for the children of American Samoa.
Whatever you do, just stop complaining. Complaining has not helped change anything in the past; do you really think it´s going to be any different now?
And as for our ASG employees and leaders, we need to stop making excuses for ourselves. We keep trying to justify the wrong acts and the bad habits. When have we become the logo for corruption and poor work ethics? We keep saying, "The system is not perfect, but we have to work with it. We need to keep on keeping on." I agree. The system is not perfect, but we should not be working "with" it, we need to work "in spite" of it.
In other words, just because everyone is doing the same thing, does not mean we have to go with the flow. We need to start practicing the good habits.
I present to you the “The Dirty Glass of Water" concept (Joel Osteen, How to Become a Better You). When you have a dirty glass of water that you cannot pour out, the only thing left to do is to keep pouring in clean water. The more you do that, eventually it will filter itself out and this dirty glass of water will, then, become "clean."
Our government is a perfect representation of this concept. We are, and I am more than confident that a majority will agree, a dirty glass of water — the dirty water representing that of all the negative concepts we have heard mentioned consistently. The clean water represents all that we need to do. Stop trying to make the difference. Just be it and do it.
Your humble servant
Genesis A. Tau