Moral stature (integrity), personal determination (character) and official task (mission) – these are the fundamental attribute constitute the mandatory tripod of salutary and effective governance. This is neither a secret, much less a profound reality. The history as well as the actuality of this Country - and all other nations for that matter, with a republican democracy as their form of government – testify, to the signal truth and standing reality that the merger or fusion of integrity, character and mission on the part of those governing is the blessing of the governed.
Such on-the-ground reality is applicable to all those holding Public Offices as public trusts - - from the local but specially so in the national level of government. In the absence of any of the elements of the said tripod, then, governance is but public vanity, and the government becomes the official curse of the governed. Hence, without integrity, the officialdom of government gradually but surely wallows in immoral conduct and unethical behavior. In the absence of character, the people have public Officials who direct their governing authority where the wind blows or goes. And with no sense of mission, why would those in government not simply “drink, eat and make merry” as theirs is the power and the means to do so. In other words:
Without integrity, it is certainly easy to recall and contemplate what kind of public Officials a government would have, what kind of governance a Country would experience, what socio-economic life would the governed have. True or otherwise, it is quite recent that someone in the national government was perceived by the general public as the incarnation of graft, the personification of corruption. And needless to say, the public in general was then the certified victim of the absence of integrity in governance.
Without character, those in government would keep the governed hearing rhetoric without substance, would have to be satisfied with but words and signs which are devoid of their respective significance and pursuant realities. In this case, certain simple sayings come to fore: “Words are cheap.” “Promises are made to be broken.”, but “Actions speak louder than words.” And “Tell me what you do, and I will tell you who you are.” Grand plans, impressive programs and excellent projects are all good. But their eventual implementation or actualization is what really counts. In other words, fairy tales are nice to hear – but the realistic and productive governance of a Country require nothing less than much sweat and big toil.
Without mission, what in effect comes about are mediocrity in governance and ambivalence in government. The sense of mission on the part of those governing is the engine of development, the motor of progress. Individuals who are said to “run in circles” may be good for something – but certainly not for the tenure of any public Office, and definitely not for the running of government. The determination and dedication, persistence and perseverance, congruity and consistency – these are intrinsic elements of self-tasking for good governance and an altruistic government.
20 SEPTEMBER 2010