Human beings are mortal beings made of matter. We have weight and occupy a whole lot of space. We are made of different forms of solid, liquid, and gases. We are sometimes referred to as “First-class animals”, but why the need for the term “First-class”?
Human beings and certain species of the animal kingdom have only one difference, the mind, animals do not make value judgments, they do not think, animals are mostly driven by the feeling of hunger or the need to mate. Human beings do not work that way.
The mind is the seat of all executive functions; planning, thinking, problem-solving, organization, impulse control, inhibition, etc. It has been found that all these functions occur in the frontal lobe of the brain. Psychologists, therefore, believe that the “mind” rests in the frontal lobe.
The African mind I believe has over the past 500 years succumbed to the subtle bullies of the Western world. As Africans, we have been slowly but effectively made to believe that we are not supposed to compete with the outside world because of the color of our skin.
The battle against Africa is not necessarily a battle of fists, nor of weapons, but a battle of the mind. Most leaders do not succeed in leadership because although their status changes from citizens to members of state, parliament, their mind-set remains the same.
African leaders and Africans have the “now” mind-set which will not give us the needed push to compete on the world stage.
In my opinion, Africans have the Esau mind-set. Inferring from the story in Genesis chapter 25:27 downwards that Esau only wants to satisfy his hunger at the moment and in the process ends up selling his birth-right which is both a spiritual and a physical blessing.
Esau exaggerates his hunger and “suffering” so Jacob sees it as an opportunity to acquire a blessing for the future. Jacob had a futuristic mindset. Africans need to shift from the “now” mindset to a futuristic mindset.
In order to cause change, we need to change the way we think, our thoughts or mind processes inform our behavior. Africans need to start cultivating the excellent, visionary, or generational mind-set and sowing these mindsets into our children who are the next generation.
Generational thinkers and visionary leaders always put in place systems that are geared toward the growth of the incoming generation. I believe that once we as Africans begin by changing their mindsets we would have begun our journey to securing our place as an excellent continent on the world stage.
Brad Turnbull once said, “if you want to change your life, change your mindset”.
Author: Olivia Tetteh