Most Liberians label journalists as people who are critical of virtually everything, but who don’t give credit to where credit rightfully belongs. In some cases, most Liberians flip-flop, then go into denial when they see an editorial that commends the government or a government official or an individual, saying uh, how much did he or she paid them to write this thing. Journalists are in a tight position, which makes our job a complex one everywhere in the world. Citizens come after us, saying we are liars and so forth, while government or government officials threaten us in different forms and using different methods to get at us.
Last Tuesday, the INSIGHT Newspaper carried the story titled, “New Georgia Gulf residents honor John Davis and family-say he is a blessing to the community.”
During the honoring program, community residents, most of who are from the lowest echelon of society, did not only praise the Davis family, but one could also see the sincerity written on their faces when they went to acknowledge the family’s good deeds.
Although, not everyone in the community, Block D, talk or would talk good about the Davis family as it is as usual, I as the reporter of this story, before and after the honoring program, talked to about 75 percent of the residents to find out if they differ whether the Davis family merits those praises. The result found that 95 percent of the residents spoke to named hundreds of things the Davis family has done for the community and the people and individuals. The reporter found that the Davis family has helped virtually every resident living in that block.
The Davis family lives in a fenced house, which suggests to some people they love seclusion. But like our people say, “To know the kind of fruit a tree bears one must go under it first.” The truth is, not everyone who lives in fenced house loves isolation. Most people live in fenced house because of their position or status in society. Their positions and status in society make them vulnerable to criminals and foes. It is interesting to note here, that we, as Liberians are accustomed to assumption, and that was exactly what happened with respect to my experience with the Davis family when I first moved to the area. There were lots of things said about the family, especially Mr. John SB Davis III.
Some people said John Davis is proud and community residents barely see him. Some said he was overcharging them for the fuel for the generator. Later, Mr. Davis turned over the generator to the community for their own use. Ironically, the residents could not maintain the generator, thereby mocking their own claim that Mr. Davis was overcharging them. To hit the nail on the head as regards this opinion piece, the author of this opinion piece did not only write the story for the honoring of the Davis Family but also is a resident of the community that is been discussed.
In light of the foregoing, it is thoughtful, like one of the honoring program speakers said, “Let’s give a man his flower while he is alive.” And as stated earlier, when we criticize, we should also praise when the person to whom the praise is made merits such. In this case, based on my experience in the community and after listening to dozens of residents, the Davis family merited the honoring program and merits all the praises. Besides the humanitarian gestures, the Davis family is down to earth.
What makes this opinion piece interesting is it appeals to others who are in the positions to help their fellow citizens who are downtrodden, but some reasons refuse to do so.
Let’s think not of the notion that says nothing for nothing. Others say they don’t like to help because when they fall down the same people they helped would mock them. This is what Mr. Davis said when he was responding to the praises; that what his family does is strictly out of passion for humanity, not because the Davis family is rich or has everything. I believe we should not give because we want to be paid back.
Mr. Davis said New Georgia Gulf residents should not wait for government. Let his message not only be heard but should also be done by those who hears it. And let the message goes to all Liberians. Let other higher-ups follow the Davis family‘s good example by taking initiatives to fix bad roads, water pumps and other social services in their respective communities.
This is the message from the Davis family. And this is the message this piece wishes to convey to all Liberians. Let’s take initiatives without motives. Most of us would wait for election time before we take initiatives that are not even worth a thousand U.S. dollar. Let’s give back to the people so that more can be added unto us. The last word is: “A giver never lack.”
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