Every year we have students graduate from our institutions, and every year we have people join the workforce, despite the “no jobs” narrative.

Yet every year we complain about the same issues, every year we complain about the same problems. Makes you wonder in which generation will the issues we complain about, be phased out of our systems? Who will implement the change we all want to see?

Let’s take a very relatable example; PNG Power and Blackouts.

Photo from PNG Power Facebook Page

We all complain! Almost every day we do! But that’s all we do, complain for the sake of it, complain, and expect miracles to happen.

But here’s a question for you students; how many of you strive to be engineers? 

How many of you can actually be engineers, but are too lazy to put in the work to be one? How many have the capability and the resources but don’t have the drive to work for a greater good?

How many of you if and after being employed by PNG Power would actually be able to effect or contribute some change, contribute some level of efficiency at your level?

How many of you would risk your new-found job to challenge upper management on the decisions they make that aren’t benefitting the grid?

How many of you would bite the bullet and give 20 years of your life to the industry and organisation so that you get to an upper management position AND THEN effect change? Yes, that would mean challenging the Board, MD, CEO, and even the Minister. 

Okay, let’s say for argument’s sake, we can’t all be engineers. Take something outside of the STEM fields.

Photo from Bank South Pacific Website

Let’s say you are a graduate employee with a financial institution. Say you start work knowing that service is slow, service isn’t as efficient as it should be. Or at least that’s what the public says.

How long can you remember the people’s complaints as you work your way up to a position where you can be able to truly influence change? Eg a branch manager or senior officer.

Do you even have what it takes to rise through the ranks? What unique skill set do you bring to the table and organisation that can influence improvements in the organisations service levels? 

And When you do get to Branch Manager level, are you able to challenge upper management to “have more tellers” at the branches for example?

When you do get to the Branch Manager level, are you able to challenge upper management to have ATM’s stocked in a safe and efficient way?

See, I’ve noticed that a lot of us who know what needs to be done, do nothing to contribute to the solutions.  Most of us use the inefficiencies in our systems and processes to benefit ourselves. 

Many of us use it as a way to boost our ego, we criticise and talk shit about our country like we aren’t part of it. We want to stand on our pedestals and throw stones at all the things wrong with our nation, without realising, we too are what is wrong with Papua New Guinea.

Because if you caught my drift with the 2 examples, you’d realise, very few Papua New Guineans have what it takes mentally and psychologically to get Papua New Guinea to where it needs to go.

I had an interesting conversation with an Engineer this week about how we as Papua New Guineans praise mediocrity. We have put mediocrity on pedestals in all aspects of our individual lives, in our organisations, and in our country.

Dean Arek at the Tufi Resort overlooking the jfords of Tufi, Oro Province, Papua New  Guinea
Dean Arek at the Tufi Resort

What we think of as amazing, really isn’t. That is part of why we struggle as a nation. The bar is too low. Because of that, nation-building isn’t a goal for many of us. Many of us just want to get to the weekend. Many of us just want to get to our next pay check.  

While one might argue it’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I’ll argue why it isn’t in this next post.

I’m not going to use specific examples about mediocrity being praised to save the unnecessary back and forth that I’ll have to deal with because people will take this post personally.

But I know you had an example in mind while reading this. I bet it was an example of someone else.  

Now with that chain of thought internalise that judgment of mediocrity. Look at yourself. What aspects of who you are and what you do are mediocre that you often exaggerate the value of?

What achievements of yours do you give too much value to, When it is actually pretty mediocre?

Think about that for a moment, now, why am I challenging the things you define yourself by?

Because you could be so much more! You could do so much more! But you are limited by the boxes you put yourself in. 

How does that tie into Nation building?

If you aren’t the best you can be, you can’t give back to Papua New Guinea the way you should or wish to. Because Papua New Guinea deserves your best, even and especially when you feel like it doesn’t give you its best.

Because who is going to change the narrative? Who is going to create the Papua New Guinea our next generation deserves?

All these countries we rush to compare our young nation to, do you think they got there with just their politicians?

NO! Ofcourse not! Almost Everyone contributed. They chipped in the best they could. People stopped complaining and started working toward the nation they wanted to be. And that work started with working on themselves as individuals.

Drone photo taken at the forming of government.

So now they can can lounge at home and complain about the 10cent increment on goods and services. 





5 thoughts on “You complain you DON’T CONTRIBUTE!

  1. Thanks for the post.

    My comment will be relating to the focus of the post. Instead of talking about the problem why not we focus about solutions while referencing the problem.

    This will be very interesting and also will psychologically influence people to think outside the problem.

    So it would be better to focus on a solution related post (which i think is the hard part to come up with one) that captures attention to questions, debates and arguments for the sake of a feasible solution.


    1. Thankyou for taking the time to read and comment. I agree there is a need for a solutions-based approach to things. Which is the purpose of the post. I’m glad you see it differently because you too represent a demographic of people who might see it that way.

      Question: Solution to what exactly? What is the problem you identify me speaking to in this?

        I’m curious to understand your comment a little better.

      1. Hi,

        I can understand your approach to this big and complex human condition problem in our society that leads to many others which can be overwhelming to think about (as it was for me).

        Human behaviours are not that simple to change. That’s the problem I have rooted it down to and the solution to that will not be just one approach.

        Have you thought about what really makes people behaved the way we behave? (I guess this is a question in search of what’s beneath the surface)

        1. We are on the same page with this still. I think the solutions to correcting human behaviour aren’t complex. In fact, I’d go on to say that the soltutions to correcting human behaviour are simple. They are just hard to impliment. And because a vast majority of us lack discipline, most days, we try everything else except the one thing we know we need to do. Thus we overcomplicate very simple to implement solutions to our problems.

          I think more and more just as the west is doing we are trying to shift the blame too much. We’ve always been resilient people. To me, we are more than equipped to handle our challenges regardless of our situations.

          I have thought long and hard about why people are the way they are. It boils down to their choices; we are all different, but our choices set us apart even if we are born into the same household. So that is why I’m heavy on personal growth and responsibility, because no matter the circumstances, YOU decide if you will be better than your past.

    2. The solutions are easy to identify and almost impossible to implement. So I trace the solutions back to their roots, which is to me the people that need to implement these solutions. So I start there but educating. I don’t do that by providing solutions, because as I said, the answers are already easy to identify. I provide a challenge to those who are aware enough to even recognise the issues that exist. Because let’s face it, the majority will follow, we need a few game changers to take lead. That starts with reminding them of their drive and purpose, by challenging their inner patriot.

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