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Sweet Liberia isn't Really Sweet

I often hear people referring to Liberia as “sweet Liberia” or our “sweet country.” I don’t like it, and have never referred to Liberia that way. I am not saying it to be bitter or show that I don’t like my country but my reason is simple: sweet isn’t really sweet. By this I mean that “sweet” is not good for us. It ain’t sweet to be sweet. Their philosophy of “sweet Liberia” underscores everything that keeps a country impoverished and backward. Sweetness as many have come to “enjoy” and miss has done more harm to us as a people and generation behind us. All people refer to as the sweetness of Liberia include but not limited to laziness, corruption, failure to obey the law, the mis-use of the country’s resources, nepotism and the likes. Those aren't sweet; they lead to destruction, impoverishment, and underdevelopment.

I have ridden with people on highways who complained of paying tolls or observing speed limits but longed for “sweet Liberia” where they could do whatever they wanted. I have heard people whined about paying high cash for overseas calls and other bills. They are often nostalgic about the days in “sweet Liberia” when they could call overseas for how long they wanted from the office phone lines. “That our small country was sweet –o; we started work at 8 and by 12 or 1, we are out of there.” Others would boast of how they took pay without ever stepping to work, another reason why Liberia is sweet.

People in the work force were not the only ones nostalgic for “sweet Liberia.” Girls who were in their teens at that time but made their living as mistresses now boast that by a single stretch of the hand, the entire operational budget of an office would be surrendered to them. That is the "sweet Liberia" they now missed. Others spoke of how benefited from scholarship to study abroad or loans without even knowing about the application process. For others, Liberia is a sweet country because they did not have to insure, register and inspect their cars; they did not have to do anything to get a driver license but just pay some money. Those and more being the basis of their sweet Liberia, I don't like it sweet. I want it fair and level for all of us work and enjoy and fruits of our labor.

Not that these corrupt practices, unfair treatments, and abuses don’t take place in other parts of the World but the tendency to refer to these ills as the sweetness of Liberia always makes me cringe. That is why I don’t say it or think it's funny to think of my country that way. I want our country to be evaluated based on the opportunities it offers to it citizens. I want its citizens to be rewarded for doing what is right. I am crying for a land where the law protects all irrespective of religious, social, ethnic, or political grouping. Those and more being achieved, we can boast of a great and vibrant country and not a sweet Liberia.

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