MANY people will agree that Papua New Guineans are becoming their own worst enemies.
The traditional rivalry between clans, tribes and ethnic groups has spilled over into the political arena, the employment sector and the business environment.
Professional jealousy has reared its ugly head in our society.
Many successful citizens are now feeling the pain of their gain as their envious countrymen and women plot to undermine or destroy their political and professional careers and their business ventures.
In recent years, many successful Papua New Guineans have become victims of this modern-day rivalry that is threatening to thwart the country’s development and growth, especially its human resource.
Instead of working together and being openly supportive of individual talents, many Papua New Guineans often turn to counterproductive tugs of war to get ahead of those they envy or admire.
Why do many Papua New Guineans feel the need to manipulate and hurt others in order to succeed?
Imagine what could be accomplished if our citizens could focus their energies on the task at hand, which is nation-building, rather than dwelling on negative manipulations.
Jealousy is a destructive human characteristic that contributes to the demise of personal and professional relationships.
Even political friends have become foes because of jealousy.
Many of our politicians and bureaucrats have suffered the embarrassment or humiliation of losing their high offices and positions because of jealousy and the ill-will of others. Many of our professional people such as lawyers and accountants have fallen from grace because of their jealous friends or foes.
And the closed-minded attitude of taking pride in one’s ethnic and regional affiliations, rather than our national identity and collective heritage is the biggest obstacle to the prosperity of PNG.
It seems that after 45 years of political independence and nationhood, Papua New Guineans are hardly the “one people, one nation” that is portrayed by our national anthem.
Beneath the political speechmaking of “unity in diversity”, this so-called “land of the unexpected” is likely to remain fragmented and chaotic unless our citizens change their mindsets.
And that change should start at the top with our political leaders.
While many of our past and present leaders have contributed enormously to nation-building, there are others who dwell and even thrive on petty and destructive politics.
When it comes to development, one size doesn’t fit all.
It is about mindsets that can be transformed to see and do things differently.
Destructive politics is no different to professional jealousy, which is becoming more evident in our modern work place and business environment. We see disgruntled parties running to the court to interpret already existing laws that govern how institutions should run.
The bottom line is, why waste time and energy or play petty politics when there are bigger and better things to worry about?
After all, our nation and people deserve the best we all can offer.
The focus should be on planning and developing our nation.
Understandably, such negative consequences will take over any society that does not invest in education and its people.
We should develop great minds who can challenge the wrongs and create a solution path to half a century of social injustice and economic stagnation.
No nation can build a prosperous future for its citizens without addressing the question of education.