The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
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 ignominy 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.
It seems that after 38 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 rhetoric 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 immensely to nation-building, there are others who dwell and even thrive on petty and destructive politics.
These are the kind of leaders who need to change their ways and ultimately, their mindsets.
For example, the current display of the poor statesmanship by some politicians is quite disturbing, to say the least.
Our newspaper readers, radio listeners and television viewers are being bombarded almost daily by political statements and rhetoric that are hardly in the national interests.
Call it what you like, but it is mere mumbo jumbo that makes a mockery of the high offices that these leaders occupy.
Destructive politics is no different to professional jealousy, which is becoming more evident in our modern work place and business environment.
But what is professional jealousy?
There are various definitions but popular Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison penned an apt description in his song Professional Jealousy.
Part of the lyrics read: “Professional jealousy can bring down a nation. And personal invasion can ruin a man. Not even his family will understand what’s happening; the price that he’s paying or even the pain. Professional jealousy makes other people crazy. When they think you’ve got something that they don’t have. What they don’t understand is it’s just not easy; to cover it all, and stand where you stand.”
Van Morrison’s song is highly recommended for those professional people and politicians who are hell-bent on undermining and destroying their successful colleagues.
The bottom line is, why waste time and energy or play petty politics when there are bigger and better things to worry about.
It is what we say and do that shapes the nation. After all, this nation we call home and all our people deserve the best we all can offer.