By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
One of the things taught in “Development Communication” is “MOTIVATION,” which etymologically comes from a Latin word, which means “to move.” This aspect of communication stresses that it is necessary to project the good works of people, institutions and organizations so that others would be inspired or encouraged. Development Communication is people-centered, as it focuses on the welfare and wellbeing of people.
The essence of this aspect of communication is that through this, the media would be fulfilling some of its roles of promoting development, as a single report on the achievements or accomplishments of an individual, institution or group may have the tendency of bringing more development or positive change to a community, society or country.
It is in this light that today, I have decided to highlight something this son of the soil, venerable William Cox, as a private engineer and owner of a construction firm, many years ago, saw the need to use some of his meager resources by identifying with the need of society, by lonely and voluntarily patching pot- holes in the streets of Monrovia. The situation at the time was such that parts of the streets, especially on the Tubman Boulevard, were almost impassable.
It was in this same light of projecting something possible about people that few months ago, I wrote an article mentioning the name of the late Eugene Cooper, a former Liberian businessman and former president of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce. In that article, I outlined his role in helping to bring a branch of ECOBANK to Liberia, during the time of security concerns.
Even though Eugene Cooper is no more on earth, I felt it my obligation to have mentioned his name and role so that other Liberians would always put the interest of the country first. Today, through the efforts of the late cooper, who was also a devoted and hardworking Episcopalian, many Liberians have a source of income through employment with the establishment of the bank.
Similarly, today, as octogenarian Cox quietly observed another natal day, is it necessary to bring to light that initiative he undertook many years ago to improve the condition of the streets. Although his day was on Monday, as it is often said, “better late than never,” so is it today as I write this encomium about this patriot and nationalist, William Cox, who on Monday this week, turned 80.
Although the day was not characterized by the usual pomp, pageantry or conviviality, I have decided not to let this day go by without fulfilling one of the things I was taught in Mass Communication at the University of Liberia, that by reporting the good deeds of people, others may be encouraged to emulate such fine examples.
Many times we always wait until one is dead before praising them or eulogizing them during funeral. But today, it is a different way. That is, I decided to give this old man his flowers while he is still alive to smell their aroma, so that he would know that his good deeds during his active days are not forgotten.
Let the message go forth that while it is true that the government has a responsibility to do things, citizens, whether as a group or on individual basis, can also undertake projects. It could be a latrine project, hand pump or garbage collection for the good of members of the community.
In all fairness, this venerable son of the soil knew that it was government’s responsibility to rehabilitate the streets, but he felt that as a citizen, he also could do something towards this. It was why he voluntarily and lonely embarked on this, as a way of also contributing to development. This move by old man Cox made him to win the hearts of many persons, for which he also received honors from some members of the Liberian media.
As I reflect on this great son of the soil, like the late Eugene Cooper, I want to see other Liberians, being motivated by venturing into such initiatives. Until then, I Rest My Case.