encourage division and deprives us of our numerical
strength. Perhaps the reverse would be more beneficial.
When situations arise, first identify with the broad notion
of being African. If the problem is with another African
the problem may be quickly diffused. If the problem is
with a non-African they may feel weak to pursue further
negative interaction with someone who draws their
strength from the entire cultural realm that is Africa.
Similarly within Liberia, identifying first with Liberia
could diffuse tribal conflicts. This is putting forth unity
first not conflict. With our new identify guiding our
thoughts and actions, the world should know us in such a
fashion. They will know us by how we act and how we
project ourselves. Through our national symbols we are
telling the world, this is who we are, and these are the
values that we choose to live by. These values should
represent the best values from all the people within the
borders of Liberia — All!. How many tribes are in China?
Over 50, but the world knows them as Chinese. How
many of us know the tribes of England, France or Italy?
When we promote our ethnic identity over our national
identity we are making ourselves ripe for the picking.
By excluding the core-values of our fellow Liberians from
the national character, we are in a sense telling them,
this country represents us—not you. This is simply a rec-
ipe for the chaos that has unfolded in Liberia over the
decades. Most of us remember beautiful Liberia. The
good old days. But these good old days were not good
for all. The simmering of chaos cooked for decades and
we thought the meal would be sweet, but not all the
ingredients were added. If you fry onions in your house a
stranger passing by might think you are really cooking
something delicious. A wise observer will know that you
are cooking up nothing of substance and wasting pre-
cious resources. If we all have a stake in who we are as
Liberians and how the world sees us, then our efforts