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‘I Promise on my honour’ – Some thoughts on honour

Fellow Ghanaians and diasporians
Our national anthem speaks of honour:-

‘I promise on my honour
To be faithful and loyal
To Ghana my motherland
I pledge myself to the service of Ghana
With all my strength and with all my heart
I promise to hold in high esteem.
Our heritage, won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers;
And I pledge myself in all things
To uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.
So help me God!’

Whether at home or abroad
We have an honour to uphold
What is honour?
It is our character off camera
It is linked with honesty
It is linked with integrity
It is linked with responsibility
It is linked with truth and verity
It is the motivations of our heart,
Made manifest in reality
If our values are right
Then we will be a people of honour and integrity

Have we become an honourless generation?
Are we prepared to pay for positions?

Are we prepared to lie, scheme and falsify,
In order to have what makes us qualify?

Are we prepared to kill and maim
In order to have what we call fame?
Are we prepared to ‘cut corners’?
And do a shoddy job in order to earn more?
When our values are misplaced,
Our foundations are shaky
And we cannot build solidly…

What makes us honourable as a people?
Is it the car we drive?
Is it the house in which we live?
Is it the title we hold?
– Leader, father, mother or labourer?
Is it about our silver or gold?
Is it about how old?
Or how long we have stood unopposed?

No, that is not honour…

If God is our help
Then it is His standard we must follow
According to Psalm 15
An Honorable person is:
Anyone who leads a blameless life and is truly sincere.
Anyone who refuses to slander others.
He does not listen to gossip.
He never harms his neighbour.
He speaks out against sin, criticizes and corrects those committing it…

He commends those who do right.
He keeps a promise even if it ruins him.
He does not crush his debtors with high-interest rates.
He refuses to testify against the innocent despite the bribes offered him
— Such a man shall stand firm forever.

In this light, a people of honour will stand firm forever…
Let us uphold loyalty
Let us uphold duty
Let us uphold respect
Let us uphold courage
May we be a people of truth and dignity
May we be a people of honour
May the good name of Ghana stand forever…
So help us God!

By Sabina Parry Klutsey

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