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Opinions of Friday, 12 January 2024

Columnist: Michael Akenoo

What is a truly developed nation?

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America is universally recognised and accepted by all as a highly devel­oped nation.

This assertion can also be attributed to nations like Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Holland, Denmark, Switzer­land, Poland, India etc.

What then constitutes a true development?

For the purpose of this article, it will be appropriate and very necessary that the word or term development is well defined; and its meaning and connotation explicitly explained to supersede the common understanding and meaning that development had been conceptualised for so long.

According to the Webster International Deluxe Edition, development is defined as the act of developing, or evolution of an organism, a new factor or situation, a trait of land developed as a unit by public or private enterprise for resi­dential or industrial purposes with houses, factories, shops, etc built on it, developmen­tal adj; relating or incidental to growth. The high-income countries with a market orient­ed economy, usually with a per capita annual gross national (domestic) product of at least $10,000 and consequent higher standards of living than in so-called developing, or under-developed nations.

Similarly, the New Interna­tional Webster’s Comprehen­sive Dictionary of the English Language explains devel­opment as follows: gradual evolution or completion, also the result of such an evolution or completion.

The series of changes by which an individual, plant, or animal passes from a lower to a higher state of being an em­bryonic condition to maturity.

Inferring from the above-stated explanations of devel­opment from the authoritative Webster’s dictionaries of the English Language, one can safely conclude that the oper­ative and overriding meaning of development is growth or maturity.

A nation is made up of in­dividuals and these individuals need or have to grow.

How do they grow? Clearly, they grow physically, spiritual­ly, and emotionally. They grow physically and healthily by food. They also need to grow spiritually and emotionally through sound healthy moral princi­ples.

When individual human beings have this kind of balanced growth, they become ideal human beings who can manage the affairs of the society or nation in which they live. An ideal society or nation is created eventually as a result.

In my candid opinion, a healthy and true development should not only connote physical infrastructures like first and high-class streets. Highly advanced airports and harbours, highly advanced communication systems, supermarkets, super shops, super banking systems, highly ad­vanced architectural buildings, highly advanced industries for the production of goods, highly advanced automobiles, highly advanced ships, warships, submarines, super jet fighters, jumbo jets. Skyscraper build­ings, super jet planes, highly sophisticated nuclear weapons for destruction, etc.

These inventions by man in his growth or development for that matter, are seemingly pos­itive to enhance the standard of living, but in reality, they are harmful, negative, degrad­ing and even destructive as far as healthy, peaceful, and happy living of humans are concerned

Because human beings by nature are more focused and inclined on the physical plane, they tend to create and do things that are more danger­ous and destructive than ben­eficial to their living standards and welfare.

Devoid of sound moral and spiritual principles or values, human beings often create so­cieties or nations that become more of a snare, scarce than secure, peaceful, and happy to live in.

Records are replete in recorded history about the nature of human beings' wrong behavioral patterns in their growth and development process.

For example, great ancient empires such as Assyrian, Bab­ylonian, Sumerian, Roman, etc. experienced development to very high levels, but gradually they degenerated, declined, and faded out, due to the absence of sound moral and spiritual values.

Seigmund Freid, the eminent psychologist’s book titled; “Ci­vilisation And Its Discontent” is highly valid and relevant to man’s developmental process.

In my critical analysis and evaluation of the term devel­opment, I think that growth or development had been misconstrued and corrupted by mankind as a result of the absence of moral and spiritual direction; and this has resulted in the present modern-day situation whereby, man is insecure, snared and scared by his creations and inventions that are antagonistic to his welfare and happiness.

In conclusion, I state categorically that man has to become more morally and spiritually inclined in his continual efforts to experience development for a higher stan­dard of living in peace and happiness.

And God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruit­ful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the foul of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis chapter: 1 verses 27 and 28.

A nation is made up of individuals and these individuals need or have to grow.