- This finding underscores the need for the timely and effective implementation of all provisions of the Right to Information Law, recently assented to by the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, who ...
Written By Raymond Tuvi - When American Reggae and Pop Musician Johnny Nash sang in 1972 that “There Are More Questions Than Answers”, he was lyricizing an age-old human situation.
That existential situation was given a scholarly validation by British philosopher and Nobel Prize winner, Bertrand Russell, who proposed that, in the eternal effort at unravelling the mysteries of our infinite Universe, we would discover that the questions asked may be of more significance than the answers given. In a simpler expression, he said, “In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” It goes without saying that, questioning is the art of learning. Because, learning to ask important questions is the best evidence there is of understanding a matter.
This view ought to have informed the ancient Greek philosopher who thrived three and-a-half centuries before Christ and whose artistic and scientific ideas still influence modern philosophic and scientific thought and practice, Aristotle, observing insightfully that, “Asking the right question is half the answer. “However, in our part of the world, the customary practice is to frown on the young asking elders and superiors questions. Traditionally, children are expected to be seen and not heard when elders are around. A contrary, yet still limiting, rule of upbringing is that the little ones are not to be seen –in the gathering of adults – but only heard; that is, heard from afar with the playful sounds of their frolicking. Both of these prescribed modes of access or restriction of children to domestic authority are invariably sustained and carried into the formal and professional space.
Inasmuch as protocols that are yet to be jettisoned may govern various levels of information disclosure at home or the workplace in any jurisdiction around the world, transparency and goodwill make for better domestic and professional climates than repression and Gestapo-style secrecy can do. Even the Most High God, who holds all the vital information of His World in His hands, assures believers in Jeremiah 33:3 that, “Call upon Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” How much more should we mortals, being custodians of ultimately transient knowledge, not do that? Relevant studies are unanimous in agreement that responsible access and right to information ventilate democratic governance and public accountability in a way fresh air blows through open windows and freshens a stuffy room.
Further substantiating this truism, a recent Ghana Center for Democratic Development-CDD-Ghana stakeholders’ meeting arrived at the conclusion that information is vital for the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This finding underscores the need for the timely and effective implementation of all provisions of the Right to Information Law, recently assented to by the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, who, coincidentally is the Co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates of the SDGs.
Because of our human condition of constant and endless desires to make things better there will always be more questions than answers. Abundance of information is always better than less. But in order to sort the most developmentally-oriented out of the bales of information available, asking the right questions of relevant authorities is guaranteed to get the best answers to help us realize our pressing needs of healthier, happier and more harmonious lives. Let’s us all keep asking the right questions and allow the young ones to constantly pose questions. For in the questions lie the solutions to our challenges.
NEED TO BE ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS TO ELICIT THE BEST ANSWERS FOR PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT
BY: RAYMOND TUVI, AN AUTHOR AND MEDIA CONSULTANT.