Thomas Awiapo

Thomas Awiapo: The Wisdom of ‘I Was Wrong’

Parents, teachers, religion and society have inculcated certain perceptions, assumptions, values and knowledge in me. I have faithfully and painstakingly safeguarded and observed these for many years. I believed these were absolute truths.

Meanwhile, I have always been a questioner and critic of other peoples’ ideas and perceptions. I even questioned the unquestionable. Yes, I was a real critic of others. The one thing I never did was to step back for a moment and question my own perceptions and assumptions. I had a feeling that my assumptions, theories and principles were well thought out, well founded and definitely beyond question. I considered people who questioned my assumptions as less intelligent and not thinking correctly. I was wrong.

Maybe I was less intelligent and probably naïve. What a great blind spot I had. If only I could spend more time subjecting my own thoughts, ideas and experiences to critical and reflective examination, I will do myself and others a lot more good. In biblical language, I bet there are probably “logs” in my own eyes that I need to remove in order to see better, and remove the “specks” in other peoples’ eyes.

Step by step, I have joyfully come to realize that, No one person has all the answers. No one person has the best answers and there is no one best way to find the best answers. We need to collaborate in the search for the best answers. Trust me, this has been humbling and liberating for me. It has increased my respect for and openness to other people’s worldviews. It has greatly enhanced my relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.

As we search for answers and solutions to individual and collective questions and problems in our world, we need to actively listen to others, we need to accord due respect to the views and opinions of other people, we need to think outside the box. This could open your world and mine to greater possibilities and better chances of finding the right answers to our world’s most difficult questions.

– Thomas Awiapo
As a child in Ghana, Thomas Awiapo was a beneficiary of CRS school feeding programs. Now, as an adult, he works for CRS Ghana and travels to the U.S. annually to tell his inspiring story to American Catholics at schools, parishes and communities. Thomas will be a featured guest blogger and will be reporting from Ghana about the issues he witnesses firsthand.

Watch the video: Empowered for Life: The Thomas Awiapo Story.

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