Fellow Nigerians, What Have We Become?

(By Anthony Onugba)

There were days in which one could sleep with his door wide open and no one would intrude. There were days in which one would misplace some amount of money and an announcement would be made when the money was found. There were days in which one could travel and leave the door unlocked. At the time of return, even after weeks of absence, the house would still be the way it was left with nothing missing. There were days such as these, but what have we become? We decorate our houses with burglary proof. We grow our fences with barb wires. We have even gone a step further by electrifying our fences in order to keep the enemy out. But who is the enemy and how did the enemy become an enemy? Is what we have become to blame?” 

REFLECTING on these modern times, I cannot but wonder, what have we become? A glance at the front pages of newspapers drives away delight from the heart. The papers are filled with gory stories that make death seem ordinary and easy.  National news and global news feature stories of one scandal to another or terror attacks and the number of nameless innocent lives lost. People have been reduced to a mere number whereby all they say is the number of those they think have been killed but it is the family that knows the name and bears the grief.

  There used to be a time in which the human being had dignity far beyond what words could explain but that dignity is fast diminishing as the violence of one man to another attracts more readers than when a man does good to another. Bad news is not new but it pulls a multitude. Have our hearts been purged of all that is noble and replaced with evil to the extent that we are only drawn to evil? Is that what we have become?

  There were days in which one could sleep with his door wide open and no one would intrude. There were days in which one would misplace some amount of money and an announcement would be made when the money was found. There were days in which one could travel and leave the door unlocked. At the time of return, even after weeks of absence, the house would still be the way it was left with nothing missing. There were days such as these, but what have we become? We decorate our houses with burglary proof. We grow our fences with barb wires. We have even gone a step further by electrifying our fences in order to keep the enemy out. But who is the enemy and how did the enemy become an enemy? Is what we have become to blame?

  What has become of our children these days? They mostly lead aimless lives, imitating any trend that surfaces without taking time to think. They follow a musical star and are quickly influenced by his hairstyle and dressing. The copycat tries to live the life of the star by going to parties and bragging about money, girls and fast cars. Their parents see the child go astray but do not utter a word. They are more concerned with the presentation they have scheduled for the next day. The hunt for the material is all they are after. After all, money does bring happiness to them and it solves all problems. Whenever their children become wayward, they send them abroad – unwatched and unprotected. They engage in all sorts and return an even worse terror. What have we become? Is family not the most important circle in the life of the individual? Is it not from the family that children are meant to imbibe virtues that would stand the test of time?

  Perhaps, the solution to my lamentation lies in our bare hands. A change can be gotten if we first change our attitude. After all, you can’t continue on the path that you are on and hope to arrive at another destination. The current structures of the society have clearly failed in making our streets safe. It has failed in making us more humane and has failed in making us sleep with both eyes closed. If we are determined to change the society, then we can begin by being determined to be a better person, a better spouse and a better parent. We must consciously have in mind that leadership is by example. The next is to pay close attention to children. Make them your friends and let them feel free to tell you just anything that bothers them. This way, you would know when they are beginning to get influenced negatively and take care of it before it escalates. Evils grow out of ignorance.

  Finally, let us spread the gospel of love in the society we live. Let us be compassionate towards each other. If we can all show love towards the next person and bring up our children in love, one day, the world would return to the way it used to be – peaceful and serene.

Anthony Onugba.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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