(By Goke Omolade)
“Irrespective of the region or spectrum, merit is one fundamental inlay that has to be solidly in place so as to ensure a guaranteed foundation upon which the consequential super structure, mega-structures and sub-structures can be raised. Without a firm, reinforced foundation, no human endeavour worthy of its efforts can withstand the test of time and at the zenith of merit, there habitually abounds a summit of revolving/eclectic ideas and ideals. Here, nobody, a priori, has any preconceived notions of what should be the ultimate ideas since it is like a free-flowing trip to equity which abhors no bias or malice, beforehand.“
FOR everything human, there are usually two of a kind to it; the good and bad; genuine and fake; first and last; even the beginning and ending of mankind. It was the late Pope John Paul who was quoted to have said: In the Creator’s plan, nothing ever happens by mistakes. Before anything else, the Father of all originalities has carefully put all connecting points in their appropriate places for effective performance and what any man or woman does afterwards is just to complement already-finished products. However, at the extremity of what is good and sane lies the make-believe fakery master; devil the con artist, who offers mediocrity in place of merit.
There was once an age-old fable about Adam, after having had his fill of frustrations, sequel to Eve’s tantrums upon being driven out of the Garden of Eden, that all around him were complaints from both the faunae and florae; he reportedly supplicated that he be recreated! Responding, the Creator was said to have charged Adam to stop bothering Him, but go to apply his given-brainpower which other animated species were not so gifted with. That one basic reason why man is so distinctly wired with several billions of cells in his complex system is to proffer solutions to problems so encountered in the course of human development.
Flashing back to the ancient era when humanity, emerging from Africa, arguably the cradle of creation, had to drift further afield in quest of a better and improved lifestyle and because of the glacial effects on the then-emigrating ‘Africans’ their pigment had a structural change from black and dark to fair, sun-tanned to white or so the historians and archaeologists say. In the process of time, this lot, along the way, solidly took their fate firmly in their hands by conquering the elements of their environment thereby making them to be masters of their situations and circumstances!
Upon this reprieve, their adopted means of providing solutions to societal problems subsequently became the standardised models they had had to resort to whenever occasions warranted even till now, though with fundamental changes. As a matter of fact, the instructive cues of the first millennial revolution of the then-Europe formed what the present western world and, by eclectic inter-connectedness, other worldly giant performers have been built on. Whereas, what our contemporary modernity has grown to identify as Caucasian and Occidental nationalities in the other parts of the globe were hitherto Africans!
Certainly, in a place where nothing desirable or long-lasting comes free, cheap or easy; there tends to be particular emphases on merit and hard work. As earlier elucidated, the present advanced world at that point of their survive-or-perish era had none or anywhere to turn which made them to triumph over their obstacles unlike what now obtains with Mother Africa’s siblings. On being faced with the onerous task of nation-building/torturous trials/slightest inconveniences, Africa’s well heeled and bourgeois class lazily latch to untenable excuses by cowardly taking to flight to other lands which their own people, perhaps of lower endowments, have painstakingly persevered to standardise.
As if Africa and other regions suffering similar misery have been irredeemably condemned to an enervating life of hell, the raw deal being given by those who occupy position of power/governance leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Obviously taking convenient advantage(s) of the prevailing helplessness, most of them are accountable to no one or their nation-at-large since they are in firm grip of the institutions that can effectuate their regime-change. What is more, with a willing, pliant population welded to a notoriously corrupt ruling corps makes a balance match for sheer mediocrity, ineptitude, low-rated reasoning, endless deprivation/overwhelming lop-sidedness to hold on all fronts.
Apart from the frivolities of money mindedness, mediocrity, power thirst which are more-or-less like a circus show-case, merit in the course of societal pursuits still counts. In places where honour, integrity and sound virtue-orientation reckon high; particular emphasis hinges on methodic codes of individual capability, mental endowment, and institutionalised frameworks on rewards for excellence. The admirable case of the United States stands out here.
Prior to breaking its own record of entrusting the highest office in its land to a minority citizen (Barack Hussein Obama) in 2009 which it reassuringly renewed in 2013; America from afar had hitherto been perceived as a collection of biased, hard-nosed bigots. For a nation of over 300 million people to have overwhelmingly voted for an individual of a minority group of just 12 percent of the total population voluminously speaks of the virtues which make it tick in the comity of resourceful nations. No doubt America has its own big share of societal ills (talk of globalising gay rights, the super-highway technological hazards/Internet as the raving god of the universe; its violent gun culture is a sickening dent on its national conscience. Even at that, its leadership focus on how to achieve the lofty American-Dream is so engaging and having etched its landmark-achievements on the sand of time, merit is still one fundamental quality that propels its engine of development head-on.
Of late, some are of the school of thought that America was already a spent force and in the likely resultant void would be the ‘newly’ about-to-be-crowned king; China! How hollow and shaky would be the reign of the upcoming cub because without the promptings, inter-connected intercourse of the West, ably championed by America, this envisaged era might be hallucinatory. Indeed as at present, China enjoys some comfortable trade surplus (especially in the service and consumer sectors) but in the real fields of advanced scientific discoveries, technological breakthroughs as well as other foundational bases for societal outlays; China’s total sum is no match, not just yet, for the West’s combined forces.
No mistake about it, China has a rich past that dates back to the fourth century and its civilisation then as now is quite eclectic and one singular factor about it is that it usually serves as a connecting leverage whenever the world-at-large experiences epochal changes.
China was there in the turbulent parts of the first millennium when the Greek, Roman and Christian civilisations translated to acceptable modernity and also when the universe was on an ideological crossroads in the 20th century. During this era of the so-called cold war between Washington, Moscow and their highly charged blocs, it maintained a studious aloofness just as it is now positioned as the momentary rave of the 21st century!
With the world’s largest population of close to one and half billions (aside Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan), on applied logic, there is virtually one Chinese to every four inhabitants on the earth surface. If only on this sheer numerical strength, the world, now or later, can certainly not ignore the bearish bully of the Eastern world. Perhaps, owing to its United Nations’ veto-power status, China has increasingly become more hardened on its never-to-be-taken-for-granted-
again foreign policy posture; so belligerent and uncompromising that it is ready to tackle anyone—dollar-for-dollar and wit-for-wit.
In the outer parlance of developmental ideas, merit is head over heels mediocrity because while merit acts like a magnet to innovative efforts at all times, mediocrity at worse dwells in the dark alley of the unknown. At this pedestal, science and superstition contend for supremacy and gauging both on their outputs, scientific discoveries/technological thoroughfares are simply light-years ahead of ancient superstitious beliefs anywhere in the world.
Clearly and accordingly, merit reigns high and exalted in places where the individualities of mankind cohere unhindered with the severalties of nations and this interconnectedness goes a long way in the charted route of globalising ideas and their standardised concepts. For instance, developmental ideas usually spring from the reasoning of individuals and upon being verifiably tested/universally accepted become the modes of solutions to encountered problems, ipso facto.
Irrespective of the region or spectrum, merit is one fundamental inlay that has to be solidly in place so as to ensure a guaranteed foundation upon which the consequential super structure, mega-structures and sub-structures can be raised. Without a firm, reinforced foundation, no human endeavour worthy of its efforts can withstand the test of time and at the zenith of merit, there habitually abounds a summit of revolving/eclectic ideas and ideals. Here, nobody, a priori, has any preconceived notions of what should be the ultimate ideas since it is like a free-flowing trip to equity which abhors no bias or malice, beforehand.
So much has been said about our contemporary world as having been thrown to the dogs in terms of immoralities, incompetence, mistrust and deprivation. Despite all odds, individuals, families, clans, ethnic groups, nationalities, humanity in general, and in the course of this frequency, the upbringing of each person is like the smoke emitting out of a chimney which shows forth, quite undisguised. No sane fellow wishes to be tagged a mediocrity or never-do-well. Merit, like success, has its own tribe of endless relations, relatives, friends and supporters which it earns after several scorns and trials.
In the universality of man’s sense of purpose, none, on choice, wants to be labeled a failure. Be it in politics, policy arena, academic pursuits, business venture, spiritual belief or other melodramatics, the unique position of merit can hardly be overemphasised because high or low; east or west, north or south; Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas, Pacific or the Caribbean; merit still counts and shall continually be so, astoundingly and outstandingly, in the affairs of mankind.
“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.”