(By Chuks Valentine Augustus)
“Findings have shown that even when a lot of people would wish to fellowship, the financial involvements serve as a discouraging factor to them, forgetting, however, that there are more to benefit by coming together and sharing ideas than the financial involvements. I am yet to see a better way to have positive connections and gain access to useful information than associating with legitimate and progressive social groups – certain problems of members are largely solved as a group, if not totally solved.“
“By associating with wise people you will become wise yourself” – Menander
“When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so” – Prof. Chinua Achebe
LOOKING at every aspect of human existence, one can hardly dispute the fact that for everyone of those aspects, there are advantages as well as challenges; although, the advantages in one person’s opinion might be disadvantages in the opinion of another, but there are definitely conventional agreements. In life, no human being can live alone in isolation; we all need each other. The seller needs the buyer since he cannot be selling and at the same time buying his own goods; just as much as the buyer needs the seller to get what he wants since his money is worthless if there is nothing to buy with it. A leader needs people to lead since he cannot be leading and following at the same time; likewise, a follower needs someone to lead him so he can follow. Little wonder the assertion of philosophers that ‘man is a social animal’. The potency of socialising as a group under one umbrella can be seen in progressive social groups like the Ikoyi Club 38, Peoples Club of Nigeria, etc, where members watch the backs of each other.
Of course, while we talk about socialisation, it must be noteworthy that only legal and progressive gatherings are advised and encouraged, as groups with motives, aims and objectives characterised by violence and activities that are unhealthy for the co-habitation of the society will do no tangible good. In truth, according to Chapter IV (40) of the constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, membership of an association is by choice and not by force, as enshrined under the Fundamental Rights – Right to peaceful assembly and association. However, for the protection of one’s certain interests, it is advisable to associate with progressive like-minds – it definitely comes with a lot of rewards.
Some years ago while I was observing my one year mandatory youth service, I got a phone call from a senior colleague back in school days who was already employed; he asked if I would like to work with the organisation where he works and I answered in the affirmative. When it was time, not only I but a large number of my friends got employed through his influence and one connection or the other as a result of the bond we all had. A resounding fact remains that “a face” is hardly forgotten, close rapport is always advantageous. In life, we all have challenges, some we can handle alone, and some we need people’s assistance. Nobody will ever know what your challenges are if you don’t let them out and confide in trusted allies.
Unfortunately, as beneficial as fellowshipping is, it is despised and neglected by a lot of people – I call this ignorance. Findings have shown that even when a lot of people would have wished to socialise with like-minds under an umbrella, they have been deterred for various reasons – finance being a major one. In this part of the world, people detach importance on “Return on Investment (ROI)” and attach importance to expenses. Findings have shown that even when a lot of people would wish to fellowship, the financial involvements serve as a discouraging factor to them, forgetting, however, that there are more to benefit by coming together and sharing ideas than the financial involvements. I am yet to see a better way to have positive connections and gain access to useful information than associating with legitimate and progressive social groups – certain problems of members are largely solved as a group, if not totally solved.
However, what determines the potency of a social group is the effectiveness of its members as there can be nothing called ‘group’ if there are no ‘people’, and there cannot be ‘potency’ without ‘commitment’. Together as a group, there is a lot to learn, a lot to achieve. It is very easy to break a broomstick, but very difficult to break a bunch of broomsticks.
(By Chuks Valentine Augustus)
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