THE likes of the United States (U.S.), China, Japan and Brazil have the most booming economies. Hong Kong, Macau, Israel and Iceland have a life expectancy of 82 years on average, while Italy, France and Chile have sites to die for. The above make your mouth water for these things when they are not in your grasp. The desire for a better life is ignited more in societies whose average guy finds a daily supply of food and water with much difficulty. It is in order to want more.
This quest for the “American dream” has caused a great deal of relocation in our society. Emigrant lands lose human resources as some depart and never look back. The abandonment and sheer deficiency of interest in the welfare of the place from which they come is something of concern. It is only when you share a patriot’s unflinching support for his country that you can understand my passion. It can be likened to a marriage where one takes the bad together with the good instead of throwing up both hands in resignation or calling it quits.
It is not by singing the national anthem or residing in the country, hoping. Not at all. My desire to always uphold and defend the motherland runs far deeper than that. Against all odds, I am so proud of the non-perfect populace referred to as Nigerians. They are gifted with such a sizzling rich culture and all manner of resources so much that the country has the potential for greatness.
Nigerians are people who are not ashamed to be themselves anywhere in the universe. They are people who can always come up with something to laugh about out of the most unfortunate events. The nation, plagued by so much hardship and assailed with criticisms, is still reputed to have the happiest people on earth. I have never considered renouncing my land and my people, no matter the problems.
Undoubtedly, we are not without a great deal of issues. The nation is plagued with corruption, insecurity, illiteracy, bad leadership and troubled healthcare, to mention but a few. The hardship the common man grapples with day after day pushes him to frustration and sometimes, inappropriate behavior The rapidly spreading evil is choking and blurring out the good struggling to burst forth from the people. These societal perils have existed for a long time and have, understandably, caused people to give up; most, in fact, do not care much anymore.
Though it is no excuse, we ought to know that every nation has had its low point at one time or the other. We are in ours today. The way Rome was not built in a day is the same way our spiral down did not occur overnight. Someone started something bad and got away with it. Another person witnessed it and followed suit without thinking things through properly. Soon enough morals were put aside; the tendency towards lawlessness became the vogue. Anarchy and chaos are now firmly in place. We cared not about the repercussions, except we were the ones directly affected. Now that the sting of this ripple effect has come to stay with us and is to await subsequent generations like onion breath, we complain day land night like chirping cockatoos.
In as much as taking a stand and fighting for our rights as citizens is honorable what we need is not more jabs at the government or lengthy prayers and crusades but revival, deliverance from this repulsive system. To get there, we must wake up and take responsibility and play our personal roles to the best of our ability. You have no right pointing the accusing finger at the supposed terrible leaders if you as a follower do not do the right thing either. Remove the log in your eye, dear comrade, so you can see clearly the speck in another person’s eye. Fact is, you cannot dictate how other people behave but retain the right to determine your own actions and reactions.
Though it is easier said than done, we should not let external pressures arm-twist us. Start something good, something worthy of emulation and with time a new trend shall be set in motion – that of a law-abiding citizen. It lies with us as a nation to stop promoting the all too common and silly vernacular phrase – no be naija we dey again? by conducting ourselves in the right manner. Let us not throw our hands in the air but instead join forces to determine our future, the future of green.
Though many consider it a delusion, inside of me exists this hope, a near certainty that things will change for the better. It might not be in my day. It might be in those of my children, or my children’s children; it may even happen after things got worse. What I do know is that it will get better. I speak solely for myself when I say I stand tall and nurture that hope, instead of frequently complaining as most tend to do, instead of pointing fingers without actually doing anything to solve the problem, instead of channeling all my energy into that unproductive whining and hullabaloo.
I choose to kindle the belief that says, ‘we can make it.’ Rise above all the evil someday and make the progress I know we can. Even now that it seems like a silly notion, the place we are running away from would be the place to seek refuge, much like the stone the builders once rejected. You can laugh all you want buy that notwithstanding, until the day I die, I will keep believing.
Dr. Izuhunwa Amadasun.
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