Human beings are creatures of habits, what we continually do end up becoming a religion which eventually defines who we are. Just as an auto mechanic becomes what he does and has perfected over the years especially in the African context.
There are people in our community that we can no longer remember their names; we simply call them by what they do. “Brother Vulca”, “Aunty Hair Dresser” etc.
In like manner, people make first impressions and long term judgements based on the smallest of clues. We often hear, “the morning shows the day”, meaning that from the beginning we can always tell the end (technically not true in all cases if the divine were not held constant).
Can our troubles go away if we do not pay attention to them? Do trees that fall in the forest make noise if there is no one within ear shot? Can events cease to happen because we are not aware? These are all a function of our default settings.
Some are trusting, some are wary, some are generous, others are selfish. There is good and then evil, but how do they play out in critical situations when a mixed multitude has a decision to make with varying angles on the table?
There are many well meaning people in Nigeria, on social media, who want a better society, good governance, equity, justice and righteousness. But the thing is we all can’t see the same way.
No doubt, there are mendacious people who may not want what we all want. Yet, most of the time, there are good people who disagree with us. By all means they want a good outcome but their narrative insists on arriving there based on different logistics. The colouration of their lenses are different and their map is nothing like ours.
The truth, they say, costs nothing, but a lie could cost everything. A single lie from a trustworthy organisation or government makes all their communications questionable.
When people begin to feel they are not worth the truth, it is almost impossible to expect loyalty from them.
For the first time ever, it was found that a statement from a notorious liar coincided with the truth on the Dapchi saga, which led to a whole lot of struggle. Those prejudiced didn’t want to ever believe this happened.
Same way you conduct an experiment and hope for certain kind of result and whatever happens on the contrary will not be accepted. People were willing to doubt even their trusted allies who dare agree with the motion.
There are people who will never believe what you believe, which may be fair, because they don’t know what you know and likewise you are not them neither do you have their intrinsic experience.
There are usually many gaps and this is why education is very necessary even outside school. Those in authority will tell you the world works better when things are coherent and predictable with someone in charge sitting at the top of the pyramid. But Freedom dictates that people should be free to speak up and chart their own path to weave a civil society out of Chaos.
We live in a global connection economy driven by trust and affiliation/collaboration is key because being in sync and engaged with others makes for a happier life. This is why the constitution is clear on freedom of association but conformity is preferred by many who act as told.
Many are respected for their consistency because it is safer to stand for something and not reconsider it. But isn’t it true that change is the only constant thing in life? Isn’t Change fine if it makes things better (Inconsistency)?
Today, there are heroes; people who save the day. People who swing into action and take responsibility. There are people who lead from where they are without seeking any political office but there are also bystanders, who believe there’s too much on the line, let someone else do it.
A few times you find people who are concerned about people watching them. What will people say have stagnated many. But a few of us remember & take to heart our mother’s words: Do what is right especially if no one is looking.
There is a reason why people sell you religion. So that when you get into an argument they bring God right in, a narrative that keeps the object on a pedestal beyond your reach, an opium that quietens the chatter in our head. But science works and instructs that we seek proof.
Now, you see why government all over the world wants to control group mind, beliefs, ideas. The rationale for main stream media. People preach change and we believe because things can get better if we let them but those benefitting from the status quo see change as risky!
Can we maintain law and order by insisting on a single concrete cast in stone idea, even in a fast changing world to achieve civility or do we integrate conflict resolution in that process since in a pluralistic socio-political clime, there is bound to be culture conflict and contact?
Despite the strain, do we focus on service because our heroes past sacrificed for us or do we just continue our pursuit of happiness by seeking to profit because making profit is the market’s way of rewarding service? Advocacy or notoriety? Selfless or selfish?
There was a time I put up a logical sum on Twitter and the attempt of the public shows how they were wired. Some showed their workings because finding error in their mathematics helps us all, transparency pays.
But not all of us want people cherry-picking an argument with us. The term Family First (taking care of your own) makes sense until we realize that we are society and country/community first idea is raised, buttressing the fact that everyone in your community/country is your Family. If you provide for yours at the expense of others, they won’t enjoy it.
I once consulted for a firm that doesn’t believe in doing anything for the long game until it becomes an emergency.
The CEO will pull everyone because that pain needs to be addressed in the now but she kept forgetting that emergencies never end. Same goes for the present administration. The fundamental question I’m asking is simple.
How are you wired? Do you have a method to your madness? Which one are you? For Service or for Profit? For Family or for Community? Belief or Proof? Hero or Bystander? Consistent or FlipFlopper?
If we must break the chains and emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, it begins with us. We need to conquer ourselves first. It begins with the individual. This is the only way we can integrate our studies with society for impact.
This is how we bridge institutional gaps, with consistency, candor, transparency, accountability, equity, justice and righteousness.