Wednesday, September 2, 2009
MAKING OUR MOMENT IN HISTORY …
Some years back, my friend (Mr. Fix Nigeria) and I was crossing the mile II express road in Lagos, when a tube came off a trailer and rolled to the middle of the expressway. The driver of the trailer perhaps, didn’t know what happened, just moved on. The on-coming vehicles did the James-Bond type of driving, and all made a good dodge of the tube, forming a V-shaped trail as the sped off. Those of us who were trying to cross the express, stood there for a while, trying hard to figure out how to navigate the new dynamics of the road. Suddenly, I found a space and attempted to pull the tube off the road. The rubber was still hot; it did hurt badly, so I pulled away my hands by reflex. The next man crossing saw what I was doing, then stopped and joined me, then another lady joined, then my friend, and together we lifted the tube away from the road. The on-coming vehicles that saw us stopped and waited for us.
This event was simple but startling. I couldn’t help thinking, “Perhaps everyone knew that the tube in the middle of the road was not supposed to be there, but they just needed someone to start before they join”.
Certainly, all over our nation there is that searching for that someone. Who is that someone in your class workplace, home, neighborhood? Could it possibly be you?
Lately, there seem to be a thousand and one change initiatives by young people. So numerous, I get invites every now and then, but really the kind of change we need is not the one of talking and green carpet event, (I guess green is to show patriotism), we have had enough of that jamboree. Trust me, all of such is like a fluff screen illusion, most people will run out of passion very soon because there was no purpose to their method. We need to have an enlightened self interest and not serve ourselves in the disguise of serving Nigeria what I term unfathomable egocentricity. We must depart from business as usual mentality or doing stuff because everybody else is doing stuff and seek the practical ways of getting ahead. I believe the change we seek as a nation lies in us the youth, this is our finest hour; this is our moment in history, we ought to make it a milestone for posterity. But how? You may ask. Read on!
History has shown that change and revolution is a high cost item. The hall of fame is replete with men and women who brought about change not as an adventure but as a quest. For those who birth change, there was no other option for them, but the realities of their dreams. Woodrow Wilson said “The lines of red are lines of blood, blood unselfishly shed by men who loved the liberty of their fellow men more than they loved their lives and their fortunes”. Nelson Mandela paid the price for the freedom that South Africans are enjoying today, what about you?
As a generation we have a role and responsibility to birth change, we must seek deeper understanding of our roles and responsibility beyond the razzmatazz. No doubt, our nation is broken, the breaking may not be our fault, but the duty to fix it lies on our shoulders as the youth. Sure, there is plenty of blame to go around, but blame no matter how justified is a luxury we cannot afford. We cannot afford to be in the back burner but to move to the fore. This is our time to bring about a creative demographical revolution that we await. It is a revolution by the young and from the young. It is what I believe. We are the beautiful ones long awaited; let us not abnegate our role to posterity. I believe I believe then and now that every problem has a solution, and that we are the solution to Nigerians dilemma. I believe we are born not just in this time but for such a time as this, to tie the loose ends of the past and put fresh roots on the ground. I believe it is high time we came away from the passive and talking attitude, and let us put our hands to the plow. It is time to set the gale of change in motion. I believe it is time to shift into a higher gear, climb into the driver’s seat and make things happen in our lives and nation. I believe for us to write our script, face and conquer our fears, and plunge ourselves into what needs to be done. I believe a new country is possible, when people can pay the price. If we fail to do this we are just dead on arrival.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said “I want it to be said of me by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower should be” We must live by the creed if it is going to be it is up to me. This is the attitude that we must imbibe, if we must succeed. We must move from” why should I to how can I?” Like they say He is invited to do great things, he who does little things greatly. Start with the little you have from where you are. You do not need a podium or a microphone. Forget it! You do not need to be noticed or seen, just do it. You don’t need the intellect of Professor Wole Soyinka, or the congregation of Pastor Adeboye, all you need is a belief in yourself. This is how to make our moment in history a milestone for posterity.
Truly, I believe in what Nelson Mandela said “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”. I believe in Martin Luther’s mantra “a life that has not found a course to die for is not worth living” I believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s maxim “Be the change you want to see”. I believe in Mother Theresa saying “Each one of them is Jesus in disguise”. I hope that at the end of our living, you and I will join this league of ordinary people with extraordinary heart.