• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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I’ve always believed in looking beyond convention in my incessant search for answers. How did we become who or what we are? Why do we do what we do, the way we do it? How did we get to this point? I like to scan the horizon looking for factors everyone else tends to overlook; factors that are less obvious. It would be ridiculous to believe that by simply ignoring or overlooking them, they would automatically drop out of the equation. Or to think ignoring them would reduce their potency and minimize the impact they have on our lives.

Everybody will agree that 2+2+2=6 and that sequence mirrors the manner in which many will tell their story or assess a situation. Of course it would be inane to dispute the very obvious fact that if you add three two’s together, you will get six. However, though six is the answer and the end product, I on the other hand, am always inclined to investigate how that became the end product. It’s true that several other combinations would arrive at that same result – such as 5+1 or 3+3 or 4+2 etc but my question will be, how do we know it wasn’t 10+10-14? Just because that combination is not the most obvious does not negate its efficacy to produce the same result.

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What are the things, which we could look at doing if we want to improve our behaviour as a people? It is a pertinent question and the answers may not necessarily be found in the commonly proffered “solutions”. What has contributed to him behaving that way and why does he not see anything wrong with such behaviour? Particularly when he’s the perpetrator. It must be said that we human beings seldom consider ourselves guilty of what we accuse others of. Like I’m often fond of saying, the “problem” is not that we don’t know what the problem is but it’s that we don’t see ourselves as part of the problem. If we did, our conduct would change dramatically as we would see the need to do so. Until we recognize and appreciate the impact these latent factors make and subsequently include them in the equation, the most effective solutions may continue to elude us.

As human beings and notorious for our lack of contentment, we tend to devalue what we have, while placing greater value on what we think others possess.

And how can we get people to think differently for the benefit of everyone, including themselves? It is funny but one of the most difficult things to do in this life is to get people to do what’s best for them. Just look at the reactions we all witnessed to the announcements of lockdown in Europe and the US – where we expect as developed and more “civilized” societies, their citizens would be more reasonable? I was scandalized! The lashing out against such measures could not always be traced to their economic fears but was often a fierce knee-jerk reaction to urgent action they knew would stifle their way of life; albeit temporarily. It muzzled the very cornerstone of democracy, freedom. To many, freedom to visit the beach and eat out at restaurants whenever they like is a need that supersedes any other. How the loss of freedom may affect their mental health concerns them more than catching a virus that might eventually kill them. It has been fascinating to see how divergent the views of some individuals and their governments have been, on what’s best for the country and by extension, the citizenry.

There are times when I read other people’s articles and find myself totally mesmerized by the author’s masterly command of the English language. I would admire the relative ease with which they seem to conjure up the most delectable arguments and the ways in which they expertly present them. “Wow! This chap/lady is so clever and incredibly gifted. I wish I could write like this”, I would say to myself. I’ve often been commended for my apparent breezy style of writing. Some will even say, “When I’m reading your book, it’s as if I’m having a conversation with someone standing right before me”. Such comments never fail to please me but inside me of me, I can’t help but laugh. Why? Because to be honest, that is the style, my modest ability permits me to do. Some would then top this up with something like, “it’s so easy to read and follow”. Little do they know simple can only produce simple. Perhaps my saving grace is the view of some experts that simple is actually best. Well, for my sake, I hope so because I do not see why I should have to convey my message in writing any differently to how I would do so verbally.

One thing I have learned over the years though is that one should value any talent one has. As human beings and notorious for our lack of contentment, we tend to devalue what we have, while placing greater value on what we think others possess. “Familiarity breeds contempt” isn’t limited to the area of relationships. It extends beyond that to failing to appreciate what one has come to regard as ordinary. So, let’s not self-deprecate to the point where we totally lose sight of our blessings. Let us enter this year with the confidence that we are uniquely gifted and with deliberate Intention, deploy such gifts for the benefit of fellow men. Remember, someone once said, “The rent you pay for the space you occupy on the earth is service”. This has nothing to do with servitude and everything to do with benefitting humanity with what you have. In addition, don’t deprive yourself of the fulfilment inherent in utilizing your God given talent. You would be surprised if you knew how many secretly admire you and say to themselves, “Wow! This chap/lady is so clever and gifted. I wish I could be like that”. Surely, greatness awaits you…but do not keep it waiting. Happy New Year.

Changing the nation…one mind at a time.

Akande is a Surrey University graduate with a Masters in Professional Ethics. An alumnus of the Institute for National Transformation and author of two books; The Last Flight and Shifting Anchors. He can be reached via [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter via @Dapo_MINDS