Once two friends were walking through the forest. They knew that anything dangerous can happen to them at any time in the forest. So they promised each other that they would remain united in any case of danger. Suddenly, they saw a large bear approaching them. One of the friends at once climbed a nearby tree. But the other one did not know how to climb. So being led by his common sense, he lay down on the ground breathless, pretending to be a dead man.
The bear came near the man lying on the ground. It smelt in his ears, and slowly left the place. Because the bears do not touch the dead creatures. Now the friend on the tree came down and asked the friend on the ground, “Friend, what did the bear whisper into your ears?” The other friend replied, “The bear advised me not to believe a false friend.”
We are all a little broken lest we deify or exalt ourselves beyond measure, but this doesn’t mean that broken crayons color differently. It is all a matter of perspective. Any leader that hopes to be loved need not chase love, affection or attention. If it isn’t given freely by another, it isn’t worth having.
In a country where people say one thing and mean another, how exactly do we connect to one another when we understand differently with a spectrum of causes of attenuation? Thus, inciting action is often better than contributing insight. Better to move forward and figure it out than to stand still and believe you know the right answer.
I’m certain a few of us can now relate to Moses’ frustration with the Israelites inflicted by selective amnesia and always seeking comfort in chains as against walking through faith to a promised land. The very same way we forget how people hurt us only to fall into the same situation, is the same way we forget the goodness of God to us beginning with the gift of life.
In the game of Politics, words matter a great deal and politicians need care very much. Passive aggressive and condescending utterances can damage approval ratings. The truth solves more problems than litany of lies. It is always the greatest weapon of attack and defense depending on the depth of your persuasion methods. The choice of language/words is a skill that has set apart leaders for generations while action cements perception.
In sane climes, competent leaders are selected, on the basis of performance and broad support, through vigorous process of screening, opinion surveys, internal evaluations and various types of elections. This is much in line with the confuscian tradition of meritocracy as practiced in China. After all, China is the first country that invented civil service examination system. As at today, they practice on the whole, a successful meritocracy across their whole political stratum with a criteria based on poverty eradication, job creation, local economic growth, social development, increasing environmental-protection are all key for selecting and promoting officials.
In what should have been a major breakthrough for the administration in Nigeria given all the goodwill handed to them on a platter, their performance is totally hamstrung, gutted, eviscerated by foolishness, corruption, mendacity, cronyism, heists and barbarism. Yet, they insensitively boast that they will win elections even without the support of the populous youth that accounts for 70% of the population.
This is of course premised on the assurances that the overwhelming efforts of impoverishing the masses and the damage done to education over the years would ease the brainwashing of the populace yet again. Rhetorics like “Who do we vote for?” has been renting the air as though our ability to make informed decision has been impaired. “Who can compete and win against the obvious aberration?” They ask, limiting their understanding to their comfort zones with the Devil they know, without the will of taking a risk with the unknown and breaking their chains of slavery.
China is the second largest economy in the world, an industrial powerhouse with its people living in increasing prosperity. Check the recent polls in public opinion of the people of China. 75% in gratitude towards general direction of the country. 70% claim they are better off than 5years ago. Those who expect the future to be better are in the 82nd percentile. 93% believes China’s best days are still ahead. Run the same poll for Nigeria and weep.
Winston Churchill’s famous dictum “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried” may be true in the western political and cultural context and many Chinese even paraphrase Churchill’s remark into what Sun Tzu, China’s military strategist of the 6th century BC called “Xiaxiace”, or the least bad option, which means a system that would allow for the exit of bad leaders through regular elections.
But in China’s confucian tradition of meritocracy, a state should always strive for what is called “ShangShangCe” or the best of the best options, by choosing leaders of the highest caliber. Until we begin to ask critical questions about what makes great nations great, we will continue to excuse failure while we wallow in abject poverty and ignorance under despotic plunderers.
This is not the time to trim the leaves of a destructive tree instead of cutting the whole tree down. This is not the time to fire cabin crew for the sins of a negligent pilot. It is time to stand as one indivisible unit and make difficult decision for the sake of our children and generations unborn. Follow your conscience and avoid being deceived.
Never run back to what broke you.