With the current state of our nation, it has become even more imperative for a critical mass of citizens to take the initiative to build a developed Nigeria. Our greatest need is for a rise in nation-builders.
It is quite disappointing to see the majority of citizens sit back and expect the government alone to build a developed Nigeria. Yet, if these citizens study the history and current trends in developed nations, they will see clearly the roles of numerous citizens actively involved in personal and national development.
With a sub-standard government at all levels for so many years, our situation requires even more active participation by nation-builders.
To become a nation-builder, there are 5 key qualities we must have and we can learn:
Belief in Nigeria & the possibility of her development: This is foundational because it all begins with our thought process. Nation-builders do not only love Nigeria but strongly believe in Nigeria as a country and the possibility of her development.
As a result of this belief, they speak passionately about a better future for Nigeria. Yes, they do acknowledge our current crisis but to them, these present opportunities for various developmental initiatives.
Before we call them dreamers, I will add that their thoughts and words are actively supported by their actions focused on making a developed Nigeria a reality. What matters most to them is not what the majority believe but what they (the nation-builders) think, say and do.
Growth Mindset: They probably would be dreamers if not for their preference for a growth mindset rather a fixed mindset. Fixed mindset citizens say, ‘This country is useless.’, ‘This country will not change in our lifetime.’, ‘The rot is too deep.’ or ‘This is how we are’.
The nation-builder with a growth mindset says, ‘The country is bad but we can & will make it better’, ‘We can turn it around in one generation’, or ‘We capable of changing our behaviour.’
The growth mindset-focused nation-builder is a liberated citizen not held captive by traditions, ethnicity or religion. He or she is a humble person due to their acknowledgement of life as a growth process (you never know enough) and as a result, they go in pursuit of new information or knowledge.
This is why nation-builders spend less time on leisure. The less time spent at parties, weddings, burials and the numerous social functions that run from Mondays to Sundays, is more time for personal & national development.
Research: A key outcome of the growth mindset is the research culture of a nation-builder. They are regular readers and they read far and wide, especially materials that will show them how to effect change in their area of most pain.
As part of the research culture, nation-builders ask numerous questions. In fact they question everything because they know answers are a response to a question. The more well-researched questions are asked, the more they get equipped with answers.
Nation-builders ensure better governance due to their regular probing and critical thinking.
Influence: Not bothered about the regular complaint, ‘How can one person change this nation?’ nation-builders recognise the positive influence they have on their circle of contacts (friends, families, community, colleagues, etc.) and proactively put it to use.
They do not only practice the change they seek but they teach that change through verbal & non-verbal communication, modelling and mentoring. They also inspire many others who hear about their lifestyle (their mindset and values).
Sacrifice: It is the huge sacrifice nation-builders put in to pursue a cause that gives them influence and some would give up families, friends, businesses, assets and even their lives. Nothing great is achieved without great sacrifice.
With a strong belief in the possibility of a developed Nigeria, the price to pay is a little easier. Moreover, the findings from research and a growth mindset lifestyle compels them to lay down their lives for nation-building.
A nation-builder lives out the core nation-building values of Compassion, Opportunity, Responsibility, Equality, Valour (or courage), Ambition, Liberty, Unity, Enterprise and Spirituality, as part of the sacrifice required.
Rather than wait on government, we urgently require nation-builders actively participating in national development including politics to ensure credible candidates are presented at the general elections and credible people are chosen as political appointees.
We can all learn to believe, to develop a growth mindset, to undertake research, to influence others for good and to make the sacrifice required. We can become nation-builders and participate actively in building a developed Nigeria.
What choice will you make?