Far too many times, I have heard the saying & insinuations that my generation (20-50) is a wasted one and that we must go into schools to salvage the next generation. I see many initiatives geared in this direction but I wonder how we intend to salvage the younger generations in schools when that task can only be handled by people in my generation (as parents, teachers, role models, etc.) Not to mention the fact that my generation has to be changed first before she can lead the change in the younger generation.
The solution remains that we must salvage some of my generation because they have the Education, Good Careers & Experience, Disposable Income, Social Media, and International Exposure needed to build our nation. I will also add that we are the age group holding the destiny of our nation and if we don’t make this time count, the coming generation will push us out and will not forgive us (neither would we forgive ourselves) for our failures.
The older we get the more aware of time we become. For most Nigerians in my generation, this awareness of time is causing much despair and it is because we have not seen our dream of a developed Nigeria. As teens, we all had big dreams of the nation we will live in but as 10, 20, 30 years passed, it is remains largely a dream.
When my generation witnessed the return to democracy in 1999, our expectation levels hit the roof because we believed we have removed our own ‘Ghaddafi’ and would begin to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
But our father’s generation failed and we did not spare them by using every opportunity we had to make it clear that they were failures. We then demanded a generational shift and by 2003 & 2007, we began to see much of these. However, most in my generation had not realised that the generational shift has occurred and when we did, we did not understand what it required of us.
My sole purpose in writing this article is to cry out to my generation to arise from our slumber and use our resources (time, talent & money) to transform Nigeria into a developed nation. We have more vibrancy, innovative ideas, energy, up to date experience, exposure than the generation in front of us. And the generation behind (the ones in school) look to us for role models.
Our father’s generation had placed too much emphasis for our development on those in government and they taught us to expect everything from government. But is that what they learnt from the colonial days when missionaries educated them and provided medical care or when they studied abroad and saw the efforts of several organisations supporting the citizens?
They missed out on the crucial means for nation-building and that is the participation of a critical mass of Nigerians borne out of the mindset of putting the nation first. The outcome is there for us all to see and what is worst, the generation before us have left or are leaving the scene with a lot of regrets and disappointments. I know from personal experiences that they wished they could have been more courageous and done things differently.
I believe that many of them die with a deep pain about the state of Nigeria. Here is why my deep cry to my generation to arise is urgent. We must not repeat history but time is passing by very quickly and now is our time to act.
With this in mind, now is the time to change our mindset about Nigeria. It is time to put the nation first in our thoughts, words and actions. The result would be us stepping out with courage to build Nigeria through our families, workplace, businesses, communities and in every area of influence.
We must start now to get more involved in party politics rather than continue the traditions of our fathers who called it a dirty game. Politicians are people from various professons and so, they are normal people like us and if we want to influence the candidates presented by the parties in 2015 and onwards, we must participate in the process that determines that now. If we don’t like the current political parties, we can create new ones.
This is a deep cry to my generation to stand up and be counted in this fight to build a better future for our children, whilst age is still on our side. It is also a call to give our lives significance because that is what we will have with us in old age and what we will be remembered for when we’re gone.
Arise my generation and build
To experience a mindset transformation and be equipped with the tools needed to identify, launch and sustain a successful initiative, register today for the first Nation-building Regional Series – South West Regional Symposium on 29th & 30th May 2013, Welcome Centre Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. This is an event raising and equipping nation-builders, and providing a community & working groups for these builders. To register or find out about your regional event, visit www.thecascadeinitiative.org