When we think about the Nigerian situation, the song by Femi Kuti “So So Talk and No Action” comes to mind. This is a country where much talk is done by her citizens but little or no action is taken.
Our Government at all levels make promises upon promises but little or no action is taken. Is it only government? No, we the people can complain all day and night about the sad situation in our country and yet, we will do nothing about it.
It is said that at any gathering of Nigerians at home or aboard, the sorry state of our nation will dominate the discussions and each person will participate passionately in the discussion.
The objective of this article is not to talk about what is common and clear to us all but to recommend what we must do to move from talk to action. But before that, we must understand why we Nigerians are so angry and talk or complain so much as a result. Without our proper assessment of this, we wouldn’t come to terms with the need to move to the place of action.
So, why do we talk so much about our problem?
Life is difficult & unpredictable: Most citizens go through several difficulties on daily basis in their attempt to live and provide for their loved ones. To add to the difficulties is the unpredictability of our society. All manner of problems can arise without any warning because of our high level of instability in our politics and economy.
Avoidable deaths and accidents: A simple trip to the office can end in an avoidable accident that will cost the death of the driver & passengers or deform them for life. Most times, the accident is caused by poor roads, lack of proper road signage & lighting, poor emergency services, lack of proper hospitals and of course, bad driving. Every day, we hear of petrol tankers that fell and kills people in their tens.
Visible Sign of Looting without Repercussions: Nothing hurts Nigerians like reading in the papers details of how people in position of authority (government or private sector) loot our commonwealth with such impunity. Worse off, they get away with no punishment and in the few cases where they were punishment, it was more like a slap on their wrist.
Our future is unsecured: For young and old adults, the uncertainty of our future and that of our children is so depressing. We worry about our pensions in old age, the education of our children, the home we will retire to, the weight of our extended family challenges on us, the future of our businesses, workplace and investments into property, business and the financial market, etc.
Much potential but little wealth: Every time we think of the abundant natural resources we have and the can-do spirit in many of our citizens, we get pained about our continuous underdevelopment.
Of course, there are several other reasons why we get angry and talk so much & so passionately about our problem. But it is hoped that the listing of some of the points above will propel us to say enough is enough. But beyond saying enough is enough, we must move further to say we will no longer be victims but solvers of the problems. This really is the only way forward.
But what is the mindset required to enable move forward and solve many of our problems?
I believe many Nigerians know our problems and to various degrees, they know the power to change things belong to the people (you and I). So, the problem and the initiate responsibility are acknowledged. I believe what is lacking to translate anger & complains into positive action is the sacrifice mindset.
Why the Sacrifice Mindset?
Commitment: The change needed within us, our families and our communities requires total commitment, and it can’t happen unless we are ready to make sacrifices. It is a deep commitment that will lead to the dedication of time & resources to the solution on the short, medium and long term.
The commitment to study what solution we can generate and implement; to put into practice new values and our well defined actions; and to teach others about change through our words and mainly by what we model, is all gained through a sacrificial mindset.
Lifestyle: Without a radical change in our lifestyle, we wouldn’t have the ability to sustain our commitment. A sacrifice mindset will enable us to give up most of our comforts, our personal goals & glories, some key friendship and family, some possessions, etc., to give us room to focus on delivering the change we seek.
This mindset produces citizens who have simplified their lives in order to ensure that life most precious gift – Time, is preserved for only those things that deliver change. Such citizens are said to be radical in their thoughts, words and actions. But through this lifestyle, they have gained long term approach to issues and a life dedicated to serving others in order for future generations to have a better society than the current one.
Interestingly, there are some citizens who are passionate about change and are taking some positive actions but give up after facing hostility. It is obvious that they are yet to attain the sacrifice mindset because the only thing that will stop citizens with this mindset is death or the attainment of the goal.
No opposition man made or otherwise would withstand the work of a Nigerian with total commitment and a transformed & simplified lifestyle
We all complain so much because we desire change but to build the developed Nigeria of our dreams, we must recognise that it is a long and hard process with very strong opposition. But with the sacrifice mindset, we will attain our objective through much work and less talk.
The question each of us must then ask ourselves is, considering all our problems, am I willing to pay the price to build a developed Nigeria?