“It is better to walk than to curse the road.” – Senegalese proverb
In a society where more than seventy percent of the populace claim to believe in a God who became man and sacrificed Himself to unite our humanity with the divinity and has sermonised His followers to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” or for sanctity, it is interesting to note that we lack the passion to do anything right. Those who are supposed to uphold our morals are cheating on them; the ones supposed to serve us are robbing us blind; and those mandated to watch the watchmen have had their palms greased with all kinds of gifts and promises, so that their mouths and pens tow ideologies.
It is not that we do not admire freedom and justice; it is that we do not approve of the hungering and thirsting that come with ensuring that these decencies become actualised in society. The result is that we do not seek the institution of those virtues. When we take the words of Christ, “seek and you shall find”, He invariably implies that non-seekers shall never find.
If we are not going to be discontent enough with the status quo, and demand and implement improvements, we are never going to see the light break through the clouds. Maybe, we have more reliance on our ‘ways and means’ rather than His teachings. Or, possibly, we only believe what we want to believe and not necessarily the full tenets of God.
In fact, it is the seeking, the hungering and thirsting that makes all the difference between those great societies and ours. Our non-seeking attitude signals that we believe we are living life to the full in our present state. Otherwise, why are we indifferent? Dissatisfied individuals, on the other hand, are the ones who believe that they are destined for greatness. They foresee them and feel them, and they hunger for them; so they dig deep into their knowledge, talents and creativity to make a difference. The courage to go after that which is great generates the passion for the achievement of it.
Sadly, our priorities are different. All around us, we have become experts at cultivating indifference when it comes to making sacrifices for our society. We taunt those who make sacrifices for it – and interestingly give the places of honour to those who have stolen from it to enrich themselves. We are quick to praise individuals – not because they have done better at work or have superior skills, but for the simple reason that they are members of certain groupings; be it political or religious or whatever. We portray networking to be more important than excellence at our jobs. It is perhaps not surprising that quite a number among us learn the art of know-towing instead of the art of executing strategy. After all, “god-fatherism” is a surer way of guaranteeing the honey to drip on one’s tongue.
Perhaps it is a curse, or exceptionally low intelligence. But what can drive a large percent of the populace to be so excited about unnecessary things (who drives what car, and who has more money); and strangely numb about the good (whether the average person has access to justice, or how well is the educational system preparing our children for tomorrow); and that which can make their society great.
How else can we so ridiculously empower those who are so enslaved to their desires to govern us? We toast the boastful and abhor the humble. We have tipped the scales around, substituting meaning in life with the acquisition of money, power and fame while labelling wisdom, sacrifice and ethics as reserved for those who care about dying. We have thrown away all the good that could instil passion in us…and filled ourselves with aspirations that do not last beyond a moment.
Today, ask yourself how much you care about our society? Have you noticed that the people we pay to provide public services demand that we pay something extra to them before they do what they are employed to do? Do you demand they do the right thing when you encounter them?
How many among us have noticed that our public schools (Primary and JHS) do not employ other staff outside of teachers, thus demanding that the pupils spend the first hour at school cleaning the compound and classrooms before any learning takes place? Do we believe it is alright that we are shirking our responsibilities? What kind of future are we creating for them? Will it surprise you if they grew up shirking their responsibilities?
Contrary to popular opinion, passion is not generated through greed, lust and pride. It is an aspiration for the good of the society, the good of our neighbours, that gets us to start living passionately. It is hard to understand how a greater percentage of the populace who claim belief in God can be so heartless and so passion-less. Our ways contradict His teachings. It is time to understand that hungering and thirsting for the greater good of our humanity is what passion is about. And so, let us walk our talk and renew our aspiration to generate some passion in our souls and bodies.
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