The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example. - James Wooden
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi
Yes, change begins with you. If you are bribing school authorities on behalf of your children, you are part of the problem. If you are paying people to sit exams on behalf of you or your children you are part of the problem. If you are jumping a queue because you are in a hurry you are part of the problem. If you think a British/American accent is better than your Nigerian accent, you are part of the problem, emancipate yourself from mental slavery.
If you are passing a one way road or deliberately breaking traffic rules, you are part of the problem. If you think money solves everything instead of using your brain innovatively, you are part of the problem. If you will vote someone into power because he can help you and your family rather than vote him because he has good leadership qualities, you are part of the problem. If you would deliberately look the other way when you see injustice around you, after all ‘e no concern you,’ it’s not your family, you are part of the problem.
If you would rather spend money on personal vagaries while owing your employees months in salary, you are part of the problem. If your attitude at work is nonchalant and you’re just waiting for month end to collect salary, you’re part of the problem. You are paying hundreds of thousands in tithe and offering, yet you have family members/friends you can’t help, you are part of the problem.
If you are happy your child speaks only English and not one sentence of Nigerian language, you are part of the problem. If to you, the Yoruba man is a demon, the Hausa man is an uncircumcised cattle rearing illiterate, the Edo man is a lazy philanderer, you’ve bought into the stereotypes, you’re part of the problem.
If you insist in sleeping with that woman before you give her that job, or help her out, you are part of the problem. If you believe sleeping with a rich man or marrying a rich man is the only way out, you are part of the problem. If you fold your arms, blaming government and waiting for thunder to strike, you are part of the problem.
Change yourself. Change your mentality. Start speaking positively. Fix your spot. Beautify your environment. Act in your own little office. From the security guard at door who wants to be bribed before you can see ova to collect contract, to the oga who insists you pad the budget of your proposal so he can collect 25%, to you who happily obliges. From the companies and musicians who fly outside the country to do video shoots to the individual who automatically thinks everything imported is superior to home grown…we are all guilty. Until each one of us claims responsibility and stop being selfish and start acting, 100 years from now we will be in this same position or worse off.
Fix your spot. Stop cursing yourself. When you say Nigeria ‘no go better’, you are cursing yourself. Who is Nigeria? Is it an address somewhere or a single individual? You are Nigeria. I am Nigeria. Nation building is teamwork. ‘The Government’ is not some vague unreachable entity. We voted them into power. It is your duty to hold your leaders accountable. It is your duty to challenge your local government chairman on why amenities you are being taxed for are absent in your locality.
The problem with us is that, a lot of us are selfish – it’s all about me, myself and mine. A lot of nations have been worse off than we are today, and they still came out of it. So let’s continue proclaiming Nigeria is messed up; instead of let fix ourselves individually. Winter never reach. Winter is coming.
Photo Credit: Jide Alakija