Opinion: A Nation Forsaken by God
By Abass Jafuneh:
- A Nation Forsaken by God -
Is God fair to black-Africa? If He is then He must definitely be ignoring her plight – My reason? Duh! I couldn’t bring myself to think otherwise as I passionately ponder to bring me to the understanding of this godforsaken subject! How could I not be convinced? I asked myself.
For all the prayers and work we have been doing in the name of God all this while; from our mosques, to our church pulpits and at the communal gatherings, there is no shortage of calling on the name of the Lord yet we continue to lag behind, struggling to get over the simplest of the basic necessities of life, all of which seem to be falling from the sky for our counterparts!
Our infrastructures, our healthcare, our educational institutions, our social security, our natural resources – the fauna and flora and our attitude towards safeguarding these are abysmal to say the least. From the trustees of our affairs to the lowest of the caste, many seem to be caught up in the culture of a rat race. That sense of urgency in responding to or improving matters-of-a-must is taken facetiously. I couldn't help to be seen as a pessimist here but the fabric of our societies and that communal belongingness are putrefying and the way of living as we know it, is changing for good!
- A Solution is Not Hard to Find -
As much as I hate to say it, this curse is our own making in the disguise of indiscipline! Yes, let us blame our sad state of affairs on none other than discipline or its lack thereof; and I would appreciate if the readers note my emphasis on the word ‘our’ in this introductory statement. And should they be wondering how I came to this conclusion – I would say that anyone who witnessed and remembers the 80s or prior, would quite agree with me of the stark differences between the cultures of these yesteryears and the subsequent periods, wisely termed elsewhere as the ‘MTV generations.’
Here begins the rapid deterioration of the seed of discipline from our forebears through their work ethics, self-reliance, resolve, empathy and respect for one another entrenched in us! This, I contend is due to the loss of our self-discipline and nothing else – there is no way on how to move up on a socio-economic ladder individually or collectively in the presence of indiscipline. Kerry Siggins complements it best in her piece that the single most important attribute to becoming successful is self-discipline. It helps you stay focused on reaching one’s goals, with the gumption to stick with difficult tasks, allows you to overcome obstacles and discomfort as you push yourself to new heights. Further she posited that self-discipline is the ability to control our impulses, emotions, reactions and behaviors; it allows us to forego short-term gratification in favor of long-term contentment and gain such as saying “no” when you actually want to say “yes” or about leading a restrictive and boring life void of pleasure.
In reality it’s almost impossible to be self-disciplined in all areas of life, therefore instead of attempting to be disciplined in all you do, use it to focus on what is most imperative. Jim Rohn even puts it best that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. And there would be no justice to this write-up if I fail to mention John Maxwell’s wisdom that motivation gets you going but discipline keeps you growing! Every ‘first world nation’ seems to better adopt these ideals more than the ‘third worlds’ as evidenced in the gaps between the two worlds in many aspect of the word development. In their mosques and churches, the ‘advanced nations’ call to God for ‘divine interventions’ seems to be aptly responded to, which then begs for me to ask, does God favors them over us or are they doing something more that we do not? I only suspect the latter – we shouldn’t look too deeply for a Solution is Not Hard to Find!
- When Common Sense Becomes an Endangered Species -
If you cannot control what you think then there’s no way you can control what you do, a sad and an unfortunate circumstance that overthrew ‘common sense’ from our grasp! Through the almighty Facebook timelines to the ubiquitous whatsApp forums, we have all suddenly became an Ivy-league University of Google graduates and without a scintilla of restraint, brandishing our newly acquired PhDs ranging from insults and diatribes to theology, medicine, history, legal practice and you name it. Through the infinite capacity of the super information highway, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), there is no void of ideas from these professional cyber counselors yet our situations are even ever direr. Their sheer determination seems insurmountable to curb – I only hope that with this I would not be their next candidate for crucifixion!
By the pen, I never meant in anyway to downplay the significance of social media in our lives; my intention is far from that. Neither am I that naïve to be incognizant that this offers little consolation to the handful of the great sons and daughters of the ‘soil’ who are anything but less than gallantry by all means! Notwithstanding, AI just like religion brought about the best out of those who employ their God given ‘common sense’ but the worst in those who do not. The flow of information of the current carnage of Covid-19 throughout the world shall absolve me if you should doubt my testament… My phone literally crashed few weeks back from information overload, thanks to the resourceful cyber ‘saviors!’
But as much as I hate to be a disappointment, coronavirus is not a farce nor is it related to 5G or created in a lab for the sole aim of controlling population growth; Bill Gates is not coming to kill us with his vaccines and neither are black people immune to this infection! Thus I pledged to be part of the vigilantes to counter these vices because misinformation is more dangerous than this virus itself! An absolute lack of restraint and critical thinking – common sense, isn’t even real! And only the good Lord could help us by his infinite mercy to assuage this situation! I honestly see no way out of this quagmire anytime soon, we are in for a long bumpy ride, and thus I am afraid Common Sense is an endangered species!
- Our Predicaments Squarely Lie in Indiscipline -
The sky shall not torn asunder for that ‘Singapore dream’ to fall from the heavens! And the sooner we realize that our nemesis is indiscipline, the better it shall be for us. Its impact isn’t restricted to the rife and chronic mental inertia, arrogance, lawlessness, behavioral dyscontrol, selfishness, greed and corruption but more so the lack of creativity and drive. Our leaders are not the problem but part of the problem and a reflection of ourselves, after all they come from within – for us to breed good leaders therefore, we as a people, have to re-cultivate the culture of self-discipline first and foremost. Our no amount of grievance, pointing fingers or crying foul is going to build us that bridge to a better tomorrow, only but self-discipline is the avenue to get us back to the “Taysito Seeta” mantra in enabling us tosharpen our hoes once again! Thus I contend – Our Problems Squarely Lie in Indiscipline!
Abass Jafuneh hols a BSc and Master of Science (MSc), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practice (PMHNP), from the University of North Dakota
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