One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides (remains) forever- Ecclesiastes 1:4.While the earth remains, nations in every continent of the world remains. In every nation, there are generations of citizens – some emerging, while others are simply passing out. However, it is said that in every generation; there are those who make things happen, there are those who watch things happen and lastly, there are those who wonder what is happening.
While that is true, I also believe that the various generations in nations could be con-incidentally categorized as stated above. It appears very convincingly that in most nations (perhaps, the less developed ones); there are generations that make things happen, there are generations that watch things happen and there are generations that wonder what is happening.
If we could consider few countries in the world randomly, countries like Syria, Iraq, C.A.R., Nigeria and Egypt; in contrast with countries like Germany, South Korea, Singapore, USA and Australia among others; we will notice a few trends. In the first set of nations; it is apparent that a fraction of the nations practically determine the experience and future of the larger part of the nations. Coming home to Nigeria, one would wonder, what exactly is the demographic structure of Nigeria? Why is there so much recycling of voices, mouths, minds and hands; when the nation boasts to have over 170 million citizens? You hear of people who were State Governors in the 1970s and 1980s being 2-term Governors as at 2014. What exactly is going on!
Over the years, the political leadership in Nigeria have consistently down-graded the competence and capacity of products of Nigerian higher institutions; lowering the self-worth and self-esteem of the chunk of graduates in their millions from these institutions. If I may ask, why is it easier for Nigerian leaders to talk down the competence of youths than to empower (educate and finance) them for true emancipation?
Paradoxically, when the same people (graduates) from Nigerian higher institutions travel out of Nigeria for higher studies; they lead their classes! What then is the truth? The truth is simple, ‘one generation is eroding the self confidence of another generation; in order to keep the generation and generations to come in perpetual subjugation. After my first degree at the University; I went for the NYSC programme of my nation. During the first 3 weeks of the one year programme; I was just asking myself a simple question, “Is it a crime to go to school?” We were subjected to what could only be referred to as ‘humiliation’. The soldiers called us names like stones, gravels, building materials and ensured that we equally called ourselves such names. The outcome of this strategic National Youth Service Corp is apparent - more than two-third of the corps members that pass out yearly, end up looking for jobs everywhere - even to the point of death, as it was the case at the last Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise; where 19 job seekers died through stampede.
The point is this, “you are either part of the MAKING generation, or you are in the WASTING generation.’ Henry Ford once said, “If you do not manage your destiny, others will” . Giving voice to the thoughts of your heart; “When others manage your destiny, ‘it will be for the people”; what we see is the government of the few, by the few and for the few.
I believe as it is said, “everything remains in a state of rest, until an external force is evoked”. Status quo is hardly the friend of greatness; however, status quo is the secret of the perpetrators of evil in every generation, nation and even organization. If we all keep quiet, we only make their work (corruption, cheating, and rigging, stealing and so on) easy. Rather, when we speak up actively, we stand the chance to lead a great nation. However, you and I can only give what we have; hence, until we all seek help in God, to help rebuild our deformed and collapsed self-worth, self-concept and self-esteem, we might end up becoming as bad, corrupt, blind, evil and manipulative as the going generation.
In conclusion, I would like us to learn from a story I found in the Bible:
“And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver”
2 Kings 6:24-25
Does that describe the situation of Nigeria currently? Personally, I have observed that a lot of things are more expensive in Nigeria today than even Petrol. Vegetable oil, palm oil, onions and tomatoes are some of the things that an average Nigerian can hardly afford. Now, see how men who were hitherto on the fence in their generation; accepted responsibility for the survival of their decaying (suffering) nation.
“Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, “we will enter the city; the famine is in the city, and we shall die there, and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” And they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirt of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there…………..And when the lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing……..Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household”
2 Kings 7:3-9
If you read the whole story, you will realize that what we fear most is of the past; the days ahead of us is more glorious than the present. However, we must not be silent in self-doubt, self-pity and ignorance in nonchalance; rather, be bold in words and deeds as a member of the making generation. Please note, it is not enough to be a member of the making generation; you must be mindful of the integrity, excellence and durability of all you make - avoid the doom of the dubious men and women of the outgoing generation.