A PROJECT FOR THE GOOD OF THE COMMON MAN

One of the most dangerous things poverty does to a person is that it takes away your options. I hated the reality that poverty imposes on one. I remember watching how one wrong financial decision could affect our family’s feeding habits for a month or even more. Even in my life, I’ve seen the same thing. Just one financial emergency made me crawl through April. As I was going through that experience one thing kept going through my mind: I don’t want to ever be in this position again. It is the same feeling I have whenever I see anyone struggling financially.

For poor people, that is their daily reality. Their monthly reality. Every day is an emergency. Every naira is an emergency. A family’s welfare could be determined by how the next 1,000 Naira is used. There is nothing admirable about this state of living.

That’s what we hope to change. We want people to have more options. Wealth gives people the option to choose what they want to do. With wealth, they can choose the school they want to attend. With wealth, they can choose the food they want to eat. With wealth, they can choose to build more wealth. With wealth, they can choose what to wear, where to live, and what to do. Wealth is simply more options. We want people to have this option. There is nothing glorious in living a life of poverty all through our earthly sojourn.

It is my firm belief that I have a duty to my neighbor, and at this present time, it is to look for him and her and to help them rise out of poverty. When Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself”, it tells me that, make sure your neighbor doesn’t live in poverty just like you don’t want to live in one.

Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s all we are trying to do!

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THE VULTURE AND THE GIRL

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The vulture and the girl,” is the title to a photograph I believe many of us have seen, but probably have not had an idea on the story behind it. It was published in March 1993 and further went ahead to win the “Pulitzer award for featured photography.” The picture was taken by Kevin Carter a photo journalist during the unrest and Civil war in Sudan. There was high level of starvation and deaths. The Child whose name was “Kong Nyong” was said to be walking towards a UN refugee camp, when Carter took the picture. He chased the vulture away and got treatment for the child. Later the child father will reveal that the child was a boy. About 3 month after Carter was given the award for the picture, he killed him self, because the sight still haunted him.

Source: YouTube

I cannot fathom the trauma and hell he will have been through. The haunting and gruesome image of how evil man have become.

For once, one will think that with the level of civilization and enlightenment, war and man inhumanity to man, might be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that is wishful thinking. It seems we are now more savage than those before us.

Source:Quora

It is shocking to realize that Carter didn’t really go to Sudan for the “Gram and tweet,” rather to show how devastating and traumatizing life was in Sudan. I believe he might have had the image of finding peace. Yet, just that single image, traumatized him forever. It’s funny however, to see that in our own present day and time, we can see things like that and the first thing we do, is take pictures and videos, then go about our normal activities. It is always about the likes and retweets, rather than the help we can offer. There is nothing heartbreaking to realize that some of us even get pictures of those suffering and then use it to generate income for ourselves.

We have been made vultures by our machines and gadget. Slowly, our humanity has faded into oblivion. We are not compassionate, neither are we honorable and useful.

THIS THING CALLED PASSION

Overtime now, we have had motivational speakers and a whole lot of people around, tell us to find what we are passionate about and then look for a way to make money out of it. Somehow, it didn’t really align or make sense to me.

Later on, I will come to a different opinion from “The minimalist.” They will talk about how non of us is really giving birth to with a specific thing he is passionate about. To them, you find something that can generate you a source of income, and then find a way to be passionate about it.

Passion has been defined as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling; as love or hate.” No doubt, that defines everything. We can often times, control or work on our emotions.

From the animation “Soul,” we can see the story of a man who throughout his life, has thought he is chasing only one thing and it is what he believed to be his purpose and passion. Eventually after getting his big deal and gig, he felt no difference at all.

Passion is the constant desire to fight for something better. To keep finding home; however this home is eternity and there is no exact end to it, because it isn’t a place, career, family, friends or wealth. Passion is you and finding joy in you.

THE DOUBLE LIFE SYNDROME

Have you for one reason or the other, ever thought just maybe you are living a “hypocritical life?” I have had that feeling for long. Having to be in-between two different worlds and somehow you have to keep switching. The sad thing about this, is that at the point you realize it, you might have lost yourself already.

For me, this has been a battle for a number of years, and I felt like both lives were mine, but I couldn’t just find a balance for them. Recently I sat down to ask myself why? And I came to the realization that it is because I often want to fit in or please people.

But no, not anymore. People are one creature so difficult to please, and you must realize that your purpose isn’t about acting to please people but for the greater good of humanity. For me, I find balance where God is and hence there isn’t much need for any double life. Wherever I find myself, the standard for my life is first about glorifying God and humanity second.

The only switch I have now, is about knowing the difference between work, a place for family and those I love and a place for my own self. It’s all about our own healing and perfection.

We weren’t made to keep switching forms. I mean that will be deception. The motto, is to be known with the same character by all. It will be impossible when you have no standard to measure what is right in your life. For me, it is God

A TOUCH OF PROFESSIONALISM

I have been writing for while, but never really called myself a writer. I had limited myself to just writing poems and referring to myself as a poet. Subsequently, most of my writings, began to earn recognition and hence exposing me to more people and more friends.

Apart from the fact that we attended the same Church back then in school, I and Evelyn were members of the same group and she has always fascinated me.

She will later come to me with her idea of building a website and wanted me to work with her on it. At first, I thought it will be something not serious and hopefully a hobby.

Shame on me. I was shocked when on our first meeting to discuss the whole idea, She showed up with Partnership Laws of Plateau State and how we all can play our part. It scared the heavens out of me at first, but also showed me that I needed to find myself and see myself in the light of how others saw me.

I have been one, who somehow believe and love imperfection. However, I have come to learn that being all serious and expecting a level of perfection from whatever we plant our energy into, also build us.

Knowing what was online, pushed me into a more deeper level of self development and growth. To gain perfection, I have grown and have also developed. Last time I was writing and using Gram-marly, I came to the revelation of how I can actually write without it now.

For Evelyn herself, I believe she has always been in doubt about herself and because of that, she thought about the importance of others view. Along the line of things, I have come to the revelation of her love for perfection, not neglecting the fact that she can be an emotional writer and self engrossed.

I have however, been open to the fact that we really can’t be perfect at first, but as we advance and grow, we must strife for a level of perfection. Perfect imperfection should kind of be a thing I think.

SOMEONE IS WATCHING

It is very easy for us to see ourselves as insignificant and incapable of influencing change, no wonder we do things without even considering if it will have a down side upon the lives of others.

I somehow was in this category and with that mindset. I had the belief that there are many people up there doing great and amazing things that will captivate people’s attention and so I am oblivious and invisible.

However, all this was proven wrong, when at a gathering a number of persons came up to me and spoke about how I have influenced them in one way or the other. A lot still look up to me and are grateful for each encounter.

Being the change and influencing the world isn’t about where we are, who we are or how perfect we are. There is always someone who sees us as a source of encouragement. This puts responsibility on us to be better and great. No matter how insignificant you think you are, there is always someone watching and looking up to you.

An African proverb has this to say; “if you think you are to small to make a difference, you have never been in a room with a mosquito.”

GOVERNANCE AND BAD INDIVIDUALS

Mohammed Bin Rashid in his book, wrote about how that at a certain time he had an encounter with a journalist who asked him what wish he will make for Dubai if given the chance. He hesitated in answering that question and according to him, he realized that everything he would have wished for Dubai, are things he himself could provide.

This wasn’t an answer to dispute the existence and power of God. He however, realized that God made everything he needed available for him to better the lives of the citizens of Dubai.

It’s amazing to realize that Dubai is not even a country; rather a city in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai can boast over fascinating feats other countries can only pray and why is that possible?

They have individuals who see Leadership as serving the people rather than serving themselves. The citizens come before “I”. Bin Rashid wrote of the sacrifices his father made for Dubai. Dubai believes in a leadership of showing the citizens what to do rather than telling them what to do.

The idea that how a single individual’s act can change a nation is something that should get us to question ourselves.

Israel prides in the ability of its junior staffs to correct their superiors when they are making mistakes or on the wrong; because they believe that no one is knowledgeable in all things.

We should not desire of God to do what he has placed in our hands to do.

The problem of bad governance, is the problem of bad individuals and for every nation to thrive, it’s citizens and leaders must be honest to themselves and take responsibilities for the change they desire.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

POLITICS AND I

I have always tried to stay far away from anything that concerns politics. As an undergraduate, I saw it as a waste of my time and have also thought of it as an ambition for those who are corrupt or care about only themselves.

No doubt that’s what my beloved country has painted politics to look like and for the many who value their dignity, they see politics as not something they can get involved in. I read a quote that says; when we don’t support the oppressed, we have taken the side of the oppressor and in every way, that’s right.

The recent happenings in my country has opened my eyes to how I am very much involved and guilty in having bad persons sit upon the seat of power and governance. Somehow, I have felt I can’t make any difference nor will I be affected by the policies these persons will put in place. It sad to realize that my own action has caused harm to a lot of people.

I wasn’t involved in informing the people about their right and importance of voting for a candidate that has their interest at hand rather than voting for one who will make fake promises and deceive them with little gifts for the mean time. I wasn’t involved in sensitizing them about the power of their votes and the right question for them to ask.
My state for one, is a state plague by “Party politics.” Most people vote for a party rather than the candidate and it is a narrative I could have changed long ago.

I know there are a lot of others like me and this isn’t the time to regret: but a wake up call for every one to get involved in politics. We must read and prepare ourselves to fight for a nation that put its citizens first.

RELIGION AND INJUSTICE

Malcolm X once accused the Whiteman Christianity for being responsible for sustaining slavery and segregation for many years. He was almost completely correct. Slavery has long been part of history, all civilizations had it, from the Egyptian Civilization to Western Civilization. It was the Western Civilization, which was founded on Judeo-Christian Worldview that found it morally wrong and ended slavery as we know. Not only that, it embarked on a worldwide crusade to make sure other non-western nations involved in slavery ended it. At the fore front of this were the Christian Missionaries, from William Wilbeforce to Frederick Douglas to millions of others.

But Malcolm X argument is not without some support. The Christian teachings of love your neighbor as yourself, turning the other cheek, and heaven influenced the slaves so much that it became difficult to resist slavery and racism itself. The mindsets of blacks, especially within the US had to change remarkably before the Civil Rights was achieved. Christianity had the tendency to make any of its adherents so calm, often to a fault.

Why is this important? It is the gimmicks that Christian are currently employing in other to avoid the #EndSars protest. Christianity is a religion that has always stood against any form of oppression. It has actively been on the side of the oppressed. Across history, Christians have manifested their beliefs against oppression by behaving in extremely irrational ways and ensuring that oppression is fought. There’s no place for conservatism against oppression. Bishop Desmond Tutu has said that “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.

For those calling for prayers ALONE, I would like to remind you that it was the same thing that many generations of slaves did. It is the same thing that we have done even here! Is it good? Yes. But prayer alone does not win political results. The determination of political outcomes have been left to the political calculations that any set of people can develop. If Martin Luther King and all the other Civil Rights Leaders had prayed alone, we will not be here. If Frederick Douglas and all the abolitionist had prayed alone, slavery would not have ended.
Most Christians around here love President Donald Trump, but we seem to not know that it was majorly the evangelical voting bloc that made Trump President, without the strong support he has received within the evangelical block, Trump will not be President. They use their pulpits to decry the social ills they’ve seen in America, they use their social media to make their opinion known, they attend political rallies, and they ensure to make their voices known through action, votes! What does this tell us? Bringing socio-political change requires more than prayers. It requires action. 40% of Nigeria’s population is Christian, if we cannot use our numbers to determine effective political actions, we are failing the very men who brought Christianity to this part of the world and we will apologize to the many who created affected the political circumstances to make Christianity possible in these regions!

We can keep praying but also important, it’s time for direct action! Your tweet, your post, your writing, your social media, your presence, your wealth are all weapons needed in this battle. There’s no time to do otherwise.

“Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream” Amos 5:24

In fact, because of Nigeria’s religious inclinations, we can actually harness prayer to become a powerful tool in our arsenal against oppression. One time tensions were high, King was leading a group of protesters to Montgomery, if the protestors March into Montgomery they will be attacked. King led the protesters through major bridge linking the two places, they knelt down, prayed and turned back. It was symbolic, prayer was used to calm the protesters and at the same time, they had crossed the bridge into the city but did not go deep enough to cause trouble. NO NIGERIAN POLICE WILL TOUCH A GROUP OF PRAYING PROTESTERS MARCHING TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OR ANY PUBLIC PLACE.

By Lengdung Tungchama

Poor child 3

Just à poor child
For i smile despite so much pain
Mama still struggle
Using her last cent’s
Just to see if she can get me a pen
Thou this will mean us not knowing the taste of a hen(meat)
I finally graduated
But still no job
Cos i couldn’t afford
To pay to get the job
So they snubbed though I was qualified

Things got harder
Basically we couldn’t lift a leg up the ladder anymore
Mummy needed money
To take care of my young hommies
So I decided to join the army
But I got sent to the battle front
And because I had no passion
I ran and hid at the first gun shot
I got call for mutiny
By my general whose son
Can’t even practically even get himself drinking water
And has become a junky
And was to be fire at by fellow poor kids
Or they also will get fired at

We are just a game of chess to them
And though they have a chest
What lies within is nothing
But high taste for evil

They are just wolves
That come once in a while with sheep clothing
Just to destroy us