A Nation Of Victims

AUTHOR-CopyJOHN Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) inspired a whole nation with one of his awe -inspiring quotes, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’’ A victim mind-set causes people to focus more on what they can get rather than what they can give. It is a recipe for recurring frustration and failure. We are living in a country that has perpetuated decadence and eulogized impunity.

The current happenings in Greece are a great pointer to the ultimate end of any nation that is full of citizens that refuse to take responsibility for their future. Greece has piled up a mountain of debt by spending beyond its means. The laziness, irresponsibility and tax evasion practices of the citizens have brought a giant nation on her knees and if something is not done fast, the end of times might have just come for a nation that is ‘anointed’ only to borrow!

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a president on a wheelchair and probably the first president wheeled into the White House. As the 32nd president of the United States of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt served longer than any other president. His unprecedented election to four terms in office will probably never be repeated due to the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States shortly after his death. Although he was crippled by polio at the age of 39, Roosevelt made impact on a wheelchair. You don’t need situations around you to improve to make impact. All you need is an adjustment in your attitude and disposition; you can make impact where you are with whom you are!

Roosevelt was elected twice as a senator (New York). He was elected the Governor of New York in 1928 (the Governor on a wheelchair). Many New Yorkers were unaware that their Governor used a wheelchair. His wife once said something to him that always kept him going: “No one can make you inferior without your consent. You are only crippled in your body but not crippled in your mind.” Roosevelt ruled America for 12 years through the Great Depression and the World War 2. In life, others can stop you temporarily but you are the ONLY one who can do it permanently.

“You may succeed if nobody else believes in you, but you will never succeed if you don’t believe in yourself.” – John C. Maxwell

Scott Hamilton said, ‘’the only disability in life is a bad attitude.’’ It is pathetic in today’s Nigeria that disability has become the new face of extortion. Most of our major roads and car parks are filled with cripples and pseudo-invalids begging for money. There is a Yoruba adage that says that though beggars will be filled but they will be deprived of decent living!

Most of our youths are thronging out of the country for the wrong reasons because of their victim mentality. A liability cannot be turned into an asset just by the change of environment, it is an intrinsic phenomenon. The truth is that travelling out of the country gives you a platform to express your intrinsic worth that cannot be afforded in a disenchanted environment. Travelling out of the country gives you a platform to explore and multiply who you’ve always been. It is sympathetic to know that most of the Nigerian youths have become economical fugitives and global liabilities! This attitude has stunted and decimated national growth. Jim Rohn said, “if you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.’’

In his famous book that I greatly recommend for every responsible mind; A NATION OF VICTIMS: The decay of American Character, Charles J. Sykes succinctly and painstakingly chronicled the growing abuse of victimhood, examines the erosion of human society, emphasized the decline of individual responsibility and offers hope in the prospect of a culture of renewed character. We must make the Nigerian system work by upholding the virtues of excellence, committment , dedication and responsibility; it does not matter what you do but rather how well you are doing it. From political office holders, private workers to the cleaners on the streets, we must discharge our duties not as victims but as responsible citizens. Our attitude of impunity and irresponsibility has decimated national growth. Vincent Lombardi said, ‘’the quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.’’

It is either you do great things or at least do small things in a great way! I am talking to you, yes you! Stop attaching your frustration and failures to the Nigerian system, rise beyond your excuses, rise beyond your background; determine the one thing you were created to be and be willing to pay the price to be it! Don’t use your situation to excuse yourself out of your rightful position in life and eternity. It is easy to discern victims; they are full of excuses, they keep focusing on problems rather than solutions, they are fault-finders rather than path finders! If your life is so important to you, you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse. An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse, it is a lie guarded! People that will make maximum impact in life make minimum excuses. They understand that excuses don’t get things done. There is no use for a life full of excuses. Benjamin Franklin said ‘’I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.’’

There are two things to make in life; it is either you making excuses or you are making progress. In life, it is impossible to give excuses and still have results. Excuse empowers; it empowers our inadequacy. So many people by rejecting and excusing themselves out of taking responsibilities have actually eliminated themselves out of any opportunity to grow. It is easier to go from failure to success than it is from excuses to success. George Washington Carver said, ‘’Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses!” The Nigerian nation seems to be full of people passionate about justifying their situations and circumstances rather than finding real solutions to problems. A victim’s mentality is an illness of the mind, it’s antidote in one dose: take responsibility for your life and stop excusing your inadequacy.

Furthermore, I seriously believe that we need to redesign the Nigerian system. This has become imperative in the face of obvious degradation of our value system. Our reward system has become archaic and obsolete for the new Nigeria that we are craving for. This nation has been meticulously designed in such a way to reward people with no intellectual value. So many villains and moral outlaws are riding on the heels of the Nigerian oil to kidnap, vandalize and explore for the sake of money. The Nigerian system rewards miscreants and touts that harass, more than intellectuals that solve problems. We need to redesign a nation to reward people that are solving problems. So many people are in politics not because they want to proffer solutions to the system but because it has been designed to reward political miscreants. It is highly degrading when some of our ‘exalted’ political office holders are glorified drug barons. A nation where politics has become a career and where professional kidnapping is more rewarding than the labour of decent citizens.

Finally, I will want to address parents that have turned their children to victims by forcing and manipulating them to live a life that they themselves should have lived when they were younger. Designing the future of a child is beyond parental ‘jurisdiction’. Parents should avoid the temptation of forcing their children to fit into their own design but rather provide them with a platform to stand out with their uniqueness. As a youth coach, I have observed that the nation is producing outwardly submissive but inwardly rebellious children; children with violated destinies! Children that have been denied the platforms to be themselves. The greatest gift parents can ever give to their children is to provide them with a platform to be themselves. Parents are meant to nurture the uniqueness in their wards. The greatest parental sin and abuse is to manipulate our children to live a life that is not theirs.

In my time of mentoring the youths, I have discovered that when expression is hindered, the result is absolute depression and rebellion. We should nurture our children to become whiz kids (expressive, innovative, passionate, curious and inquisitive kids). Alexander Trenfor said, ‘’ The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.’’ I am challenging and inspiring the Nigerian youths to make politics and committed service an integral and active part of their fruitful years. Youths should make positive impacts by participating in policies and decision making processes that will birth a new Nigeria. We should stop abdicating and abandoning our responsibilities to politicians that see politics only as a retirement base for exhausted and intellectual invalids.

Have I actually offended anybody through this write up? Well, it’s just that I am tired of where we are! I owe no man any apology; I am only addicted to a New Nigeria!
‘’Control your destiny or someone else will.’’ –Jack Welch

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