What is your impact in nation building?

Sir: Some time ago, I heard a story about a gentleman who was recently laid off from work. He was bitter with the organisation. It turned out that a few months earlier, he had taken time off from work for about four days due to an illness. However, no one noticed his absence. He was miffed and complained, “these people don’t care!” Then a friend offered a candid advice, “if you have been off work for this long and nobody missed you and the work carried on as usual, then the problem is with you and not them, because it is evident that your impact is nil.”

Perhaps you know someone with a similar experience. How about if we turned the light on you? What type of impact are you making in your family, community, church, mosque or workplace? We can summarise the possible types of impact into three; 1) Positive – where your presence or your indirect effort(s) results in lighting up the place and brings a smile and succor to others; 2) Negative – where you are known more for the problems you cause than the ones you solve; 3) Nil – your impact is negligible. No one knows whether you are there or not. I guess you are in the best position to identify yourself in these three scenarios

While it is true that we are neither all created with the same gifts, nor do we all share the same level of passion about every topic, it behooves of each of us to ensure that our talents, education, experiences, networks are put to good use for common benefit. This is much more rewarding that a siddon look approach to life because our seemingly small seeds of investments go a long way to making a positive impact or influence in the society.

If we take the discussion further, does it not amaze you that while there has been no other time in human history where the haves and have nots have relative ease of access to knowledge, especially online; yet there has been no major change to the world order. Many developing countries have remained at relatively the same level, largely due to absence of enabling systems as well as the existence prevailing cultures that appear to promote selfish interests and stifle genuine efforts to serve the fatherland. But for how long are we going to give this as an excuse?

Please don’t question what those in government are doing if you are not doing anything in your corner. This is because every country is truly an aggregation of its individual components. Ours is a nation that is blessed with a large population. However, until we are able to unleash the inherent potential in our comparative advantage, we will continue to live in I wish Isle. The truth is that none of use needs a title to make a positive impact. Each one can start by identifying ways in which we can be more deliberate about contributing our quota rather than spending the same effort and time condemning the lapses of those who are visible.

While it is true that we have some bad eggs, it is also true that we are blessed with wonderful people who are making giant strides across different geographies. Perhaps it is time to work together to project the good of our dear nation, otherwise, history might judge us badly.

• Tunde Adebola.

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Tunde Adebola


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