A nation in dire need of change
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible” – Frank Zappa
Albert Einstein once said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Change is not only necessary for survival; it is the only evidence of life. While the wise ones keep creating new worlds, fools live in a world that no longer exists.
In fact, refusing to change makes one more qualified for a world that no longer exists. It has become increasingly obvious that our way of life cannot take us to the future that we have been craving. We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.
Recently, there has been an alarming abuse of the word ‘change’ in Nigeria. I can bet that Nigerians use the word ‘change’ daily more than all Africans do in a day. The word ‘change’ has now become so abused by many citizens to the extent that they expect it from the government but not from themselves. The easiest way to be irrelevant in life is to resist change; a man that is irrelevant today is the man that resisted change yesterday.
“Old ways won’t open new doors”-Anonymous
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. Don’t fall for the lie that one man cannot make a difference. All powerful movements began with the actions of individuals striving for change. The basic prerequisite for change is just one man! Life is full of stories of people that brought unimaginable change in periods when their countries needed it the most.
Henry Ford was the change that America needed at a critical point to develop the first automobile that the middle-class Americans can afford to buy. At that time, automobiles were very expensive, custom-made machines. During the industrial revolutions, cars were like buying a private jet today until Ford created the assembly line.
His intense goal and commitment to systemically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations.
The reason why cars have become a commodity within reach all over the world today was simply because a man stood to challenge the status quo. Until then, the new horseless carriage had been an expensive luxury item, available only to the rich. But Ford was determined to put the automobile within the reach of the common people. In 1907, Henry Ford announced his goal for the Ford motor company: to create “a motor car for the great multitude”.
“We don’t ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.”- Barack Obama
I would like to reach out to President Muhammadu Buhari, leaders and political office holders on the issue of change management. I believe strongly that one of the greatest areas where the President flopped seriously was that he did not define the change that he promised; the President left everybody to their own personal definition of change. As a leader, one must clearly define one’s promises and must never leave people to their own definition of things.
I believe strongly that the only change we are supposed to expect from the incumbent government is simply that of building a firm foundation for the future, but it is poignant to know that the only change Nigerians normally expect is that of having food on their table. I am not faulting people’s personal definition of change because even Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
The “Change begins with me” campaign launched by the President last week Thursday (September 8, 2016) is actually a belated initiative. I can’t believe that the President waited more than 15 months after assuming power as an elected president to roll out this laudable initiative. I would like to advise the President to surround himself with people that understand the dynamics and psychology of change; people that can design models to manage Nigerians insatiable appetites and expectations.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
Nevertheless, I congratulate President Buhari for this initiative and I enjoin him to surround himself with change gladiators. The initiative must be effectively handled by ‘change’ experts, I mean people that will sit down to painstakingly look into all his promises and agenda with a view of blending it with people’s expectations and then distilling it into two aspects: What the citizens are to expect from the government and what the government is expecting from the citizens.
During the launch of the “Change begins with me” campaign programme initiated by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the President charged Nigerians not to see the “change” slogan of his administration only in terms of social and economic reforms, but also in the role that individual citizens must play in actualising it. I also want to quickly add that this campaign is not wholesome until the government explains to the citizens the sacrifice that they are also willing to make in the process. In this time when the Nigerian civil service is plagued with salary issues, the federal government needs to redesign a civil service that is more resourceful and less dependent. The change campaign must be all-inclusive.
I would also like to reach out to my fellow Nigerians. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek! Let us change the way we consume, let us change our destructive taste for foreign goods. We need a major shift from our preference for imported goods to the detriment of our local contents.
Scott Hamilton once said, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude.’’ From political office holders and private workers to the cleaners on the streets, we must review our attitude of impunity and irresponsible spending style which has decimated national growth. The ostentatious display of wealth among the Nigerian youth is both appalling and frightful.
“You cannot become what you need to be by remaining what you are”-Zig Ziglar
Nigeria’s democracy is surely one of the most expensive to run. The jumbo allowance of Nigerian legislators is obviously unsustainable, profligate and wasteful. For us to minimize our capacity for extravagant spending we need to start from the top, we need to regulate spending in ‘high places’, the hallowed chamber of the National Assembly inclusive. Our leaders and political office holders must show the example for productive and disciplined spending styles. We are living in a country where politicians have turned themselves to social nuisance with their attitude of erratic spending styles.
Paulo Coelho once said: “The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.” I encourage the youths to fully participate in the making of a new Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. Let us all embrace change from the aspect of personal responsibilities. Let us sincerely ask ourselves what we can do for our nation and not necessarily what our nation can do for us. If there is anything that must never be underestimated, it is the power of ‘one’!
Let us all join the revolutionary march for the evolution of a new Nigeria. And to those out there that can only see the bleak future of this great nation, I assure you that this nation will shine, even brighter than you can ever imagine. Let us not forget that our only security is in our ability to change.
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