Monday, August 27, 2012

The "easy" life legacy

It is very easy for you to come to me (or call/BB/text/mail me) about the aso-ebi for a party (yours or someone else’) but it isn’t as easy for you to discuss how we can form a group that will sponsor a talented but indigent child through school or help another child (ren) gain vocational skills. 

It is very easy for us as girls to sit down together (in our hostels, tea parties, weekend get-togethers) and discuss about various hair (infact the latest trends) – Brazillian, Indian, Chinese – shoes, bags etc. But it isn’t as easy for us to discuss about our natural hair, local products (good quality) and how our foreign tastes is helping to improve the economies of foreign countries whilst impoverishing our own local economies. 

It is very easy for you to invite me to a MLM (Multi Level Marketing) meeting where we strategize how to promote the distribution & sale of foreign products but it isn’t as easy for you to invite me to a townhall meeting of people who are desirous of change and who want to be involved in practical terms in their local communities and in the nation as a whole. 

It is very easy for us boys (& men) to sit down and watch/discuss football, the players, the jerseys of popular football clubs such as Arsenal, Man U, Real Madrid etc. but it isn’t as easy for us to discuss why Eyimba, Kwara United, Kano Pillars, Heartland are not developing to the level of those foreign clubs. Yet among those who sit down to discuss football at this level are high profile government officials, pastors/imams of large congregations, successful professionals at various levels. It isn’t easy to propose to set up clubs (which by the way are all privately owned) to engender such professionalism and class of football watched on DSTV right here at home. It is way too difficult for us to think that way but very easy to sit on our couches and watch endlessly match after match of foreign tournaments and profiling. 

It is very easy for us to discuss car brands and their performances but some of us discussing this topic are mechanical/electrical engineers, bank executives, ministers (for education, science & technology), and research fellows. Yet we can’t see the connection between us and what it will mean for us to produce and use such a commodity within our own shores. 

It is very easy for us to sit down and condemn (abuse is the word used often by GEJ) govt officials when in actual fact we contributed to them getting to those positions (overtly or covertly). Yet some of us are team leads in our offices/religious organizations/alumni comprising of 3 – 40 members (or more) and there is so much opacity/corruption/animosity going on in those small corners than is imaginable. 

It is very easy for us as family members to meet, plan and contribute (financially) to the “turning over”/memorial party (which is usually a big bash) of our late parents who have been gone for more than 5 years (sometimes 30years!!). But it is not as easy to meet, plan and contribute towards empowering young individuals/families (even within our clan) that are still struggling to provide for themselves. After all, for those of us who are now successful, we worked very hard to break through, those other people should find their own way (I am not encouraging laziness/dependence neither am I unaware of the ingratitude that may be doled out by the people we show concern for). 

It is very easy for your foreign manager to call you up and ask that your manipulate documents for the company in order to evade some national requirements and you comply (the fear of losing a job is usually the beginning of wisdom). It is very easy to know and abide by company values but not as easy to know and abide by national values. It is very easy to work in the oil company and help to pollute the environment with our activities as long as the company’s production is intact. What do we care that the resource is non-renewable and that at some point it will be exhausted and though we may not be around anymore, the next generation will be left with nothing on the surface or below the surface to cater for their needs....they have the easy life legacy to thank for that. 

It is very easy for MTN (a foreign based company) to advertise on our TV stations for people to recharge and win aeroplanes but it is not as easy for them to do similar ads in SA, the UK, or Ireland for instance. It is easy for companies to run promo than for them to be involved in Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). Some companies do not even know what CSR means but the MDs of such companies are “stinkingly” rich as we like to say. It is very easy for us to chase after money to the detriment of values all in the name of capitalism (without regulation). 

It is very easy to claim that the world is now a “global” village when in actual fact the attention is more on some parts of the globe than it is on the others. It is very easy to point to the West as the problem but it is not as easy to admit that oftentimes there is no western person present in our offices/religious organizations/neighbourhoods. And if the influence of the west is merely through the media, then it shows how “easy” our lives indeed are. 

It is very easy to think “I” than to think “we”. It is very easy to say “if you can’t beat them, join them” but it is not as easy to even ask “who are the “them”?” It is not as easy to think that the identification of the “them” and what they stand for and how they operate could be a way to beat them. But I suppose it is not easy to even begin to see that we are also them as we are no different in the values which define them – myopia, individualism, greed, power-craving, self (kind) -hating, religious (without necessarily spiritual or aware), complacent, sometimes plain wicked, insincere, profit-only-oriented (values are cast aside). It is not so easy to realize that we ought not to look much further from ourselves when these issues are mentioned. 

It is very easy to read this article (and similar ones) and just “like” it or comment “nice article” but it is not as easy to allow the full import of it to affect our lives an inch. It is very easy to “wait” on the other person to bring about change but it is not as easy to begin to make adjustments in our lifestyles  in practical terms and seek out people of similar passion (in groups) as to build upon that little” change. 

Perhaps we are built for easy life and we do not like stress/critical thinking/questioning. Perhaps that in itself is the reason why we are where we are today. For I suppose those foreign nations that we look up to love the not-so-easy life and after working hard at it (with brains, sweat, time, resources, money...) it is made to look easy and people like us who love easy lives can identify with the products and even help to advertise and market it. Do we stop for a moment to “imagine” life after we have gone from it? What legacy is being left for the next generation? The easy life legacy????

2 comments:

  1. Abayomi A. AdebiyiAugust 27, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Inspiring!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Abayomi! I hope u are inspired enough to act (no matter how small) and if you are already a change agent (in practical terms), kudos to u! The sun will shine again..

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