Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rag Day

I’ve been absent from here for a while now but it’s all for the good. Importantly is the fact that my evolution continues and I have been taking ‘dare to be different’ to everywhere I’ve been.

Yesterday I was out and on my way I saw these young University undergraduates dressed in jeans trousers that are worn out, cut and torn in different places. Some of the trousers have a leg shorter than the other. Some of the guys wore wigs while the ladies wore shirts and ties (also well worn out). They also had face paintings or excessive powder on their faces and they generally look unkempt. The objective of this manner of dressing is to impress the image of ‘poor’, ‘needy’, ‘ragged’ on their audience. Like every other good idea in Nigeria, ‘Rag’ day was an initiative of the student union to raise funds for the less privileged among themselves and in the larger society (orphans, sick, physically impaired persons, widows, etc.). These days however, charity is the least motive in the minds of these students. They look forward to and indulge in it for fun and to make money for themselves without even understanding (or interested) in the purpose for which the social event was created.

With this in mind, if I am approached by students dressed in ‘rags’ to make a donation, I will take a little time to chat them up (some impatient ones won’t stay to listen to my gibberish) and find out what they know about the objectives of their being out there on the street. I will then proceed to enlighten them if they do not know and also to give them an idea to even give more to those members of the society that they seek to assist. I will suggest they create another day (s) – could be within the same week of the ‘rag’ – for community development. On this day they should go out (without bowls in hand) with brooms, hoes, rakes, buckets, disinfectants, dustpans, baskets. These items could be purchased by the funds raised the previous days. They should use these to clean up streets, gutters, over-grown lawns, markets, public toilets, orphanages, homes of physically disabled people. This will actually give them a sense of connection to the ordinary people of the society and will make more impact on the minds of those people than just handing them some cash or plainly using their names to seek donations which may or may not get to them.

I will also urge my friends who speak regularly at tertiary institutions to suggest this in the course of their program. Youths can be very creative with the modus operandi and still catch fun doing this sort of work. More so, they will be in the company of friends and colleagues with whom they share quite a lot in common.

 Oh how pleasant and sweet will it be if our youths have their passion and energy channeled towards ‘service’ to their fellow humans! It’s about time our youths begin to do things with a vision for a better tomorrow than just satisfying immediate gains.

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