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Looks are Deceptive

In the line of my duties, I constantly interact with elderly people, particularly Africans, thus I need to clearly state that I have continued to sense a certain frustration in their utterances. They all seem to be very desirous of “off-loading’’ all they have gathered and are carrying over the years into the lives of the younger generation. Unfortunately, they seem to have continuously met with a “brick wall” because it has been rather difficult getting our attention; we are very conceited and so full of ourselves. This situation, they say, is more frustrating for them because they see us as people in dire need of what they possess and are eager to release the same to us. Rather than look in their direction for help, we keep looking in all other directions. They all seem to be saying the same thing: “If only these children will allow us now before the doors are shut against the opportunities of handing over their heritage to them, they would live better lives than they are living now’’.

For instance, our parents used to be more involved and were able to greatly influence our choices in marriage. They usually will go out of their ways, taking all sorts of measures, sometimes spiritual, to ensure that we made the best choices. Unfortunately, we have over the years jettisoned the immense benefits that come with their involvement in this critical part of our lives and so, we have continued to suffer avoidable pains and misfortunes that are clearly associated with wandering around blindly in the “wilderness of life’’ without proper guidance. There is nothing wrong with us wanting to associate with and explore the culture and traditions of the developed world, but definitely not to the detriment of ours. In my opinion, the right and proper thing to do is to take full advantage of everything; theirs and ours, not dropping ours for theirs.

Drawing conclusions and taking stands on any issue must be done carefully. British physician, novelist, and detective story writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, said in one of his works that “there is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact”. There is a popular adage that says “people are usually addressed according to the way they are dressed’’, but the questions is, when one considers the fact that this adage is an open secret and that people will generally always dress up for the occasion. Is it then wise for us to always address people in relation to the way they dress? Paying a little attention to details will distinguish us, so why should we flow with the crowd?

I remember one erroneous consolation line that I was inundated with by some friends when I failed my first school leaving certificate examinations, they said: “you need not worry, since so many other students also failed the exam this year’’. I soon realized that depending on the side of the divide that I choose to be, so many people truly failed, but the truth is that the same year, so many others passed. The final analysis is that as some will always fail, some others will always pass. From whatever angle one chooses to view the security situation in Nigeria, the truth is that it is in very bad shape and the situation seems to be deteriorating by the seconds. As a Nigerian, I am aware that a lot is being done now to address this anomaly. But quite frankly, we need to do much more to ensure that we nip this scourge and deadly situation in the bud. I have a couple of questions agitating my mind; maybe answers to them might help? How did our founding fathers cope and live among themselves if we all insist that the amalgamation of Nigeria was a compromise arrangement? Do we really know ourselves and can we really deal fairly with ourselves?