December 18, 2013
In my last post, I asked this question; ” how can you find happiness in another person’s happiness?”
Martin Luther King Jr. believed that people cannot live their lives fully until they can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. He went further to say that; “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “what are you doing for others?”
We have heard of the great things that Martin Luther King does for black Americans during the civil rights movement.
He struggled for the advancement of the blacks by employing a strategy of non-violent resistance to demonstrate disobedience to some of the things he believed was not right.
Until his assassination, King continued his struggles against the segregation of blacks and won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through the use of non-violent resistance.
We also heard about India’s Mahatma Gandhi, who struggled for the Indians using a strategy of non-violent activism. Gandhi was the pre-eminent leader and freedom fighter of Indian nationalism. Until his assassination, Gandhi’s use of non-violent civil disobedience led to India’s independence from the British.
Narrowing down to Africa, we all know or heard about the good stories of the successes that Nelson Mandela achieved for the sake of others. Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who spent over 27 years in prison for the purpose of South Africans. Mandela joined negotiations with former President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections and later became South Africa’s first black President.
Here in Nigeria, we all know or heard about the struggles of people like Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macauley, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and activists like Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and so on.
But it is unfortunate in Nigeria today that both ourselves, as well as our leaders, do not have each other’s interest at heart.
Importantly, we have to change ourselves before we can see changes in our lives. Karen Traviss said; “We’re all going to die sometime, so you might as well die pushing the odds for something that matters.”
There are so many people who directly or indirectly touched the lives of millions of people all over the world, and it’s not too late for us to be among them.
We don’t need to struggle the same way those great men fought to make an impact. Novelist Peter S. Beagle said, “real magic cannot be made by offering someone else’s liver, rather by tearing out yours, and not expect to get it back.”
We really have to do something for one another, we have to be our brother’s keeper, and we have to be there for each other.
I have two questions for you, and I want you to keep the answers to yourself. I have done so myself, and afterwards, I discovered guilt and worries, but then it made me stronger and determined to address the issues that may arise along that line.
One: “What are you doing for YOU?”
Two: “What are you doing for OTHERS?”
Let your conscience be your judge because I am in no way near a position to judge you.
I have my own equal responsibility of addressing my verdict and so you should, yours.