YOU ARE US
Everyone grows up with that bit of “self ahead of others.” Those little days as a child, you might recall that cabin biscuit pack which an older relative bought for you and your sibling came asking for a bite. You recall how you vehemently refused your sibling the biscuit until only after he had worn himself out begging before you broke a biscuit into two and gave the smaller one to him. This seems to be an inherent nature in every child growing up until those attributes are fashioned. When the child becomes refined, he begins to think of others as well.
As children grow, they live in the grooming of their family air. A mother would say, “Son, you know the son of whom you are.” The expectation from family, acquaintances, and friends is for them to live up to the aura of their family. They grow with this mindset and become character representations of their family.
It is baffling to observe though that in spite of the rigorous process of character molding that mothers have to put their wards through, we have grown into adulthood with that “I first” attribute. These attributes we find in almost everything we do. We want to get pay first for a task we have done with others, we want to drive our way out of the traffic jam in spite of other vehicles ahead of us, we want to break the queue in the bank, etc. The order of the day is “get your share of the pie as much as you can and as early as you can”.
You may be content with satisfying yourself but mom did not teach you to satisfy yourself alone. She taught you to take that action in relation to the people around putting yourself in the position of others. It’s just that you never cared to listen.
Any thing you do affects more than just you. If you over-speed in anticipation of getting to your destination on time, you will get an accident and others will be injured or die too and the impending trauma for your family could be catastrophic. If you break the queue, you may be causing chaos, which will turn around to hunt you. If you are grabbing all for yourself in spite of others, only a matter of time, you’ll come down crumbling before the ones you spite.
You represent a large chunk of people. You may feel you represent just the family you come from but it’s more than that. You represent everyone; of those you know, and those you have no knowledge. What you do that affects one man grows in geometric proportions.
Take this illustration for example. A chief chooses to give an aid to a man who has a family of seven. He offers him a million naira. This man being a tinker opens a business that requires the employ of four people for a start. These four persons are married with children. The one million naira has created opportunity for four families consisting between 15-20 people. This money would send children to school and they would become graduates and turn out to have their families. All these are happening because one man offered to show some good to some other man.
Some families, villages, and towns have purses on which they sponsor their children to school. They make it a collective effort to push out every child through school. The reason is, they understand that each child represents the community and would in turn render the same service for future beneficiaries thus the continuation of the cycle. The community advances with great sons and daughters produced bringing about development for the community as well as the state or nation.
Acquiring the understanding that you don’t exist because of you but the advancement of a whole has the capability to model you into a godlike figure. It’s not in acquiring much wealth that one obtains respect or reverence. Rather, it’s in the number of persons whose life can be stringed to the benefits you have showered.
Think about how detrimental your present action could be to generations unborn. That crowd unborn is counting on you to ensure they have a future to live in. If you are unsure, ask Obama how he feels to be president. Martin Luther Jnr. realized that he had to work hard the way he had just so that his future sons will sit with the sons of the white and rule America, a feat Obama has achieved.
Just realize that what you are doing affects not just you and your family, it affects a lot more people you can never imagine. Those people are saying you are us.