I am a storyteller and I believe that lessons taught through a story stick with us forever.
Greatness is something that is nurtured from an early age, the formative years of our lives. The things we surround ourselves with, at the time can inherently develop our sense of ‘self’ and ‘being’ and in turn shape our future. Take my younger brother for instance, his English is very good and this can be attributed to watching a lot of cartoons and reading books. He is 10 years old but his level of reading is at a secondary school level. His wit is beyond measure and he can be said to be smarter than his age. Someone like him already has a foundation to be something great in the future.
Understanding and respecting the concept of time is beneficial. We need to realize that it is an important resource and every second we waste is like flushing it down the drain. ‘African time’ should not be a thing and should only be translated as a waste of resource. I was fortunate enough to take an internship for my third year of university. Prior to that, managing my time was a foreign concept to me.
This was largely due to the societal effect of ‘time’ I had growing up in a community that believed ‘African time’ is a thing. My supervisor was the complete opposite and she believed in the efficiency that being on time represented and she instilled that in me. She used to say that “if you are late for an appointment, it doesn’t just affect you but the person waiting for you as well. If they had other plans, they will have to reschedule it which in turns affects the next person and the cycle keeps going.”
By the end of the year I was always at my desk at the start of work. I did not get penalized for tardiness and she was satisfied with me, clients were happy too. I came back to University with a new idea about time management. I am now able to juggle my activities and plan my time effectively, and I am also aware of how useful it will be in my future career. See values like this are what we need to learn.
I believe we as the youths and future leaders of Nigeria, need Positive and sustainable social change. As the saying goes “we are the leaders of tomorrow”, but leaders are born today and hence need to prepare for tomorrow, therefore acquiring skill sets to be able to conquer tomorrow is paramount.
We should be able to participate in insightful discussions about the current and future state of our economy and nation as a whole, only then can we fully grasp the situation and be able to provide solutions.
We are in the age of globalization and for Nigeria to be able to compete in the global world, we need to be able to hold our own with other nations, we need to be at the same level or even better. This can be achieved by grooming ourselves today. It can be as simple as reading newspapers and watching news to be up to speed on current affairs, taking up Volunteering and Participating in extra-curricular activities.
For example, for a few years now I have been attending Model United Nations conferences which basically are a simulation of the United Nations. It educate participants about the UN, multilateral diplomacy and current affairs of political, economic, social, environmental, military or jurisdictional nature. I have discussed some of the pressing and most intriguing issues facing our world today. Activities like this keep us open-minded and build us up to tackle the future.
Although there is a level of participation by us, the youths, it is no way near being enough. I personally feel that we should learn empathy. It shouldn’t be enough to feel pity from a distance for victims of Boko Haram and Niger Delta; we should strive to look for ways in helping out. If the elders are at a loss on how to solve it, we can help bring about solutions.
This is our future that is crumbling and so we should at least have a say on how to protect it. I have read stories of western youths coming to Africa to volunteer. We shouldn’t wait for them to come and help us, we can also help ourselves.
Why don’t we volunteer to help those in need? This can be as little as helping teach English to underprivileged children. Not only will it look good on our CV’s, it will ultimately aid stimulate the development of our minds and our hearts. Let us all strive to become well-rounded Nigerians.
We live in a world where ignorance should be and to a certain extent is unacceptable. The only way to battle ignorance is to be educated and open-minded. It is already said that Education has the power to improve way of living. We are the internet generation, and it takes so little to get access to vast and multitude of information.
Why not use this platform to bring about a positive change to Nigeria? Others are doing it, So the question here is why aren’t we?