So I was asked that question recently, and this is what I responded with. Enjoy!
Information is the most formidable adversary to the underdevelopment of any society. It will, at any time, defeat underdevelopment just as light defeats darkness. As a matter of fact, darkness is not an entity itself, it’s what we get in the absence of light, just as cold is the absence of (enough) heat. We have heard many times, and we even agree with the statement, “If you are not informed you will be deformed”. This statement is true both literarily and figuratively, as information is the number one weapon against the crippling effect of underdevelopment.
Information is light, that’s why it’s always linked with “enlightenment”. Absence of information takes us back to the “dark- age” which was ended by the emergence of the Industrial Revolution that was predicated on access to information.
I would ensure literacy- mass literacy- and by literacy I do not mean ability to read and write. I mean ability to understand oneself and one’s world. What I mean by “one’s world” is both the people and things that one relates with in particular, and the global community in general. Mass literacy is human capacity development, it is ensuring that persons are capable physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, of generating societal development.
The purpose of Education is to bring out inherent qualities, whilst transferring needed skills, knowledge, and attitudes from the educator to the learner. Information dissemination is the essence of education, and this will achieve two general things: It will fuel individual uniqueness that will breed innovation (and personal and national development), and it will transfer essential attributes for global citizenship.
Other things mass literacy will achieve are: improved quality of life, prevention of diseases, and sustainable development. These are the solutions I’ll (continue to) create as I attract greater influence and power.
Share your thoughts, comment. Thank you.
I’ve noticed something among individuals. Many of us know what to do, we even say what to do, but actions are always absent. We can narrate to anyone that comes in contact with us how we want our lives to be, but after that narrative speech, we fall back to our state of idleness and just expect things to work out. Things do just not work, you work to make them work. “Enough is enough” is one of the phrases we always use, but we forget that things do not stop working by our words, unless we stop them. What is that one thing you want to do in life, start working to get it done. Life offers nothing to anybody, except ofcourse, to those who demand for them. You demand for whatever you desire to achieve by planning and execution. Go and do what you ought to, and stop wasting time discussing about it. I love this quote by Steve Harris, it says, “Work hard in silence, let success be your noise”. There’s this post I got from a friend about, a bus conductor in Lagos, and a passenger. The passenger gave him a 1,000naira note over to him for a journey that costs 70naira and was requesting for his change (balance) as he was handing over the money to the conductor. The bus conductor replied the passenger with these insightful words “No ask for change, bring change”. Do not talk about it, just do it! I remember the story of a boy whose father had not paid his school fees. He got home that day and told the father to please pay the fees because their teacher had warned them that those still owing the school would be sent home the next day. The father promised to pay the next day, and the reply this 8year old boy gave his father was both funny and inspiring. He said “Daddy, just come to the school, do not come to my class, do not talk to anybody, just go to the cashier’s office and pay the fees, then go back home”. Do not bit about the bush, just get your plans done!!
In Nigeria, we speak too much and too bad of this nation, that I keep asking myself this question “who is to blame?” Go to the newspaper stands, watch interviews on the television, listen to commentaries on radio, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. You see individuals discussing and arguing about everything in Nigeria; from politics to sports, to power, to bombings, to the film industry, to entertainment, to education, and so on. Everybody seem to know the Nigerian challenges, but we still remain idle, waiting for an individual to solve all the problems within a twinkle of an eye. What have you done to help Nigeria? Stop talking and start doing. “The only way evil prevails over good is when good men decide to do nothing”, says Abraham Lincoln. If you keep breaking the law, and justify your actions by saying “afterall our leaders do so everyday”, then keep your mouth shut when there are no changes, because you are in no way different from the people you blame or insult; and you contributed to the stagnation or recession. Again, we speak too bad of Nigeria that the air in Nigeria have been infected with negativity, leaving other people and their good intentions gasping for breath. Stop speaking if you’ll always speak negativity; or if you’ll never take a step. Go ahead and do something. Wishes, thoughts, or complaints never get things done, action does! Sir Isaac Newton proved this when he said “An object at rest or in motion will continue to be at rest or in motion, until it is acted upon by a force”. Think on these words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it”. Get up from your sleep and help build Nigeria; it is no other person’s responsibility, save you and I. Let us do it together, one problem at a time. Look for that problem in your community, and start working to solve them. You are a Nigerian, and it is your responsibility to build your nation as much as it is mine!
God bless you, and God bless Nigeria!!!
I tweet @IkeNwosuIsaac