I had a conversation with someone recently who was giving me the excuse that he is not actively involved in community transformation because he wants to make a couple of millions and get involved in a “big” way. Not so long ago, I had the same mentality. I thought that without money, a lot of money, there was not much I could do to transform the community around me. I am grateful for the enlightenment I have since got that has changed my mindset. Life is so short but some people literally take a gun and end it prematurely.
I have been enlightened to know that I don’t need money to change the world around me. Please do not get me wrong, money does help but the lack of it should not be the excuse for not taking part in bringing positive transformation to those around you. I do not look down on those who use it to create a lot of good in the world. However, the lack of it should not be a reason for anyone to sit back and do nothing to change what is around them for better. For instance, one does not necessarily need “a lot” of money to give a motivational or educative talk to illiterate members of his community who see nothing wrong with littering waste of any kind wherever they are. One does not need “a lot” of money to pass on practical skills to juvenile criminals who were unfortunate not to afford education and subsequently turned to theft for survival. We have to interact with people who need to know there is still some good in this world, that they are not forsaken.
We are so westernized that we have adopted their culture into our homes and families and even communities. We build houses with such high walls, and there is nothing wrong with that, but only if we could make time to know those around us. I grew up in an estate where every parent knew every child and every one knew everyone. Children got out in the evenings and played together and parents were seen chatting one with another. The neighbor’s parents did not hesitate to discipline another’s child for fear of being reported to the authorities for “abuse.” In fact, in those days when the neighbor disciplined you, they helped you to tell your parents that they had indeed given you a few strokes of the cane. Your parents would then add you some claiming that the neighbor had been lenient with their punishment.
It is sad that we have lost sight of the power of community and the ground beneath our feet is shifting because we no longer celebrate our origin. Punishment is now labeled “abuse”, we the young parents are often told not to spank our children. “Talk to them, they understand,” we are told. We are struggling so hard to be everything but ourselves that we have lost sight of our heritage and the people around us. We have abandoned our inheritance and left it to the colonialists to rape, ravage and exploit. Then they return to us the tattered pieces of our land and peoples and call it AID.
A wise man once said; “I can show you a man who has lived by standing at his grave.” The man who has lived has touched lives and people mourn him because the memory of him is a reminder of their deepest loss. I see so many people who make journeys to see the graves of the ones they love because to them, the connection is one not worth forgetting and they hold on to the ideals of that person, they move on in life holding the mantle of the one who has passed it on.
We are a product of our ancestors who shed blood to see that we had a home a place to calls ours. It may not look like much but neither does a diamond before it’s polished. We must go back to our roots