You must be the change you wish to see in theworld – MahatmaGandhi
Greet someone with a smile and say good afternoon or hello in any other Nigerian language or dialect apart from your own. LET’S SING the national anthem, focussing on the words. Is the anthem true of us? Go through the relevant sentences – “compatriots” means people from the same country, citizens of the same country.
The second stanza of the anthem is a prayer, and the last line says, To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
- Is there peace? With the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) agitations, kidnappings and killings by different terrorist organizations in Nigeria, leadership instability, resume or resign, etc.
- Is there justice? Bribery and corruption being made the order of the day, criminals celebrated, hidden loot found without the owners brought to book, etc.
Going back to the first stanza of the anthem, it says, …to serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith, … to serve with heart and might… . How have you served this nation? Have you served with love, strength and faith? Have we given our heart and might to our nation? We remain armchair critics. I know someone (Nigerian) who says, “Nigeria, ilu awon were” which means, “Nigeria, the country of mad people”. Then I reply him saying, “Nigerian ni iwo na” which means, “You too are a Nigerian”. It is said that it is madness to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result; it is a definition of insanity in psychiatry. We all sit back and talk all we can without doing anything. We will not be classified as insane, in Jesus’ name, because we will take action.
As a people, Nigerians are very prayerful; however, it almost seems that the focus of our faith lies in the things we ask from God – “Father, bless me with a life partner”, “I need a job, promotion, children, divine health”, etc. Permit me to ask, “Of what good are all these blessings in a country where there is no security of life and property?” Some people talk about “running away” to England. There were, in fact, some people who did that but only to come home with their family for a wedding. Unfortunately, the entire family perished in a plane crash. (How sad!)
What lesson can you learn from that? BE THE CHANGE!
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Our desire for the basic needs of life are normal. All the things we seek for (which may be good and necessary) are right down there at the bottom of the pyramid. This means psychology recognizes their importance but usually with God, His ways are different from the natural (spiritual vs natural). The Bible says, …but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
My Testimony: Things seemed to always just work out for me until God decided to get my attention by not preventing the devil to sift me; I had to wait eight years for my second child. During the wait, the Lord said, “Focus on me”; I then started a fellowship called Times of Refreshing, organized hospital visits, etc. To the glory of God, I now have the long awaited child.
The Lord calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. My sisters, the devil is gaining grounds and we are losing grounds; why?
- Compromise – LGBT now LGBTQ, some taking the message of grace to an extreme and allowing sin to increase.
- Hypocrisy and Pharisee-ism – For example, they say, “don’t wear make-up”, “don’t wear trousers”, etc. (By all means, obey the doctrines of your church; I also obey mine). Let us, however, focus on the real thing – Christian LOVE! How do you show God’s love to the world? Do you radiate God’s love? Do you care for people around you? Faith in, and love for God must reflect in works and in obedience.
Let’s all say it’s time for ACTION!
If we look in the Bible as well, we will see other women, “mere women”, like all of us who made a difference during tough periods in Israel.
Here’s a list of the roles and attributes of two women in Judges 4:4-24:
|Child of God, prophetess (spiritual)||Wise (crafty, cunning, but in a good way)|
|Wife, mother (home front)||Fearless|
|Judge (career)||Caring (covering Sisera, and giving him milk instead of the water he asked for)|
|Leader (nation building)||Peaceful|
Compare the two women; they both used the tools they had. Deborah used her education, while Jael used her nail and hammer.
They both were:
- wise people
- action people, not armchair critics
- wives (building their home first, and then their nation)
What Do We Do?
- Be aware: Read newspapers, be up to date on news and happenings. Get on social media, choose a platform and use that tool wisely. Pick up a burden for this nation.
- What is in your hand? (as God asked Moses): Is it education, native sense, wisdom, career, encouraging your husband to do the right things (if he is highly placed in church or in the secular world)? Don’t encourage your husband to compromise. One question I always ask myself when I see people, in exalted positions, mess up is, “Don’t these people have wives who can tell them the truth, or are the wives also enjoying the ill-gotten wealth?”
- Spread best practice: Be excellent at what you do and spread best practice. Very few people excel in politics, beyond the place of being called a minister or governor; how much difference can we make if the system is very corrupt? If we can’t make much, then let’s focus on our area of influence and spread best practice. One very good way to do this is that you continue to train and retrain yourself. Education is a lifelong endeavour.
- Mentor people: Focus on the younger ones and indeed anyone that is in your field who you feel needs help. Not everything is competition. As you help others, God will enlarge you. When you open your hand wide, you get more. Leave a legacy.
- Redefine your vision, motive or philosophy: Visions evolve. The more understanding you have, the clearer things become. Your vision can, in fact, be amended to reflect your deeper understanding, and let it have something that will benefit others as disadvantaged or marginalized people.
*Me — lawyer, educationist, entrepreneur, someone who uses innovative business ideas and strategies but for the purpose of solving societal problems.
- Enlarge your territory (1 Chronicles 4:10): Expansion is good, but must be handled with care, and must be God-led. However, it is a good way to be the change. You are enlarging your sphere of influence and spreading best practice when you employ more people (job creation). The main problem in Nigeria is not Boko Haram, as my husband would say, it’s unemployment. Recently, the Nigerian President also spoke of efforts being made to create job opportunities for people.
- Pray for your leaders(1Tim 2:1-2): The Bible urges us to pray for our leaders, so that we may live peaceful lives.Our National Anthem compels us “… to serve with heart and might, with love, strength and faith… .” Remember that we are all leaders, not just those in the recognized seat of power. We lead others around us at our offices, in our
- homes (our children), our churches, so every one of us also has to serve with our heart, might, love, strength, and faith. Let us all pray for one another.
Women, let us start with our homes, and gradually move to the church and nation. Be the Change!
Discuss what we can do to make a change.
Arise, O Compatriots (1978–present)
Arise, O compatriots,
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith.
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain,
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.
O God of creation
Direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign.