One of the most annoying sites I see littered around Nigeria or even diaspora these days, is two Nigerians or more, gathering together to complain about Nigeria. It’s so easy to make friends these days, just talking rubbish about our country.
Nigerians are so intelligent, we know how to conjure words together to aptly describe the failings of our leaders, the uselessness of government and the insecurity of our environment. None of us alludes to being corrupt, but our leaders are suddenly all corrupt. We complain and talk like people whose leaders were forced on them rather than through a process. If it is indeed true that people get the type of leaders that symbolize their constitution, does it not say something about us? Rather than focus on the issues we all have as individuals however, we are taken over by finger pointing, complaining, bitterness, and gossiping. We badmouth the government, crucify our leaders, defame our business men. And don’t look far away to cast this blame… you have been a part of the complaining culture as well, but tell me today, has complaining ever created anything good?
Complaining is a chronic attitude that brings us no good. We have to take ourselves out of it, and others will follow. On my recent trip back from the UK, I was privileged to sit down side by side an older man. He was certainly in his 60’s. We sat down together without saying anything for quite a while – he watched as meal after meal came through and I kept passing them on. After a while, he looked at me and asked me if I was fasting. I chuckled and didn’t answer – Apparently he got the impression that I was a muslim fasting because of the Ramadan. Haven broken the ice, I proceeded to have a conversation with this man. In the next few minuites in our conversation, the man intelligently captured the malaise in our system, the problem of our country, the lameness of our government. In the little opportunity I had to air my views, I shared my thoughts with him. I told him that I believed that the Government was not without fault, that things were not so great, neither was it anything to be proud of to be a country that lives in darkness. I told him however, that we will stay in that state until people like himself and myself take responsibility. I told him, that what I ask myself regularly is that what am I doing? If indeed many nationals wonder if we are truly Nigerians based on our great behavior outside the country, why should our nation be seen any less? Why are we pointing fingers and not taking responsibility.
It shocked me, when the man stopped short, and reversed his statements. He said, “young man, I love and agree with your point of view, and I love your thought line!” He went on to tell me how wrong he was, and how in reality while many people are complaining, some people are actually benefiting from the current system. In one minute, this man switched positions, and started explaining to me a lot of things about his relationships with MKO Abiola, with Wole Soyinka, with Tinubu e.t.c… and about how in reality we all need to take responsibility. I was pleasantly surprised and happy! I figured, people really don’t also benefit anything from talking down Nigeria, they just want to make conversation.
So back to you, I ask you sincerely, when was the last time you complained about Nigeria? Today? When was the last time you took responsibility for anything about Nigeria? When was the last time you said, that road ought to be done by the government, but let me do it. When was the last time you said national reorientation ought to be done by a ministry, let me do it. When was the last time you said, that charity ought to be taken care of by governmednt let me do it. When did you say Nigeria’s image abroad is the government’s problem, but let me help. No government in the world is responsible for change, individuals are. It is because we as are a people are not taking responsibility that we are getting irresponsible leaders. Where are you taking responsibility, and what are you taking responsibility for?
When life becomes history and all is summed up. You will be remembered for what you took responsibility for. What will you be remembered for? What? Complaining doesn’t create solutions, complaining doesn’t add a strand of hair to anybodies head. Complainers didn’t build the Ark, Noah did. We can choose to complain or to shut up and take responsibility. Imagine you were given the position, what would you do… sincerely? What would you expect from the people around you? Is what you would expect what you are doing? No matter how good things get, there will still be complainers. The children of Israel complained that there was no food, no water, and when there was food, they complained about lack of variety. Human nature will always see reasons why things are not the way they should be. We also have the choice however of taking responsibility and reducing the number of things there are to complain about. It’s a big divide, and you need to stay on one side of it!
The funny thing about complaints is that it’s contagious… If I’m not careful, my cry against a complaining can be termed a complain 🙂 Let’s quit complaining and start getting involved in solutions.