We All Have a Role to Play
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle.
Recently, an individual narrated to me their encounter in a taxi ride, where the taxi driver was going to make a U-turn at an evident no U-turn sign. This passenger discouraged him from the illegal U-turn and said to him, “we all need to do our part to make the country better”; the taxi driver bluntly disagreed saying, “it’s the Leadership that is bad and we need to change all of them to make Nigeria better”. Apparently, the taxi driver and many other individuals believe that Nation Building is solely the responsibility of persons in power or of influence. Don’t get me wrong, whilst I totally agree that there is a greater responsibility for the leaders in authority to show good example, the truth is; we all have a role to play.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people and a 2.6% average population growth rate. We are the largest black nation in the world, with the necessary skills, human and natural resources to grow and evolve as a nation.
Nation Building is multidimensional i.e. it involves the social, economic, political and physical participation of its citizens in various walks of life. The reality is that; a strong and powerful nation is built on dedication and hard work of its citizen.
A nation’s worth lies not in the value of its currency, but in the character of its people.”
― Abhijit Naskar
Individually, I think its high time we start taking deliberate actions towards the development of our nation. There is need to aggregate our resources and strengths at various levels and commit to building the nation.
Here are 3 Ways You Can Contribute to Building the Nation:
1. Start Where You Are
You can start building the nation from where you are and the platform you currently have. Many success stories exist about people who came from less privileged backgrounds or cultures and went on to do great things in business, government, media, education, athletics, culture and other fields.
If you’re a student, focus on your studies; if you’re an employee, create value; if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, your products or services could solve a problem or more. Most importantly, start from where you are and never stay idle.
The reality is “our nation will succeed or fail to the degree that all of us – citizens and businesses alike – are active participants in building strong, sustainable and enriching communities.” – Arnold Hiatt.
Volunteering plays a major role in promoting social inclusion, assisting marginalized social groups, its relationship to other forms of civic participation and unpaid work, creating a civil society, social action and nation building.
As a volunteer, you help build a more cohesive, safer, stronger community and increase the social network between communities and neighborhood.
Volunteering encourages people to be more active in civic engagement and citizenship.
A good number of NGOs are coming up with different volunteering projects with the aim of helping communities and the nation at large. The ideal way to start building the nation is to start in your local community and see where your help is required.
As individuals, volunteering would improve your skills, self- esteem, physical and mental health, as well as, enhance the quality of your contribution to building the nation.
3. Change Your Attitude
Our attitude dictates our actions. To create real and cognitive change, we must first demonstrate it in our daily lives, by the words we utter, the decisions we make and the actions we take.
Positive attitudes like good work ethics, punctuality, dedication, honesty, teamwork etc. are needed in nation building.
Some of our responsibilities as citizens are payment of taxes, protection of public property and voting in an election. We must demonstrate positive attitudes towards them.
Rome, they say was not built in a day. The powerful nations you see today are an aggregate of people’s works. The prosperity of the nation is the aggregate of all our individual contributions. The French Revolution of 1789 played a critical role in shaping the modern nations we have today, because it demonstrated the power inherent in the will of the people.
Our attitude must emphasize the change we seek. Change your attitude and let’s commit to adding value to Nigeria. I believe strongly that not only will we be the largest black nation, we will be one of the greatest nations in the community of nations.
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!