Every week, I address the youth of our country on this page because they are the leaders of tomorrow, our great hope for the future. I am constrained to inspire young people to prepare to take over and give us the great nation we deserve because our leaders have failed. You know a great nation from the way its people treat their children, women, senior citizens, the sick, poor, and animals. The way a nation’s leaders deal with these vulnerable demographics tells you how humane, caring and God-fearing its people are.
Well, many Nigerian leaders don’t care for able-bodied citizens, how then do you expect them to worry about the vulnerable? Years back, Palestinian terrorists hijacked a plane carrying mostly Israelis and a few nationals of other countries. After appeals to release the hostages went unheeded, Israeli leaders sent a crack commando unit to Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, where the plane was held. In an awe- inspiring sting operation, the commandoes stormed the plane, killed the terrorists and freed the hostages.
That is how far great leaders can go to protect their citizens and redeem national pride. Boko Haram terrorists routinely seize our students from hostels and classrooms, not to talk of villagers and innocent people they and other armed groups like herdsmen kill daily across the nation. We need not recall the shameful reaction of our leaders to these bizarre killings because everyone knows it already.
If you have the sick in your home, show them love. Make sure the poor and the wretched among us are not despised; they probably didn’t choose to be poor. Our greedy, corrupt leaders impoverished all of us. We are all victims of a dispensation we have to change, peacefully though, not by violence. Even animals like dogs, cows, cats, goats, camels, donkeys and horses deserve to be treated nicely. They are not snakes or scorpions that you have to kill because they constitute mortal danger to anyone. You don’t mess around with this kind of reptiles.
The truth is that domestic animals are our friends. We share the same physiology with them. Animals came to this planet earth before man. So, they are older neighbours. God so did it that even when animals see people, they run away, except they are hungry, threatened or trained as guards. Some humane folks have set up the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals. It is very wrong to kill a domestic animal for the fun of it. When an animal’s owner finds that it is sick, they should take it to a veterinary doctor for medical attention.
Those unfortunate folks with Down syndrome are sadly dependent on those with sound health. So, help them. Don’t ridicule or distance yourself from them. They need you to empathize with them in that unfortunate condition. It is probably not their fault. Take care of your relatives in this condition.
Many abandon their aged dependents like parents, uncles, aunties because they are either poor, sick or difficult to manage. That is wrong. You are supposed to take them to caregivers who are trained to manage them professionally. Helpless stroke patients, for instance, need competent and willing professionals to take good care of them. They need proper care before they pass away. Help, because it may soon be your turn.
This piece is targeted mainly at our humanity. The youth of this country should learn to be their brother’s keeper. I have not seen many youth doing voluntary service in communities. With the possible exception of religious organisations, it is rare to see volunteers anywhere. This should not be so.
I want to see young people walk children, old people and the sick across the road. I used see such scenes in the 1960s through the 1970s. Not anymore. In our cities today, everyone is on his own.
The world tends to despise the poor and wretched of the earth. That is inhuman. The strong was made to protect the weak, not exploit them as we do today. The leader is not to lord it over the people but to serve them. When God puts wealth or power in your hands, you are a steward.
No one is given wealth or power for the sake of it. Only the wise know this. In civilized nations, people who are financially challenged live on welfare. Government provides for those who are homeless or handicapped. There is usually less crime and violence in nations that care for the weak and vulnerable.
When people know that their leaders care for them, they will be well-behaved and law-abiding. It is only when wicked people are in power that a nation is often in turmoil. But when the righteous are in power the people rejoice. Righteousness in this context is not about holiness, I am referring to right-standing. Being upright. Anytime I see the mentality ill roam our streets naked, hungry, and in terrible dehumanised conditions, I weep in my heart. I wonder what health workers are doing when they see these unfortunate citizens suffer like this, when they are supposed to take care of them. That is not nice.
“Satan always finds mischief for the idle. Therefore, find something to do.”
– Oswald J. Smith
Ok folks, let’s do it again next Friday. Be motivated.
Ladi Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & WhatsApp only)