Some people believe that people are better off if they simply mind their own business, accepting the status quo. They believe that it is not what we do that matters. It is who we are. We cannot “save the world” in spite of all the ugliness in it. We can only serve ourselves. They see religion as the duty others can perform and of which they should have no stake in. To them, change comes only through an individual’s capacity to change themselves. After all they state, “You will be so much happier and better off if you just focused on yourself.” To them, the world will gladly emulate our INDIVIDUAL noble behavior and peace shall rein supreme.
Chiism respects this “Peace be unto you” attitude and frankly it is a noble gesture. Yet we know better. This is half the battle. The million dollar question is “does having an interest in the welfare of the community translate to self defeating pastime? Is it best to just care only about our personal welfare and let others care for themselves?…Would south Africa be free if Nelson Mandela, had “minded his business? Would the Civil Rights movement have begun if Rosa Parks moved to the back of the bus? Would Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Patrice Lumumba and Ogbaja Ahanyi K.O.K Onyioha, leaders of the world who helped shape the conversation, made any impact if they simply just focused on themselves? Perhaps the story of Trayvon Martin would be unknown if somebody had not been a “busy body.” His murderer would have gone free.
Selfishness is when we see wrong and turn away, believing that somehow every thing would right itself. In the faint cubbyhole of our intellectual cargo space, we imagine that somebody else would clean up the “mess” while we keep our hands clean and simply fraternize with nature and the universe. To be unconcerned about the welfare of our community, to watch our children being abused and sodomized, is selfish. To sit back and watch women raped and treated as animals as goes on in the Congo, is inhuman. To turn our backs, hoping that somebody else would take the initiative to bring about change while we simply meditate, sing kumbaya and eat jambalaya, is the lazy way to solve problems. As uncomfortable as it is, living does involve engagement.
Sometimes it is those who are heavily affected that are quick to offer the most resistance. It is they who are most gullible. In Nigeria the devotees are being shown the hologram of Christ, and spooked by the religious tricksters that they are watching the true Image of Christ. The end of the world is near, they rage, the sky is falling, they cry! Had somebody minded their business and not divulged the truth, those people would be spiritually messed up. Perhaps the damage is already done
The world needs frank dialogue. This place we call the center of the universe celebrates the fittest and fights for their survival. Those who have knowledge must share with others so they can assess their condition in the world and take steps to better their lot. We must see that the real purpose of religion is to create a path to achieve a connection with the most high and coordinate collective conscience and action. Chineke wants us to rise, to reach into ourselves, find our core and be each other’s support system. “Otu nde madu na Chi ha siri gba nzuko wu otu ha ga esi buru enyi.”….The relationship between people and Chineke is a consequence of their spiritual meeting…and it includes action not indolence when jeopardy lurks.
To our Chiist family, when we are doing what we feel Chineke wants us do, nothing else matters. Be prepared to stick it out during the bad times when people disagree and the good times when they agree. Be culturally aware. It is your birthright. The happiness you seek will find you including the success that belongs to you. Peace shall be your reward, and you will find Chineke’s purpose for you. Never make the mistake to accept discouragement from being engaged. It leads to apathy, a weak world view… and the antithesis of why you exist!
Peace is a consequence of action, the recognition that you have a role to play to bring respect, honor and recognition to your right to exist. Do so with love in your heart, a dove in hand, truth as your armor (and be prepared to use it). Otua ka anyi si ekuli!…this is how we rise!
Otito Nile Diri Chineke!