…Of goats and yam …

There is the popular fable of the bird that loves to eat pepper. After finished eating, and its “alimentary nether orifice” starts, giving it great discomfort, the bird would swear to never eat pepper again ever. Like the woman in the labour room would forget her labour pains after sighting her newborn baby, this bird would see pepper and start gobbling it up, with the same result, and subsequent resolution to always avoid eating pepper! Bird nature! It can not help itself.

Can a people change their ways due to coercion? Would Nigeria grow to be exemplary in the Committee of Nations? Or, must the citizens find in themselves that inner power to effect positive change, from personal conviction?
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The gods Zeus and Venus were once debating whether humans could ever change their nature. Zeus maintained that humans are like leopards..you can’t change their spots. Venus had a contrary opinion… that humans can have their nature changed.

To put an end to this raging argument, god Zeus magically changed a cat into a beautiful maiden, and additionally found a beautiful groom for the cat turned woman. On the wedding day, to prove his theory to
Venus, that you can’t do much to change the nature of beings (humans included), Zeus let loose a rat at the wedding ceremony. Sure enough, the bride (a cat at heart) instinctively jumped up, and started pursuing the rat with the full intention of catching and eating the rat! The wedding guests were aghast!

Sure. A decorated monkey is still a monkey. Humans would be humans. With the basic survival instincts inherent in any living thing, it can be expected that humans would do what is necessary to “survive”.

A lion would never be caught eating grass, even if it has to starve to death. It is not  just in its nature to be a herbivore. Similarly, the famous statement of the outgoing President that “people would steal in
government because a piece of yam placed in the custody of a goat is a clear and present temptation” is totally correct. If you don’t want goat to eat yam, don’t give the goat unfettered access to the yam!.

Nigeria is reputed to be one of the most religious countries in the world. It is an irony that it is also said to be one where corruption is most pervasive. It just goes to prove that, humans don’t voluntarily change except through personal internal conviction. If this was not the case, how come all the regular incessamt exhortations and teachings in places of wotship have not had much impact in the daily conduct of the religious congregants? The preachings seem to go in through one ear and exit via the other, without impacting the heart!
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Clearly, with the new political dawn in Nigeria, merely hoping or wishing that the citizens would change their old normal ways is futile.The Leaders have to first lead by sterling example. Secondly, for any goat put in charge of yam, that goat must also be policed by a buffalo (which has no interest in eating yam). In other words, systems must be put in place that ensure that there would be “diarrhoea” for any goat that eats yam it is not supposed to eat.

Meanwhile, the change we have in the political terrain was the result of personal conviction by the electorates that Nigeria needs to be saved from those that have it by the jugular. There is the need for a
similar kind of determination to build a better Nigeria, individually, to achieve a collective result.

If everybody sweeps in front of his hut, the whole hamlet would be spanking clean”

No external influence would change a man unless he decides by himself to change because…

You can not teach a man anything. You can only help him find the truth within homself”

Psychologists say that a man can become happy by acting happy. Try this. When something makes you sad, listen to your favorite music, put on your dancing shoes, listen to a Comedian, and you would end up
actually forgetting your sorrows. Similarly, despite themselves, perhaps Nigeria would begin to voluntarily act right provided the systems are in place to enforce “good” behaviour?. When you act right for long enough, perhaps it would become second nature.

And then Nigeria can eventually take its pride of place. planetarily..

1 comment for “…Of goats and yam …

  1. steve
    April 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    The change must begin with us and our values. I concur fully on this.

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