Ask not what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.President John F Kennedy, 35th American President: 20th January, 1961
There is no denying the fact that our great Nigerian nation is currently bedeviled by a myriad of complex challenges. These issues did not befall our noble nation overnight, but have taken decades of inaction on our part to snowball into their currently petrifying status. Unlike the proverbial stitch which should have been applied on time; the current tear in the fabric of our wellbeing as a nation seems to require way more than nine stitches and this is due to our earlier collective neglect for corrective action.
The overwhelming nature of our national plight is understandable considering the fact that through the years our attempts at reversing the trend has not yielded any positive result.
It is also understandable that the morale index of most Nigerian citizens is at its lowest with regards to believing in the possibility of a positive change let alone making that belief become a reality. For most Nigerians, there might seem to be no solution of logic which the painful experiences of our current quagmire. However, a resounding answer to the prospect of giving up with changing the trend of our currently mind boggling circumstance is a firm no!
This defiant response of positive energy includes but is not limited to all the reasons behind the untapped potential of human resource within our great nation which was once and could still become one of the greatest nations in Africa.
We should all be reminded that other nations which may have found themselves in a similar or worse predicament, were able to make a persistent and remarkable recovery albeit slowly. Illustrations of this fact are left to the imagination of the reader, but can be found within the African continent and beyond. Therefore it can be safe to state that the possibility of a positive recovery of the fortunes of the Nigerian nation is not wishful thinking. The pertinent question would be a plausible first step which would create the foundation for subsequent steps in the right direction.
A response of hope to this current challenge of national magnitude strongly appears to rest in reawakening the spirit of Patriotism in every Nigerian Citizen of discerning age.
Patriotism can simply be defined as ‘A person’s selfless Love for their own Country, and a willingness to sacrifice for it’. Bearing in mind that a country is an abstract concept on its own which is molded by the strength of character of its citizens, the definition above can be rephrased for further clarity to mean ‘A person’s selfless love for their own Compatriots and a willingness to sacrifice for them’.
Our Neighbors, our Coworkers, our Landlords, our Tenants, our Pastors and Imams, our Bankers, and everyone within our personal horizon of interaction are our Compatriots as long as they are Nigerians. In addition, the trader we patronize at the market, the tireless bus conductor and his driver, the traffic warden sweating it out in the scorching sun, the kids we may not know playing around the corner, the less privileged persons and those citizens with special needs, the politicians, and a whole list which may not accommodate the mention of this paragraph, and who may be beyond our personal horizon of interaction are also our Compatriots as long as they are Nigerians.
A person who can display the selfless character of patriotic love toward fellow Nigerians mentioned in the paragraph above is called a Nigerian Patriot.
Patriotism is an inherent ‘God given’ attribute of character deposited within the DNA of every single human from birth therefore it is safe to assume that this noble character has simply been dormant rather than non-existent in a majority of Nigerians through the years.
Regardless our reasons for suppressing the Patriot in us, it is a fact that the Nigerian Patriot lives within the soul of every single Nigerian citizen.
Given a chance, the selfless love of the Patriot in each of us can make a huge difference in our daily interactions and endeavors with each other. If we could collectively unleash this positive phenomenon resting within us, it would greatly assist us with a different insight of life which goes beyond the horizon of a Religious, Tribal, and Political divide. These three negative attributes have greatly impeded our efforts at national development.
The spirit of Patriotism is the only attribute of character that can tag every Nigerian citizen on a single team and neutralize the current divisions across board. It is a certain fact that the massive strength of a single Nigerian team with over 200 million teammates can overcome any mountain of challenge.
In conclusion, reawakening the spirit of Patriotism within the mind of the Nigerian citizen will not come with overnight success, but our sincere effort in this direction would definitely provide the foundation for the team work required for subsequent positive actions geared toward our positive national development.
On this truth and more, I rest my case on Patriotism as the Rainbow of hope for the Nigerian Dream.
Arise O Compatriots…
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