SYNERGY (2)

“The Whole is Greater than the Sum Of its Parts”…Aristotle ”

I have seen all sorts in the market place, every one truly and genuinely trying to carve out a niche for himself. I guess the rationale is that, “if your country can’t help you, you can at least help yourself and your family”. In all fairness, we have tried as individuals in this country, striving against all odds to keep afloat.

These individual efforts have improved the lives of many people. These efforts have produced some thriving enterprises that have even gained international recognition. Still there’s a lot to do because these individual efforts have not translated to national prosperity for this nation.

I see this individual efforts as little lights in the midst of great darkness. What would happen if this little lights come together to become one great light?The possibilities are endless. I am not talking about synergy for the sake of making money, though that is inevitable.  I am talking about deliberate synergy for the sake of developing our nation, for until your nation is prosperous, you cannot be truly prosperous.

For me, a prosperous nation is a nation that has enough resources as to be self sufficient. If with all the wealth we have as individuals in this country, we still have to travel abroad to get basic medical care, then we are still very poor because God forbid that there’s a medical emergency that can’t wait, money becomes useless.

So I ask, what does it cost to have good and functional institutions like hospitals and schools?It seems to me at times that we have deliberately crippled these institutions in order to create and run  booming industries of wickedness . I have observed that there is no heart in majority of Nigerians again. There’s this callousness that is fast taking over in every field of endeavour in this nation. A doctor was confidently myself and some others how she facilitates overseas treatment for patients and gets commissions from the foreign hospitals. She talked about getting young people from tertiary institutions to donate organ parts for sick patients at a reduced cost. I  have heard of how doctors get 15% commission for every refferal to foreign hospitals. This is not just about doctors alone, there’s a form of this wickedness in every field.

So again I ask, what does it cost to build functional institutions? What does it cost to build a nation? The work of nation building belongs to us and not just the  government. We’ve got to start thinking of national prosperity because the prosperity of a nation is the prosperity of its people.

I know we did not get to this point deliberately, we found ourselves here as a result of trying to survive. What I see is that everybody has come with different tools to have a cut from the national cake that to the best of my knowledge does not even exist.

It is time to start baking our national cake, Let’s have a rethink.

What’s the essence of buying exotic cars to be driven on death traps? What’s the essence of sending your children to the best schools if they will still come back to live in the same environment with the children that took lessons on the floor?What’s the essence of having so much in the midst of insecurity?

I pray that God should give us a national mindset. A mindset to build affordable mega hospitals, mega schools, mega markets, mega road networks, mega housing estates, mega industries and mega prisons for those who steal from the common wealth of our nation.

May we realise on time the power of synergy and may we realise that the power really belongs to the people.

Have a blessed day.

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SYNERGY

I remember my introduction to sociology in the university, SOC 108. Although it was not a very pleasant experience cause it was strange to me at the time, I have never forgotten the topic of the first assignment given to us in that class, “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts” …Aristotle, discuss.

Discuss ?How do you discuss what you don’t know? But somehow, like many others, even though I did not understand that statement at that time, I did the assignment and even passed the course.

Many years after, I am begining to understand that statement. Indeed, “The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is about the power of synergy.

” It means that there is such a connection among the individual items that it is better than what each one would be individually. This is known as synergy.

the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions,etc.; synergism.”
Dictionary.com

Plenty grammar abi? Let’s bring it home. Like we all know, Nigeria is a very blessed country, not just because of its mineral resources but because of its huge human capital. Nigerians know the value of education and invest so much in it. But sadly, our education as not really added much to this nation because we are all acting alone, we do not understand the power of synergy.

We are all trying to shine alone and the nation is not getting the value of our light. A Doctor would rather have a cubicle as a hospital called by his name rather than team up with other doctors to build a mega hospital where they will have mega impact. Same thing goes for lawyers, engineers, teachers, pharmacists, technicians, hairdressers etc. Everyone wants to be the owner, his own boss. It has even become a catch phrase for empowerment seminars now, “be your own boss”. Why be a struggling boss when you can be a strong partner.

What we don’t realise is that while the bosses might be different, the clients are the same. And so we struggle as bosses for the same clients, the same suppliers, the same space and everything we need and it becomes a battle for supremacy. The dangerous side to this battle for supremacy is that somewhere along the way, we loose our essence, the very core of our being, the reason why we started in the first place. We even become heartless. Every business person will tell you the burden they bear in order to keep afloat. And it’s not just about money, it’s more than that.

I have come to the sad conclusion that Nigeria is not about to get better any time soon. This country will remain like this until we understand the power of synergy. Think about the components of a pot of stew. You have tatase( bell pepper), tomatoes, rodo (cherry pepper ), onions, fish/beef, salt, water and seasoning. These ingredients are very important in their own rights, in fact, the absence of any of them could negatively affect the taste of the stew, but they are tasteless on their own and some of them could even be dangerous on their own. Try eating rodo alone and you will understand.
The sweetness of the pot of stew comes from the coming together of these ingredients even though while eating the stew, you can pick out the distinct taste of each ingredient. Scientists even say that the lycopene in tomatoes (good for fertility ) comes out better when fried in oil with other ingredients than when eaten raw.

The conclusion of my long story is that there is power in synergy . I have a vision of mega hospitals, mega law firms, mega construction companies, mega accounting firms, garment factories, automobile companies etc built by you and I. I know we can do it and it will happen in our life time.

Remember, The Whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts.

Watch out for this space as I talk about the power of #1,000.

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Staying True

Wherever you go

Wherever you be

Do not say yes

When you mean to say No

I remember singing this song in primary school after morning assembly. I never really understood it then until  recently. I found myself reviewing my different encounters and relationships with people and the song of so many years came back to me. I realise that it takes guts to be true.

Somewhere along the line we loose our authenticity, the one we were born with. You remember how as a child you spoke your mind boldly and sometimes the mind of others which they could not express themselves. A child boldly says what he thinks is right, wherever, whenever and to whoever and I believe that’s how it’s meant to be.

But after a while, the child starts to realise that speaking the truth is dangerous, it could earn you some serious spanking. I remember how my parents squeezed my mouth or that of my siblings for saying anything that was not politically correct to other people. You just had to say the right things to maintain the peace. Then you get punished for telling a lie when in fact you’ve been living a lie. We begin to learn very early in life how to say the right things just to please people and to give us easy passage. We grow up maintaining the staus quo for the sake of peace. And so we have a world built on falsehood. Falsehood that begins from home,  carried to school, church, to work and to every strata of life and it doesn’t end, it continues in perpetuity.

You find out that it is easier to tell your boss that you were late because your child was sick rather than say you were late because you woke up late. You could just be throwing your career away for saying the truth.

Children learn to lie very early to avoid being punished, workers lie, spouses lie, organisations lie, politicians lie, governments lie just to keep the system running because the truth is costly. But the problem with living a lie is that it keeps one perpetually in bondage and frustrasion sets in when it becomes a lifestyle.

I am particularly concerned about spouses living a lie, I mean you don’t have to look too far to see that many couples are not happy. Why? Because very few are saying the truth. I always wonder why a relationship that started with friendship ends up becoming a master/ servant or a boss / subordinate relationship.  On this side of the planet, the man transitions to a master gradually and then the wife becomes the servant. Worse still, the man sometimes becomes a god to be worshipped and appeased regularly just for the sake of peace and we wonder why the society is out of balance. If I  can’t tell you boldly that I don’t like what you’re doing, you will continue doing it, not because you can’t sense that I don’t like it but because I’m not saying anything for indeed volenti non fit injuria ( to what you have consented to, you cannot complain). When we allow a wrong behaviour, attitude or habit to continue for a long time it becomes a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is perpetuated in the children we nurture which they in turn carry into the society and to their own homes eventually and the cycle continues because the family, home and cradle of life failed because it was built on lies and pretense.

So I ask, What does it really cost to be truthful? First to God your creator, yourself and to mankind? Nothing, I dare say, for the truth sets you free and lies keep you in bondage.

We owe it to God our creator and the one one who wrote the script of our lives to be truthful, for in trying to please others at the expense of our God ordained life, we loose sight of who we really are. And so we have a society of lost people trying to become the bestselling thing of the moment. Haven’t you noticed how it seems that at a particular time, everyone you meet is doing the same thing. At times it’s like everybody is a musician or motivational speaker, pastor, comedian, actor, fashion designer, whatever is selling at the moment just because the family got it wrong.

Let’s build strong and happy families built on truth and love, a place where children discover, believe in and pursue only what they were born to be and our society will get it’s balance again. Stay true to God, yourself and to people. Remember,

Wherever you go ( go go gongo),

Wherever you be (sisi eko)

Do not say yes when you mean to say No.

 

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Just Like The Little Girl

As I woke up this morning, I remembered the little girl ( like 3 years old) I saw yesterday,  singing and dancing joyfully,holding a bottle opener as her microphone. At first I thought she was singing a particular song but when she came closer, I found out she was just making a joyful sound and enjoying it. She was just enjoying herself not minding the adults who were gisting as usual after fellowship  (fellow after fellow).

Such joy is so common with children. They have no care in the world,nothing to worry about. Food, rent, shool fees, everything is Daddy’s palaver. They trust their parents for everything. I wonder how we transform from this state to the worry warts we become as adults. Nothing seems to come naturally again like it used to. Everything has to be carefully planned out and worked out before things add up. Even when they add up, we don’t have time to enjoy them because we are off to the next one.

Yet God is our father, and he has everything planned out, worked out and delivered to us at no cost to us. He’s given us everything freely to enjoy. Sometimes I imagine God looking at us and saying to Himself, “I wish they knew”. Like that little child, we should just be joyful, enjoying all that God has given us with no care in the world.

Just imagine waking up one day to discover your rent has been paid forever, your clothes and shoes have been paid for in advance, your food taken care of forever, your work or career has become a stroll in the park and your relationships guaranteed forever, how would you feel? I’ll tell you, you’ll sit up in bed, look around, slide into the bed and sleep again, Only to wake up to discover it is true. Then you would bolt out of bed, sing and dance joyfully like that little girl, because you’re Daddy’s little girl or boy as the case may be. This is our true state, God has given us all that we need.He has given us all that pertains to life and godliness.

Because God’s word is true, his gifts are real. Trust him and release that little girl/boy inside of you to sing and dance joyfully again. The real you, that little girl was made for joy. Let the joy flow, it’s time to let go and enjoy your provision. For he who feeds the ravens will give his children food.

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The Nigerian Paradox

Have you ever wondered why so many things work in reverse in this nation. I mean individuals, communities, parastatals and government agencies work contrary to the purpose for which they were set up.

I mean, why would we have clueless leadership and irresponsible followership. As a nation, we keep on electing clueless and obviously intellectually handicapped people into positions of leadership and we sit down and expect them to perform miracles.

In a bid to save money, organisations employ unqualified hands to fill in job positions and they say they are surprised when the guy cannot do the job.

We have school teachers that cannot write their own names and we wonder what happened to the education sector. We are surprised that a university graduate cannot express himself in English language when his teacher is a veteran war General.

A police cadet is treated shabbily, made to stay in terrible conditions, given horrible food while training to be a police officer and we wonder why he’s mean. As a police officer,his condition does not improve.He is posted to a station where he does not even have a decent desk, there is no accommodation for him, he bears the stench of the police station all day, his salary is not paid for months but he has a rifle and we are surprised at the atrocities he is capable of.

Our soldiers are made to fight insurgence with weapons inferior to that of their enemies. The lucky ones watch and remember forever how the unlucky ones were massacred by the enemy and we are surprised that there is mutiny in the army.

Huge sums of tax payers money are given to government parastals without any supervision, no checks and balances and we wonder why they embezzle the funds. The same heads of parastatals are invited to fund raising events and expected to give generously, after all, is it not our money.

The paradox continues. Now these are government induced paradox, let’s talk about the ones we do.
Why would we have wicked and uncaring medical doctors,mean nurses, illiterate teachers, corrupt bank executives, occultic pastors, crazy drivers with valid drivers licences, eateries with horrible toilets, corrupt immigration officers, orphanages where children are abused, baby factories set up for ritual purposes, the list is endless.

Isn’t it so amazing that we pay electrity bills for electricity we have not consumed, we pay water bills for water we did not see and security bills for nonexistent security.

Sometimes I sit back and wonder who really a Nigerian is. Who is a Nigerian? What does the average Nigerian think about himself? How does a typical Nigerian expect to be treated.

I mean, we put our money in the bank and they treat us shabbily on top of our money. We pay heavy air fares to airlines that just don’t care. We sit comfortably in dirty buses with crazy drivers and just hope that somehow we can get to our destination in one piece.

Hmm, the roads are bad but we don’t stop travelling. We travel the bad roads hoping to be safe. No security, but people still keep late nights. Somebody sees that a building is almost falling apart but goes ahead to pay for it because it is cheap.Ah! God help us.
When will these end? when will we wake up and see that it is isanity to keep doing the same things and expecting a different results.

May be we don’t know that we have a choice, infact, choices. If you don’t like something, change it. If you pay for a service, expect good service and demand for it. It is not a crime to demand for service, it is a right. We should stop accepting shoddy service. There’s no point paying for a service you did not get. While we have the right to good service, we also have a duty to give good service. Please bear in mind that you have not done a good job until your consumer is satisfied irrespective of who he is.

As citizens, our votes do not end with elections. If we discover that the person we elected to represent us is not doing well, we can vote him out of office. We don’t have to endure 4 years of his tenure hoping for the next election, the power lies in our hands.

Let’s learn to make the right noise to the right people at the right time. Our future as a nation depends on it. Let’s end this paradox one at a time.

God bless Nigeria.

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