WE ALL ARE GUILTY.
So, it was on facebook I read the story of a young man who murdered his girlfriend for rituals. And my naija people – people with no chill- had stormed his page to rain generational curses on him. Some had even gone further to chastise the ‘kids of nowadays’ on their reckless search for wealth.
And I wondered if apart from seizing every opportunity to rain curses on culprits, if we had ever taken time off to get to the root of the problem, to the reason for the ever-increasing noxious rat-race for money. Because if we had, we would have found out that we are all contributors to the menace. Our churches and mosques are. Our parents are. Our press men are. We all are.
Our churches and mosques are, when they sing praises of and confer chieftaincy titles on any man with wealth: source of wealth known, unknown or known but known to be shady. When they sing praises of and reserve special seats for politicians who apparently are the ones who killed our dear country and are still the vultures feeding on its carcass. When they collect tithes from and even go further to bless the money gotten from having sex and engaging in immoral acts live on TV (BBNaija). When they bring out people who would give testimonies- not of how their hard work had eventually paid off- but of how they got credits alerts miraculously . Our preachers then back up these acts with preaching of miracles- financial miracles-, reinforcing in the minds of the youths that the ‘end justifies the means’.
Our parents are, when they register their wards in ‘special centres’ for WAEC and other exams; special centres where exams are taught to them, written for them, where examination malpractices abound. Centres which serve as foundations for the school of thought that ‘ how you succeed does not matter, what matters is that you succeed’, a school of thought that has contributed to the increasing menace. They are, when they start to mount pressures on their kids, making them feel like under-achievers, comparing them with other kids, forgetting that it is each life to its own episode. Our parents are a contributor to this noxious rat-race for money when the child who comes home with more money becomes the favourite, even when his source of wealth is questionable and they choose to tag it ‘blessings from God’
Our press-men are, when mediocrity becomes the order of their news, when superficiality becomes their theme. When materialism becomes their headlines: ‘ a 19 year old boy shows off his Ferrari, a 20 year old hermaphrodite bathes with bottles of champagne… blah blah blah, when stories that can inspire hard work, patience and perseverance take the back bench .
We all are all guilty of the offence when we no longer use social media as a means of reconnecting with loved ones but for spiting ourselves. When we take pictures with social media in mind, trying to paint the picture of a life, a life of affluence, that isn’t ours.
You and I are guilty when we let social media make us impatient, when we start to envy the almost-always fake lifestyles that pop up everywhere. When we want to become someone else, to be the person we see on our time-line. When we let social media make us ungrateful for our lives, when we let it push us into the rat-race!!!