I have met many who have lost their way in Nigeria. People who have given up on values and embraced manipulation instead. It would appear they share a few sentiments in common – anger, envy, bitterness and helplessness, closely followed by desperation and rebellion.
The break down often starts like this: You do everything right, you’re faithful and loyal. You work hard. But then those who are less intelligent than you, become more successful because they are corrupt. They become more celebrated and honoured by society. And so, anger at the perceived injustice sets in. Bitterness from repeated failures and betrayals gnaws at your heart. (Let’s set aside for a moment, your assumption that life owed you success or promised that your path would be logical and inevitable.)
You now begin to envy the rich and then decide that since they don’t have two heads, you too can play their game. That’s when you start reading books like 48 Laws of Power.
For other people, the change in values arises from helplessness. You feel too small and too powerless to change your country. You were taught to pray, but you’re not receiving any answers.
People wonder how I’ve navigated Nigeria. I cannot deny that I have been very lucky and blessed. Some favours can never be explained and I have many weaknesses. But, let me will share some personal lessons.
The first is the need for wisdom. It is difficult to beat a ruthless enemy with sheer might, without compromising your values in Nigeria. I have discovered that uncommon wisdom is a much better way. Wisdom gives you strategies that the corrupt cannot imagine. They are simply not prepared, as wisdom is always several steps ahead of them. Wisdom is not craftiness. One comes from a place of light, the other from darkness. The challenge is, wisdom requires humility, a commitment to intense study and in my case, an honest relationship with God. Many are not ready for mental rigour and vulnerability. They prefer simple solutions. Joining the profane is easier.
Next are compassion and love. Sometimes, to tackle evil, you must first put yourself in the shoes of others in a non-judgmental way, so you can understand them. What are the root causes of their behaviour? Are there subtleties and flavours that have been missed by others who prefer a sledgehammer approach?
Another often overlooked resource in the fight against evil is “power”. In my case, I deploy the power of the Holy Ghost. Evil people are not ashamed to use “Juju” in everyday life. And so, I can never be ashamed of the Holy Spirit. I liberally use word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy and discernment, in business negotiations and strategy sessions. They are my God-given tools. I also call on God to defend me when I’m threatened. Let those who wish me harm face the one who is able to protect me and overcome them, while I safely hide under the shadow of his wings.
Finally, I am loud about my values. I think bad behaviour thrives when “good people” keep quiet and “stay in their lane”. But, I pick my battles because I have limited resources. I do not support every cause or align with every issue. What I can change, I change. What I cannot, I leave to the next generation. Some national transformations require systems built over many generations. Passion alone won’t solve our problems.
For more of my random thoughts about life, you should get my new book, UNSCRIPTED.Bad behaviour thrives when good people keep quiet and stay in their lane. Click To Tweet Life never promised that your path would be logical and inevitable. Click To Tweet