One of the weaknesses of human nature is the desire for things to improve or to achieve a particular result without putting in the work required to attain the results. We, as human beings, often want good things in life; we want progress, we want peace, we want good health, we want good relationships, lucrative businesses, thriving careers, fat investment accounts, a good reputation and so on; but we often either sit around and expect these things to materialise on their own or we entertain and tolerate and foster the very actions that lead to opposite results of our desires.
There are a lot of occasions in social, professional and personal situations where people feel entitled to things, acknowledgements, positions and benefits; that they have not actually earned, do not deserve, do not have a full right to (if any) or have not invested in in any way. Sometimes we delude ourselves that our wants and desires are actually our entitlements and allocated attainments.
There are many occasions where progress is not made because “we have always done it this way”; there are a lot of ideologies and traditions that we stick to as a country that do not add much value to the bottom line and usually cannot be comprehensively articulated by the people sticking to them except for comfort of sticking to familiar washed out traditions or an overblown or deluded sense of control.
A good example is how we expect bereaved families to feed the whole village on top of grieving and catering for general funeral costs. When a funeral happens, the household and compound will be filled up and sometimes with others that only come out of some undefined obligation like escorting someone who knows someone who is related to someone who knows someone at the funeral. And everyone will expect to be fed by the bereaved family; posing an unnecessary burden.
We should constantly question what certain ‘traditions’ and ‘habits’ are actually achieving in our lives. Many times we complicate things unnecessarily and hinder progress.
Most problems seem unfixable, most goal s unattainable, most crises unsalvageable because of the attitude held towards them. A simple change in attitude makes a big difference, a full paradigm shift.
We, as a society, always call for improved healthcare, robust education system, vibrant social welfare, food security, progressive local development, national economic independence and national synergy; but if we look at how we run our day to day activities from personal to societal to national level; we find that we are not really speaking into these priorities.
I often lament about our behaviour on the roads on Malawi for instance; half the time one deals with selfish and reckless drivers who only care about moving their car irrespective of other road users and set regulations. We also have equally selfish and reckless pedestrians who jump into the road at any random interval, distract or delay other road users unnecessarily or take leisurely strolls in the road leaving the pavement while cheerfully oblivious of the road safety risks. These same people will the next morning wake up feeling righteously high and mighty and rave and rant about a certain authority not ‘caring’ about their needs and existence.
And we have all heard the story of the home owner who demarcates their plot to release all its rubbish and waste material to neighbour’s yards instead of talking full responsibility to manage the wastes and be sensitive towards those that surround him.
My question always is: if we cannot make the effort in small things how do we expect to make effort in bigger things and how do we expect to grow our communities or nurture our young to be leaders?
We need to shift our attitudes to a point where we take direct responsibility for the developments that fall our way, for the goals we want to attain, for the people we want to be and for the society and nation we want to build.
I rest my case.