This week, I was privileged to be part of a conversation that dwelt on some happenings in Nigeria; the feelings of the ordinary person on the street (like you and I) about these unabated happenings; and what could be done about the menace of terrorism and bloodletting that we are gradually becoming renowned for.
As this conversation progressed, there was talk about the helplessness of the populace, the indecisiveness of the governing authorities and the denial of some citizens. As I listened to the conversation and made my contributions, in my mind, something stood out glaringly – it was that you only become a victim if you decide to become one!
Without trivialising the issues that our nation, Nigeria, is grappling with right now re-terrorism; and especially the abduction of over 200 (?) young girls from their school dormitory, I still restate – we are not the weak ones!
A strong person is strong not because of the force he exerts but because of the control and discipline he deploys. A strong person isn’t strong because he has arms and ammunition and can bring unarmed and innocent people to their knees. A man is strong when even though he has artillery at his disposal, he exercises the discretionary use of his artillery and doesn’t make innocent mothers and harmless people pay for the sins of their ‘fathers’.
Any strong man who doesn’t take this into cognisance but releases brutal force such as we are witnessing in Nigeria, cannot exactly be said to be strong; in my books. I know it is said that all is fair in war; but you see, we are not at war with the self-instituted insurgents.
It is pertinent that we also consider who a weak person is as well. A weak man isn’t weak by the things he can’t do with his physical strength; a weak man is so called because he has refused to exercise the strength of his mind over the frailty of his body.
So yes, we are afraid to go to bed at night, but at least we come out of our homes in the morning and we continue to push through our lives and all the daily things we need to continue to do. We are free to relate with others and we definitely do not need to disguise how we look or how we speak to communicate.
How dare you call us weak? We are not the weak ones here! How dare you call us victims? We are not the victims here! Yes, maybe you can abduct and kidnap us; but you know what, before now, we wished you no harm; and even right now, we wish you no harm. That, my friend, is strength; and that, my friend, is what victory is about.
So how does all this tie with living your dream life? I know as a matter of fact that living a dream can be hard – from trying to get an education in places where others decide you don’t deserve or even need an education, to when others simply say to you that your background disqualifies you; from casting my vote with the best of intentions to have people defraud me and not deliver – it is a long and hard trek!
However, when all is said and done, you cannot allow them to brand you as a victim; because you are not one until you choose and decide to be one. Out of all these distractions, discouragements and abuse and outright carnage; will arise the resolve and the determination that we are better than we have been told we are. Out of all this will come the fuel with which we will build the nation they say we don’t deserve.
So next time you think about me, don’t call me weak because you see, I arise one more time, so I am not weak. Next time you refer to yourself, insurgent, don’t say you are strong, because what is strength without self-control?
Your dream is valid and your dream is important. Whether all you want to achieve is an education or some level of change. Whether you want to build a conglomerate or just a corner shop… you are not the victim! The strong man who knows no self-control is, the strongman who hides in darkness is, the strongman who … is.
We are not the victim, no we are not! We will make it NeverTheLess.
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