One of the easiest things to do in a society such as ours is to act like it doesn’t concern one. The police are acting unjustly, it is not my concern. The soldiers are avenging their comrades, that is not my concern. The security man is being harassed, that is not my concern. My neighbor is beating his wife, that is not my concern. Children are not educated and are left vulnerable, it is not my concern. The public officer is embezzling and stealing public funds, it is not my concern. A state governor decides to sack hundreds and thousands of state staff and claims he is creating unemployment to save money for the state, thank God I am not affected, so it is not my concern. This has been the reacitions of all of us to issues happening around us. But we forget, it is all our business. It concerns us all and it affects us all. It is not our concern is the reason we all are where we are now. The uneducated children of yesterday are now the ones carrying weapons as bandits, herdsmen attackers, kidnappers, Boko Haram terrorist and whatever name you would like to call it, of today. In the Nigeria of today, infrastructures have become so bad that we don’t have enough good and affordable schools as the hospitals lack adequate equipment. To make matter worse, food items are now so expensive as prices of such items have in some cases increased by as much as 300%. Arguably, all these happen for the reason that we care less about occurrences around us. A quote routinely attributed to Edmund Burke warns; “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It is not too late for all well-meaning Nigerians to start speaking up and fighting against what is wrong. It is no time to wait for anyone, even if you think you are the only one doing what is right, do it. In no time things shall begin to fall in place. To end this write-up, it is good to listen to this story. A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” The mouse turned to the goat and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The goat sympathized, but said, ” Baaa, I am so very sorry, Mr Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.” The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wooo, Mr Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.” So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his matchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient – the chicken. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. The mouse looked upon it all from the crack in the wall with great sadness, wondering how things can change and happen very fast. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember this story. In reality, when one of us is threatened, we all should feel threatened – we are all at risk. We are all involved in this amazing journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage and support one another. Each of us may not be connected through a bloodline, we may not even be friends. But we are all connected through humanity. Always think humanity.
By Osogbue Jeremiah