Throwing Big Stones at The Nigerian Project – By Prince Charles DicksonArticles, Columnists, NNP Columnists, Prince Charles Dickson Saturday, August 4th, 2012
A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake.
The boy went up to the man and said, “Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?” “Hmmm, said the man. He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed.
Sometime later, the man said softly, “Look at the water, it is absolutely still.” The boy said, “Yeah, it is.”
The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?”
Yeah, said the boy, “they spread further and further.”
“And soon, the water is still again, offered” the man.
The boy said. “Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while.”
The man continued, “What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. Let’s take the stone out. Go ahead and look for it.”The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out.
But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before.
The wise man said, “It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance. If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind.
Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value.
Only few years back, to go through the University, it cost a few hundreds, gradually it was just a few thousand and one got a qualitative education from w world class universities that they once were. But what happened, we threw pebbles into that water.
Libraries have given way to Google, sadly in the ivory towers, students become graduates without visiting a library except for the flimsy excuse of bind a pirated and plagiarized copy of their terminal paper called project.
This same nation that is battling unemployment without even a proper statistical data of how many that were unemployed, whether half-baked, unbaked or over-baked was once the same that offered holiday jobs for University students, same nation that left you with a choice of job after your first leaving school certificate.
In those days before you and I threw pebbles into the water, after Primary 6 then, you picked from the old Nigerian Railway, P&T, ECN and such.
There was corruption, but how much of it, the slide may have begun, because we were throwing pebbles already, but we stole less, there were few Fraouks and Otedolas and the theft were in few thousands, but today we steal in billions and in a nation with all the poor, a few Nigerians can afford a Bugetti Vyeron, world’s most expensive and fastest car at N400milion in Nigeria… a car that has only 300 units in the world.
Honesty was still a virtue, shares were not over-subscribed and banks did not just collapse, few banks and , bankers, both chartered and tattered, but depositors monies did not just disappear like these days of ATMs and mega profits and sacking of same bankers who supposedly make the profits by selling their bodies.
Many of us reading this, spent, one naira, fifty kobo, ten kobo, I have left out those that even spent the shillings. Today after throwing pebbles into the Nigerian waters of progress, economically, politically, and otherwise, I know for a fact that our children will see these denominations in the few museums that are still functionally, they will never spend it, even as we seek to introduce more worthless higher currencies.
We are almost done mourning the Dana plane crash but have quickly forgotten how our pebbles at old reliable Nigerian airways turned it into death airways before it was liquidated.
It was a lovely nation with good memories, we wrote essays of “how we spent our last holidays”, were taught how to write in formal and informal ways, and all that mathematics some of us found hard to understand but was fun, today the ripples of our pebbles is one that has seen us embrace technology without caution and progress. Okay became kk or just k, love, became luv, or lv, we know lol…laugh out loud at our collective amnesia.
There was this friend of ours, served in Sokoto, he married an Hausa girl from Sokoto during the NYSC program, he was not only given a cow but the wedding was sponsored by the State government. Then, you were posted to ‘angeligidi, in munafirchi state and you went, taught in an Local Education Authority Primary School, and left with life experiences, but now our pebbles only show how no one really wants to serve in those places we know, and how some serve in their father’s house.
Our pebbles birthed Boko Haram, the political ones in GEJ’s government, the criminal ones, the terrorists that have redefined our lives and collective brotherly way of living…Now we are like Afghanistan like ‘Nigerianstan’, in some parts and like Somali like ‘kidnapli or is it Nigeriali’.
Fact is that, we need ask, is there a Nigerian project, and with not just the pebbles but stones we are hauling at the project, what becomes of it, only time will tell.
Prince Charles Dickson
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