Wonder working power of love Ralph Egbu

“Dear Ralph, a fantastic and ex­tremely thought-provoking article on Love vs Hate you have there. Thank you but how do we move forward from here? After the hate prayers being taught in churches and mosques across the nation on perceived and imagined enemies, how does one re-indoctrinate the citizenry? I have thought for years but can’t find a way out. Njide – 07068197392.”
Above is one of the many responses to last week’s discourse entitled “Love vs Hate: The big battle.” Majority of readers found the work very interesting and illuminating. Many expressed surprise that love could be a vital factor in national development and wanted me to elucidate on how this could be. I found the desires very attractive, hence this second work on love factor in national development. In our quest for transformation of both the human and material, there has been a missing link yawning to be fixed and that is the proper definition of development and what it entails to have it. If our development ideals had their focus on human develop­ment as the catalyst for other trans­formation, some of the things we do would have been avoided and some vital factors of development especially those that are invisible which we are yet to discover and take seriously, would have been located because circumstances would have made their discovery of utmost necessity.
I think we have arrived the point where what we ought to have known but refuse to know is hurt­ing us, development is stalled, the atmosphere is becoming very hos­tile to everybody including those who thought they could disturb the equilibrium, and get away with it. The hate level is frightening, insecurity has become the culture; the sanctity attached to human life has vanished. Nothing worse could happen to any group of human beings than this and as the pains bite, many are of the view the situation has gone beyond remedy. I hold the firm view that it has not and the circumstance can be reversed. What is needed is the recognition that love is a factor in nation building, and then a will to build a society in which love can live and thrive.
Not too many of us know love is a personality even though invisible in nature, love desires a well structured environment for it to live and blossom. Developed societies understand this philoso­phy and that is why successive governments in those places work very hard to continue to recreate their environment in such a way that both the environment and the human elements share harmony. The point I am making is that knowledge of a thing is important and after that clear understand­ing of its purpose, because where purpose is not known application of discovered knowledge becomes stressful. Nations are built or molded into the shape the inhabit­ants desire, it is not a mechanical process, the same way citizens are recreated to suit what would make the nation remain alive, be produc­tive and capable of transforming itself to meet the needs of new generations. I restate that build­ing a nation-state is a hard task requiring hard work; it is not a job for dullards or for those who feel that power is about massaging superficial human desires.
Let me use a few examples to explain: America of today would not have been if what was at the very beginning was allowed by the founding fathers to take root; majority of those who left Europe for the new land were renegades of various kinds. In America in the early stages groups fought each other for land and material gains, it took the wisdom of a few to say, ‘No, we must sit down to define our society, what we want, citi­zens benefits and what the value system should look like especially the character feature of a typical American.’ A good number of Americans came from Britain but they didn’t speak the classi­cal British English. In dress code and general attitude, the typical American is informal and liberal. I recall recently a Nigerian im­migrant to America telling me that Americans would always tell him he is not one of them and this is in spite of having American citizen­ship. The primary reason is that he doesn’t speak and act like them. Like shared value and behavior, language power inclusive, ideals bind societies. China has been a world power for a very long time but its reach was highly limited by disconnectedness among the component parts.
Chairman Mao broke this bar­rier with his cultural revolution. It was this revolution that gave birth to the respect China attracts today in world affairs. See the Chinese anywhere in the world you will think they are of one tribe and faith but they are not, it took inspirational leadership and great building up to make them so. Israel is another example: it is nation of scattered people; some came from Germany, Russia, France, Britain, America and even Africa to build that nation but the oneness I saw when I visited that nation in 2005 is simply amazing. I saw love and everyone trusting the other; above all, I saw citizens ready to lay down their lives for the survival of the nation.
On enquiry I got to know it did not come cheap, the nation has an institute where citizens are re-cultured and indoctrinated, a Nigerian who passed through that process told me you must learn the Hebrew language, national culture and ideals before one can become a citizen. I reviewed the informa­tion and doffed my hat for them because I know when you love a thing, you invest time, resources and care to nourish it.
Let me state also that mode of economic production determines the level of love in a nation. Unguided capitalism would only elevate selfishness; Americans knew this and that was why it took them several debates and conferences before they accepted private initiative with a proviso that certain cardinal rights must be sacrosanct like right to education for all, liberty and equality for all. We missed it when we abandoned communalism and embraced crass capitalism without the safe guards others introduced, including social security for those who could be­come fall guys of the system.
We can look at our peculiarity and legislate certain things into being regardless of whether it has happened elsewhere or not, one of issues should be zoning of political offices and the rotation format should be clearly specified in the rules. This is to ensure politicians don’t play games of talking merit and interloping when they ought not. Merit is good but we would mature into it. Besides, zoning does not preclude merit what does is the intention of a few to impose candidates or produce succes­sors by all means. If I were the information minister, I would use communication channels to make citizens behave the way we want.
We have seen what Nnamdi Kalu did with his Radio Biafra. Teach civics, make citizens travel and marry across tribal lines. It is important we give our story in the most glorious manner; above all we must evolve a system that caters for all. Do these and add productivity and our nation would become a world destination. We need love to make our atmosphere suitable for everyone.

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