On November 18, 2005, I found myself strapped to a seat of a United Airlines airplane at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, en route to Washington DC for a workshop organised by the United States Department of State for over two hundred young international scholars. The announcement was made while we were already set that the flight would be delayed a bit. I thought the delay would be for some five to 10 minutes.
To my surprise, 10 minutes passed, then 20, then 30, until about one hour. I was seething with rage within me, which was only mitigated by the absence of worry in the countenance of fellow passengers. I wondered why people were not complaining as I guessed everyone else had an important thing to do in Washington.
After about one hour, a mellifluous voice announced we would fly then. As the plane taxied and started to ascend, there was a thunderous applause for the crew, who had kept us waiting! The generosity was shocking though I loved it. That impressive display of patience was one of the instances that would make me draw comparisons between Americans and my own people.
I assured myself that if that delay had occurred in Lagos, passengers would be hissing all the time, complaining bitterly. Not a few would curse the pilots and the airline management, even their grandparents would not be spared. Abuses would be fired disproportionately like missiles to hit the Aviation Minister and even the President.
That experience made me to appreciate that patience is light and there is no lamenting what you cannot change. When the inevitable happens, we welcome it in order to have peace. I reinforced my perception that ordinary Americans, not necessarily the gunk-ho politicians and corporate Mafiosi, are good.
Meanwhile, the point sank further in my psyche while reading the United Airlines in-flight magazine, “Hemisphere”, moments later and encountered Abraham Lincoln’s quote in an article, “America is great because America is good. When America ceases being good, America will cease being great”. I was delighted to share the quote at the workshop when it was my turn to speak.
The situation of things in Nigeria requires patience and we need a super-abundance of it to get out of the ditch in which we are. Nobody is happy with the level of depravity and inhumanity in the land but unfortunately, things are getting worse. And they can only get even worse without patience and caution.
The government appears to have abdicated from its responsibility of providing security and everything is topsy-turvy. Murderous gangs are on the prowl and bombs detonate all over the place, especially in the North, as if we are in Somalia or Iraq. Yet, the politics impeachment and winning elections at all cost is what matters most to our leaders, not the preservation of lives being wasted.
The Government has been called all names for leading us this ditch by the opposition and stakeholders. The more the criticisms and complaints, the more the tragedies we witness. The whole nation appears to sit on a keg of gunpowder and any mistake would be implosive. Accusations have not solved anything, now we should try restraint and patience.
Those who parrot revolution should perish the thought. The global scenario is scary as democracy has effectively become a tool of the oppressors. When the Egyptians were impatient with their democratically-elected President, Dr Mohammad Mursi, they protested and were exploited by those with an ulterior motive to achieve their own destruction. Many of those who opposed Mursi have been hounded and clamped down in a jackboot “democracy”, not to talk of the deaths and torture chambers.
The Libyans protested against their late leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and many lives were lost in the bitter struggle for power. After all the deaths and mutually assured destruction by the rival gangs, the situation in the country still remains precarious, forcing the US embassy to temporarily close her office in Tripoli. It wouldn’t be difficult to guess the outcome of an opinion poll on whether Libyans would have preferred the era of Gaddafi to the present situation or not.
Syria is profusely bleeding but not only is Bashar Asad in government, he is also in power. The ordinary masses are the cannon fodder and the wounds of war will take decades to heal. The same scenario is playing out in Iraq, where cultural values are being eroded fast. Survival there lies in the gun and the humanitarian tragedy is still unfolding with bestial crudity.
Goodness leads to greatness and our leaders are not great because they are not good. The worry now is that Nigeria is in a bad shape but our politicians refuse to learn from history and current world affairs. The ship of the state is left drifting on unchartered seas and more disaster looms if we don’t apply restraint and patience.
Patience is needed in not construing political opposition as mortal enmity. Patience is needed in guarding against inflammatory statements that generate more heat and tension. Patience is needed by our politicians so that they would realise that they are partners-in-progress as evident in their ideological vacuity and party-changing proclivities. Patience is needed to avoid the scenarios unfolding in the severely troubled places in the world.
Retaining power or gaining it is not worth all the bloodshed, desperation and wickedness we witness everyday. If Nigerians are patient, there will be victory ultimately because when fire has no wood to consume, it consumes itself. May the crisis in the land consume those who are fuelling it as we wait patiently with bated breaths till when this bloody macabre dance will end, after all patience is light.
Re: Might Isn’t Right
- Dear Adedimeji, it is very clear from your Friday, 25/7/2014 Daily Newswatch column that Palestinians have the right to kill the Israelis. 08029584085
- Ade, now read and publish Isaiah 43 V. 1 -21 (Holy Bible) Cheers. Also, Isaiah Chapter 41. Listen to what God says. 08058617789
- Dimeji, history and journalism are undying. The scenario is so rooted in mystery that one appears not to know who own’s “Papa’s land”. Gaza knows. Sadly nations adore power. Nice. Reginald. 07038715657.
- Mr RENAISSANCE, Dr Mahfouz A. Adedimeji, your write-up today, “Might isn’t right” is very interesting. I want to advise the landlord who mistakenly admitted a tenant that became too powerful to be controlled to make compromise. Must you go killing yourselves for your mistakes? Israel is saying it is only defending. Who are you to blame and support? Mok Ninja, Kaduna 08028534811
- Ade, Hamas is army. Landlord should relocate and live in peace. Only illiterates like the late Osama will fire rockets at world’s 4th largest army and go to sleep…. 08058617789