Thinking about Trump

Easy speak

There is an old saying that different languages are good for different occasions and for one to be understood properly, many languages are required. Therefore, when you are speaking to God, use Latin; to the military, German; to the merchants, Arabic and Greek; to the musician, Italian; to the cook, Chinese; to the sailors and engineers, English; to the artist, Russian; to friends, Spanish; to enemies, Dutch and Hungarian; to your girlfriend, French; and to your wife, Japanese.

The import of the saying above is that what is said is not, on many occasions, as important as how it is said. The medium, as some communication theorists would insist, is the message.

From the time immemorial, therefore, attention has always been paid to saying the right thing in the right way because words are powerful. Mere words can make or break. Your words are a window to your soul and personality.  Even if hatred appears to gain electoral ascendancy, we should always speak peacefully.

Trump’s triumph

As we live in a unipolar world where the USA calls the shots, many people across the world cannot just avoid America. In fact, when America sneezes, the entire world catches cold. It is therefore logical that the world either by persuasion or compulsion looks up to America for standards of behaviour and many people have wittingly or unwittingly accepted the West as best.

Americans in their wisdom have elected a leader of their choice. After a bitter electoral campaign marred by relentless and divisive vitriol, Mr Donald Trump has demonstrated the human capacity for winning in spite of all odds. He has set a new standard that many politicians here and elsewhere would want to emulate, to our collective loss as humanity.

However, Mr Trump’s style should not be emulated and the end does not justify the means as Niccolo Machiavelli would want to let us believe. One major lesson not to learn from Mr Trump is hatred. This is because bullshit, like hatred, can take anyone to the top but it cannot keep one there, as shared on this page on April 19, 2016.

The bullshit

In the column under reference, three stories were shared one of which concerned the turkey and the bull. For the benefit of hindsight, it was said that a turkey was chatting with a bull.

“I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”

“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They are packed with nutrients.”

“The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after the fourth night, the turkey was proudly perching at the top of the tree.

“Then, he was spotted as a big bird by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree and out of life.

“The LESSON is that bullshit might get you to the top but it won’t keep you there…If you maneuver your way into a position and you are still cocky, then, you will have to bear the heat of your hot seat.”

The Consequence

The mere fact that Mr Donald Trump won the battle of election does not mean he has won the war of leadership. Apart from sustained protests that are uncharacteristic of American political behaviour, many aggrieved people are still trying to fight back.

An online petition under the aegis of “AVAAZ: The World in Action” has witnessed millions of people “united against division” writing to Mr Donald Trump. The letter reads:

Dear Mr Trump,

This is not what greatness looks like. The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans and millions of others who don’t look like you, or pray the same god as you.

Facing your fear, we choose compassion. Hearing your despair, we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance, we choose understanding. As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.

The election is over. It is now time to win people’s love because love trumps hate, Mr President-elect.

Re: Teaching with tears

Teaching profession in Nigeria has been subjected to public ridicule and shame. Teachers’ tears grow with migraine and weak financial status to take good care of themselves and their families. I left a teaching job this year due to starvation, irregular payment of salaries, teaching three subjects with over thirty periods per week, lack of capacity building, etc. It caused me much severe pain and stress. I have passion for teaching but these challenges made me think otherwise.  A nation that allows teachers to suffer can’t progress well. Teachers deserve better pay and conducive environment to do their job effectively. Government should act now to save teaching profession from total collapse. – Aina Akindele Oyebanji, Ketu, Lagos State