Progress could be defined as change that leads you closer to the verifiable achievements, while change is simply moving from some personal/shared knowledge to some other personal/shared knowledge. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. Bernard Shaw posited that “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.
Change can teach us to adapt and help us develop resilience, but only if we understand our own capacity for growth and learning. When change makes us better, it’s because we have learned how to turn a challenging situation to our own advantage, not merely because change happens. One of life’s constants is change. Particularly, in a world where young people are increasingly influenced by the pop culture that glorifies the self above the good of the collectives, positive change has become inevitable.
Positive Change is about making an intentional shift. – from good to great, from ordinary to extra-ordinary, from business as usual to business unusual. What Positive Change means for Nigerians today will be different to every other nation; this is essentially a cultural response expressing a right to preserve, foster and express the four key components of a nation’s identity: language, culture, traditions and ethnic origins.
Genuine change, which is completely different from the political slogans “Change” mantra, has become inevitable. Particularly, as we navigate through the storm. Change can give birth to a modern society that is an industrial society. To modernize a society is, first of all, to industrialize it. Historically, the rise of modern society has been inextricably linked with the emergence of industrial society. All the features that are associated with modernity can be shown to be related to the set of changes that, some 250 years ago, brought into being the industrial type of society.
Change can also elicit a positive response from a consumerist society to become an Industrialized Nation. Therefore, as we approach the 2023 general elections; what we need as a nation destined for greatness are basically; change in our mentality and obsessiveness to consumerism. A change of mentality can then lead to identifying the way forward through a TRANSFORMATIONAL creative and innovative Leadership.
While narratives over the past few decades have painted a wide range of views of Africa, particularly, (Nigeria)—as a child in need of development, a rising economic power, an imminent threat, a tinderbox of terrorism, poverty, forced migration, and disease—the truth is, as always, more nuanced. One thing is certain: the change that is imminent has the capacity to transform our urgly situation to a remarkable and positive narrative. As a nation, we can then begin to shape our own destiny.
Conclusively, permit me to use the example of South Korean exploits. South Korea has experienced one of the largest economic transformations of the past 60 years. It started as an agriculture-based economy in the 1960s, and it became the 11th largest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. How did the industrialization miracle take place? In my opinion it is all about mentality and positive thoughts.
As the “Asian miracle” continues to unfold, perhaps the most intriguing—and least understood—of the region’s fast-growing economies is South Korea. During the four decades following the Korean War, it evolved from one of the most abject states in the region to one of the most vibrant, a manufacturing powerhouse that has virtually eradicated poverty. Nigeria can achieve same fate too, it just requires that we change our mentality and mindsets from consumerism to productivity.
As I round up, please permit me to be a bit philosophical; the more we keep focusing on leadership as if it would come via miracle from a different planet or people, the more it becomes a mirage. This is never going to happen. Nigeria today deserves the leaders “ruiners” it has. You cannot hope to have a different set of people at the top when their background is derived from a country with “hoodlum” mentality. In Nigeria, if you create anything good and progressive, I argue that 90% of the people are there to destroy it. It is the nature of the people!
We want to enjoy ourselves without doing the necessary work to achieve such. We take pride in shame. Let me give an example, we glamorous dependence and outright slavery which we glorify as “relocation”, “deceit – intending resident camouflaging as students, etc, etc, etc…it is time for a change, we can do it. The world is waiting for us as a leading nation of the black continent. Arise and shine Nigeria.
ARISE ‘O COMPATRIOTS.
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.