Between Ownership and Stewardship: Sharing An Awesomely Inspiring Story of Selfless Service to Humanity

Welcome to Social Works Watch™ (SW2) this week. Sure your week is going on well. I must thank you for the warm reception you gave to this segment of my blog.

This week, I will take a short break from the story I began last week: ‘MATERNITY PRACTICES IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN LAGOS STATE.’  I will like to share with you an awesomely inspiring story of a man, who decided to be his brother’s keep in an unusual manner.

It is an unusual story of Personal Social Responsibility. It is my well-considered opinion that the best of our society will come forth when we replace ownership of private property with stewardship of private property. Ownership of private property insists that the husbandman must be the first and preferential partaker of the harvest of his farm. Stewardship says, the husbandman may be the first partaker but may not necessarily be the lion partaker of his harvest. Therefore while ownership thinks ‘winner takes all,’ stewardship thinks trusteeship. Stewardship concludes that whatever he has in his possession is held in trust to the community and must be judiciously distributed. The lion share in stewardship does not necessarily go to the custodian. It goes to any one in the community, who may needs it more.

I agree with the recent submission of Dr Myles Monroe that the source of poverty in the word today is the spirit of ownership. Ghandi saw it many years ago and he said, ‘nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need but has not enough to satisfy man’s greed.’ The number one evidence of greed is hording, which means to keep to yourself something you do not need, which will make all the difference for others. Many today have stolen from nature and kept in their vault what belongs to many. The greed of men is the reason for poverty. Ghandi also said, ‘there are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.’ The irony is that this bread is not with God. It has been released to fellow human beings, who are hoarding same.

It is difficult for us to think of stewardship in the Third World, particularly Africa, where survival is the name of the game of daily living.  Our survival mentality has made our societies modern jungles, where on the fittest survives. We have all the paraphernalia of civilization; yet we lack the characteristics and  the social pillars of civilized states. The anthem of the jungle is, ‘everyone for himself and God for us all.’ There is no society that can survive and maximize its collective potential and  destiny with this kind of selfish equation.

I understand perfectly that the failure of the states is the major reason, why there is survival mentality in Africa. Our states have failed in performing their parts of the social contract, which provides that the welfare and the security of the people shall be the primary aim of government. The teeming majority of the  citizens of African state are stateless in the sense that they do not have any power or rights of citizenship. They are treated as slaves in their own lands. They are more vulnerable in their own country than some privileged foreigners, who even oppress them with the active support of their own states for the foreigners in the name of encouraging foreign investments or investors.

Most of our people carry on their shoulders the loads meant to be carried by the states. There are no social support services for the people. In Africa, governments do not create opportunities, they shrink them. In this kind of situation of social and economic chaos, self preservation becomes the primary aim of the citizen as he knows that if he is not thinking for himself, nobody is thinking for him.

That is why the privileged few in Africa must delink from the whole idea of ownership and sign up for stewardship. Our social and religious structures must begin to think more in terms of stewardship than ownership. We must begin to train our children to think in terms of stewardship and not ownership.

I share this story this story, which I culled from It is a bright demonstration of the spirit of stewardship over the damned spirit of ownership. Most importantly, it answers for us the question of who is really a privileged citizen. It tell us that we do not need to control millions to be our brother’s keepers. We just need to have a heart for it.

At this point, permit me to the story of Tony Tolbert, a 51-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, who offered to strangers his furnished home for a full year…I am sure you will find it interesting.

Tony Tolbert, a 51-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, proves you don’t have to be a millionaire to make a huge difference. Last week, Tolbert began lending his house to a formerly homeless family for a year while he moves back in with his parents.

Tolbert’s story was profiled on “CBS This Morning.” The Harvard-educated attorney explained that he was inspired by his father’s generosity when he was younger. As a boy, Tolbert’s father frequently let strangers with no place to go stay in their house. Years later, Tolbert decided to expand on the idea.

When Tolbert told his mother, Marie, about the idea, she said, “Have you lost it?” Tolbert insisted he hadn’t. “You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Oprah,” he said to CBS News. “We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.”

Tolbert hasn’t met the people who are moving into his home. He told officials at the Alexandria House, a homeless shelter for women and children, that he wanted to loan his home to a family in need. Felicia Dukes and her four children were the lucky recipients. Before moving into their new home, Dukes and three of her kids were sharing one room in a shelter. A fourth child wasn’t eligible to join them. Now, they are all together. “My heart just fills up and stuff. … I’m just really happy,” Dukes said.

Tolbert believes that, in his words, “Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love. And if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.”

Thank you for reading, I await your comments.  Have an INSPIRED week.

See you next week as I share with with you another story of a woman, who lost her child to the negligence of medical practitioners and support staff of a Government Maternity Hospital in Lagos State.  2348033620843



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