‘Let Us Make Man.’ I have thought a great deal about this scripture. It was God’s policy statement declared to the world as how we were made. We came out of a divine consensus, created from a community, and launched to live as a community.
How did the world move from the ‘LET US’ BEIGN to ‘I’ BEIGN? How did we move from ‘WE ARE IN IT’ to ‘I AM IN IT’ whatever IT IS?
The tyranny of ‘I’ seems to have dented our world into a permanent malfunctioning state, where the demonstrated living mantra of the majority is ‘God for us all and everyone to himself/herself.’
Today we see our individuality as our key to independence. But I think by God’s design, our independence is a means to interdependence.
Many years ago I read Jack Welch’s ‘Jack: Straight from the Gut’ and he made a profound statement about not being comfortable with using the word, ‘I,’ in telling the story of his life and career, noting that he did not achieve anything alone and could therefore not take such credit. He revealed in that autobiography, that he had running battle with his editors on this very issue.
We are familiar with the African adage, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ I think we need to accept the bigger idea that it takes a village to be a human being. We need to accept that community is the essence of humanity.
What affects one affects all. I believe humanity is looped to function as a whole. Over 400 years ago, the English poet, John Donne reminded us of this truism: ‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’
I guess it was in this spirit MKJ Junior said, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’
Mr. Olakunle Soriyan, who woke me up to the difference between success and greatness has long argued that Africa does not need more successful people as it needs great minds. In his argument, success is about accumulation and hoarding of opportunities and their proceeds while greatness is about distribution. Great minds have cultivated the abundance mentality to obliterate ownership mentality and replace it with stewardship mentality.
According to Ghandi, ‘the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.’ I interpret this to mean that anywhere you see needs and poverty, it is because someone or a group of people have been greedy, siting on the common wealth of the humanity close or far from them.
As a person of faith, a follower of Jesus Christ, reading the Bible, I found that it is a book of community. There is no one person I am aware of in the book that was called or blessed for himself or herself. Personal victories or failure and the lessons behind them were God’s means to reaching and calling our attention to his eternal truth that we are made for each other.
The big question today is, in what culture were we raised and in which one are we raising precious children? The ‘LET US’ Culture or the ‘I’ Culture?
We live in the effervescence bubble of a social-media militarized world, where things which are far from as they appear are presented as if that is how they appear. Many of us are cut in the web of lies of belonging to pseudo communities online. Yet me know that the deep and troubling matters of our souls are tucked away from the glares of acquired social media followers.
The mark of genuine community is fellowship, where the sense vulnerability gives way to a priceless sense of being-naked-and-not-ashamed. That obviously is not one a thriving and celebrated features of our social media community engagements.
The social media today, when we look around us and documentaries like, ‘the Social Dilemma’ on Netflix and ‘Why I’m Not on Facebook on Freevee is the number one driver of mental health challenges.
It is my sober reflection this day in this #sociolgue that the death of a man or woman by suicide is final vote of no confidence in this burdensome ‘I’ humanity.
I think it is a final, yet very painful and avoidable surrender to the ‘I’ culture’s most lethal weapon: THE SENSE OF ISOLATION. ‘My case is the worst around,’ ‘I am alone,’ ‘I am in it alone,’ ‘I cannot do this any more,’ ‘I am finally tapped out beyond redemption,’ ‘I am down and out,’I am done and out,’ ‘I cannot bear the shame of an impending consequence,’ I think are some of the symptomatic feelings of the THE SENSE OF ISOLATION, orchestrated and sustained by today’s heightened ‘I’ humanity.
I think we need to heal the world of this ravaging ‘I’ humanity and fight for the ‘LET US’ humanity under God. We need to heal the world with the indifference of ‘I’ and embrace the genius of ‘WE.’ Let us heed the warning of one of most prominent holocaust survivors and Nobel Laureate that ‘the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.’
Today, I express faith a reenvisioned humanity, the ‘LET US’ humanity. I have faith in the humanity, responding to the yearning and aspirations of God to build a ‘LET US’ world, beginning from our immediate families and communities.
According to Clare Boothe Luce, ‘there are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.’
Do have an INSPIRED week ahead.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and this is my #SOCIOLOGUE this week.