Sunday, 4 November 2012

Your Difference is Your Strength (1)

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if everyone was either a farmer or hunter? If we all had to go to the woods in the early hours of each morning to set traps and cultivate something? I mean, what if you were all crop farmers in your nuclear family? Perhaps, your dad would own a cutlass and machete, your mom would own a hoe and digger, you would have a rake and your siblings would have one out of a basket, shovel and sickle each. 
The family living next door would probably be into hunting. They would set traps for bush rats, squirrels and rabbits. Sometimes, your dad and their dad would exchange angry words over the short garden fence, because their dad set a killer trap near the doorstep of your house. He says he wants to kill a black chummy squirrel that often visits the steps in your garden.
Maybe your favourite cousins would be rich fish farmers. They would rear long catfishes and sell to the politicians in Nigeria at exorbitant prices. One day, your younger siblings would tell your dad about their desire to become fish farmers in future.
Your dad would get angry and shout at the top of his voice, “That is an insult! Are you insinuating that we are not doing well in this family? Are you not eating good meals and attending the best school of crop farming? What nonsense!” However, these what-ifs are not the goings-on and we should all drink some gingered zobo to that. If they were to be the case, there would be no doctors to treat the sick, no engineers to build infrastructures, no teachers to instil knowledge, no lawyers to defend you in court, no architects to plan and design and no bankers to keep your money for you. It is therefore obvious that each person bears an element of advantageous difference; a symbol of hereditary uniqueness; and a reason to be respected.
As a human being out of the billions living on earth right now, your strength lies in your difference. It is mainly because we are not exactly the same that we enjoy a variety of services from diverse professionals. From a single neighbourhood, children may grow over the years to become doctors, lawyers, defence personnel, administrators, scientists, artists and engineers. This is a function of career choice influenced by individual difference. However, if they all grow up into just farmers and hunters, who would take care of their medical, infrastructural, social, economic and legal needs? Surely, there was a time when the lucrative job was not an oil and gas job. It was simply farming and perhaps, hunting that made people rich. If I had the chance to time travel backwards and ask folks from the pre-medieval age, I think they would confirm this hypothesis. There was also a time when industrial business and cross-continental merchandise were the most influential job you could have. That happened during the industrial revolution. Those who manufactured and sold steel grew wealth that seemed immeasurable. Andrew Carnegie was one of them. Today, the most influential job you can have is tied to politics or what some writers call "social intelligence". Everything revolves around that subject in this era. If you are a successful person in whatever occupation you are doing, your success is tied to one form of politics or the other. It could be politics in the nation, around the world, among the citizenry or based on religion.

Politics in the nation refers to your influence on the nation or its government. In the world, your cross-border politics allows you to have influence in several countries. Among the citizenry, your politics relates to your influence in winning customers, securing market shares and making people want to or have to buy your products and subscribe to your services. In religion, your politics mainly deals with your ability to win the heart of your object of worship or establish a godly relationship that gives you an edge over shoals of other people. If you doubt any of the foregoing political definitions, leave this weblog awhile. Go and grab a readable newspaper. Find all the influential names it contains. Do some findings about their political relationships and decide whether or not they fall within one or more of the categories mentioned above. I am not trying to not do a wish-wash when I say that the twenty-first century definition of a genius or someone aspiring to be called one is almost inadequate without some form of participatory politics. In this age, if you will find your strength, you must consider the things that constitute your difference. It could be the difference between you and your siblings, your difference within your family, your difference among friends or even within a group as large as a country. Whichever one it is, you must find it and seek one or more means of projecting it in exchange for value. Once you have done these, the next thing is to play ethical politics –the kind that increases your value and adds value to other lives.

To be continued