A moment captured with a camera or with a brush and a canvas, though precious, still retains some probability of being biased. Considering that this is an artiste’s idea of a certain moment or subject, it might be a distortion from the truth and a representation of one’s fantasy. Let’s consider Da Vinci’s Monalisa—a classic work of art without doubt, but maybe not the truthful representation of the subject. The actual lady might have been black, she might have had pimples, she might have had a moustache, which is the direct opposite of the exquisite portrait we have today, or she may have been a fictional character which never existed.A reflection, however, is the absolute unbiased representation of a subject, living or non-living, at a given point in time. Only changes with real time change in the subject. And this right here is the question that you should ask yourself when you are done reading this: who is the man you see in the mirror? Has he forgotten how to care? Does he even see a reason to care? These were the thoughts that ran through my mind after I read tweets about the recent bomb blast in the North. Every “caring” Nigerian would have been as sad as I was, and just before I was about to tweet my own round of aiyaas’, sorrys’ and “God will judge the evildoers” it occurred to me that this has been the routine. We hear bad news, we express our sympathy—online and offline—and we carry on, chasing the good life, and somehow we hope that things will magically turn around, and that the God-sent capable leader we have in power will muster the courage to face the threat. I personally don’t like to point fingers at people, considering that I’m not a saint in this issue, as well. You are probably saying to yourself: what do you expect us to do? How can we possibly influence this matter from a distance, considering that armed military men seem to find it difficult themselves? Don’t forget there are increasing numbers of conspiracy theories which have made this situation seem hopeless. Well, if these are your thoughts, you are obviously right, you probably won’t be able to do much on the battlefield, but considering how far we collectively went in reducing the fuel price earlier this year, I strongly believe that if we put in that same amount of effort, we can achieve something. As a music enthusiast, I’ll love to share some lines in certain songs that have moved me greatly and have changed my mind set on certain issues. First on the list is Nickelback’s “We Must Stand Together”. Here is the first verse: “One more depending on a prayer, And we all look away, People pretending everywhere It’s just another day There’s bullets flying through the air And they still carry on We watch it happen over there And then just turn it off .” The lyrics from this verse are self explanatory and they simply mean that we can’t continue to pretend that this is just normal, as our key leaders will have us believe that it is our turn to suffer. Even more profound are some lines in the second verse of the song: “They tell us everything’s alright And we just go along, How can we fall asleep at night? When something’s clearly wrong, When we could feed a starving world With what we throw away, But all we serve are empty words That always taste the same” The last line in the song really got to me. The sorrys’, the articles (this inclusive), and the piety are all useless and simply empty words that taste the same if we cannot back it up with serious action. Like I said earlier in the article, certain actions have become routine behavior amongst us. When these bad things happen, its either we are nonchalant about it, or we just sit back and point fingers at each other. For some others it’s just another opportunity to take a swipe at our leaders, and some prefer the hypocritical approach of making others feel bad while feeling like the only ones who are contributing positively to the country. At that point every random but not illegal talk is seen as being insensitive. So where do we go from here, you ask? Well I don’t have a special recipe on how to fix a nation, neither do I have a best seller which states clearly how that can be done. But applying common sense and referring to MJ’s “Man in the Mirror” lyrics, I think we can find a way. We can look inwards, fix ourselves, and change our attitude towards our fellow human beings. Even if we take out patriotism, as some believe they see no need in fighting for Nigeria due to its many failures, we can at least do it for our selves, for the sake of humanity. Before anything else that is the fundamental thing we have. Furthermore, we don’t have to adopt the popular idea of making a point because, personally, there are so many things I wouldn’t do either simply because I believe they don’t work and will only lead to further damage and achieve nothing. Before I digress and start an argument, I’ll just drop the issue and focus on what is at hand. I’m starting with the man in the mirror I’m asking him to change his ways And no message could have been any clearer If you want to make the world a better place Take a look at yourself, and then make a change This article is beginning to look like another rant, another writer trying to pin point the problems of the country while feeling righteous in the process. Far from that, I acknowledge that I am guilty in a number of areas I mentioned above. I also acknowledge the fact that we all have our own problems and, as such, might find it hard to extend our “care”. Borrowing the words of the ever brilliant Frank Ocean I’ll like to end by saying “…’cause I just don’t believe we’re wicked, I know we sin but I do believe we try ….” And we can only get better.
About the Author Ebuka “Ebuoe” Nwadiugwu is a deviant, a music enthusiast, and a budding film maker. He is a programmer at Connectnigeria.com.
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