African philosophy, Nigeria, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, Uncategorized, Western philosophy

DANGERS OF THE PREVALENT CULTURE OF MEDIOCRITY

 

A PRELUDE

In the year 2004, Barrack Obama, former President of the United States of America gave a famous speech at the democratic Convention in Massachusetts. He said, “Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers, who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well I say to them tonight, there are not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.” The politics of Anything Goes as stated by Obama is the root cause of mediocrity not just in the American politics but in the life of the Nigerian youths. The phrase “anything goes” was used by the late Austrian-American Philosopher of Science Paul Feyerband to challenge the rigid truth claims and strict Methodism of classical Positivism and Scientism. Feyerabend held that an idealized view of science, which elevates science into the level of a semi-god, will turn it into a monster and fail to serve humanity’s best interest. Instead, he offered a theoretical anarchism of anything goes. The anarchism of anything goes can be taken up as a liberating call. It can equip us with the tools with which to challenge the hegemony of absolutist ideologies. But if not watched carefully, it can descend into frivolity and irresponsibility. Amidst our contemporary world, the phrase “anything goes” is now used to define the attitude of disregarding any standards by which we do things. It refers to the acceptance of mediocrity as a standard of normalcy.

This is a malaise of the late modernity that has permeated everything from the arts, sciences, education, religion and politics. It has been presented as a necessity of life as if doing things properly is an expensive and luxurious thing. This is a world where the young do not want to demand more nor try harder and are satisfied with the minimum. This is quite degrading and dehumanizing to see man with an imprint of perfection reduce himself to a mediocre being.

THE CHARACTER OF MEDIOCRITY (PORING INTO ITS MEANING AND DESCRIPTION).

Mediocrity is often defined as the state of being mediocre, having only an average degree of quality or skills and no better than the standard. Mediocrity can also be adjectival where the person who exhibits these qualities above is addressed as a mediocrity (Plural Mediocrities). Its etymology can be traced from the Latin “Medio” (middle or average). In order to understand mediocrity’s true disposition, one must also be able to recognize its defining traits. They include; apathy, indifference, doubt, pervasiveness, insecurity, superficiality, fear, timidity, laziness. At first glance, mediocrity is calm but that calm exterior can belie panic. Mediocrity panics when placed under pressure for it know, it is being dishonest. But rather than engage with any immediate expectation of it and putting in the required work and efforts, it simply detaches. This is how it abandons responsibility and stays calm without being perturbed at its present state.

One thing is striking about mediocrity, a great many dictionaries present it as an antonym for excellence. Yet, there is a common understanding that is gaining strength which is, to be mediocre is to fall between the two worlds of excellence and failure and this is not bad for those who hold on to this. As the French Essayist, Joseph Joubert said “Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people”.

CAUSES OF MEDIOCRITY

  1. LACK OF EXPOSURE TO BIGGER AND GREAT CHALLENGES OTHER THAN WHAT ONE KNOWS ALREADY. This could be in the field of academics or sports. This usually leads to settling for less by the youths instead of aiming higher.
  2. LAZINESS- this is the inability to work harder and pursue excellence.
  3. PROCASTINATION- being slow or late about doing something that should be done. This often steals precious time from us. One who is consistent in this will find it difficult to go just beyond the average.
  4. FEAR OF SUCCESS- This occurs in those who persistently tell themselves that they have been marked for failure and cannot perform well in any life fields.
  5. FEAR OF FAILURE- This is quite the opposite and it is also dangerous because one who is afraid of failure or afraid of making mistakes cannot go further. He/she is always struck in the present and cannot go beyond it to greater heights.
  6. WANTING TO BE LIKE OTHERS- Each of us is unique and has his or her distinct potentialities which God has endowed us with. Inasmuch as it is not bad to aspire to great heights following the footsteps of others. But then, it becomes bad when we do this to the extent of losing our personality. When we do this, we become a Second Best. This could pose a very bad threat.

 

THE OCEAN OF MEDIOCRITY VIS A VIS OUR CONTEMPORARY YOUTHS.

That today’s youths are the future we hope for is certainly something that is quite undisputed. In as much as this is true, we (both young and old) must strive to ensure that the future of the youths can be something that we can be really proud of. At the root of what can hamper the smooth progress and success of today’s youths is the craze and mad rush to embrace mediocrity. It has become a social danger and a cankerworm that we all must deal with, if we must smell development. One funny thing is that the youths of today are born in a mediocre culture which makes it a little difficult though, not impossible for them to extricate themselves from this mental slavery. An instance is a country like Nigeria where mediocrity is celebrated and unrebuked underachievement seems to be the order of the day. A governor ends up building a single road during his tenure and he is revered as the next messiah. An author writes a book with no quality and form and yet, he gets sponsored to represent Nigerian Literature overseas. One with no qualities of being elected or with any credentials gets promoted faster than others. There is a serious room for ordinariness and a very near absence of professionalism and exceptionalism in our personal and public life. There is no way a nation can grow as long as it continues in this mindless celebration of mediocrity.

Our institutions of learning where future minds are trained is nothing to write home about. When was the last time we had any ground breaking or revolutionary research in any of our institutions of learning? What known innovation can we boast of? Normally, a university is supposed to foster critical and mature thinking, encourage enterprising dialogue and spur research ideas and initiatives. The best and sharpest intellects are supposed to gather at universities and influence national conversations and ideas. Not just the universities alone, all institutions of learning are supposed to seize the day and take good advantage of the youths. However the reverse seems to be the case. The quest for healthy competition in various fields is fasting eroding us even in the area of the virtues and the good life.

It is a fact that Nigeria is bedeviled with economic, political and religious problems. These problems stare us in the face daily. However, we should not be running around for solutions to these problems giving the number of graduates we produce every year in different fields. By now, insightful solutions should have been proffered to the issues that constantly stares us in the face. Going down memory lane some 600 years ago in the 15th century, doctors at universities in Timbuktu in the present day Mali were performing eye surgeons, removing cataracts. This was as far back as the 15th century. At the dawn of the 21st century, what efforts have been put in place to build and improve on the already existing foundation?

I wouldn’t know the number of youths today that form clubs and societies that encourages mediocrity and eschews independent thinking. The interest of today’s youths lies in the fascination from the internet and the entertainment sectors. Although,the internet when channeled to positive areas can be used to achieve great things in the future. It can be an avenue to develop one’s talents and potentials in the field that one so desires. Sadly today, the internet has been turned by many into an area where pornography and fraud take place.

Furthermore, even those with no opportunity to attend formal education find it difficult to fan into flame the natural gifts and potentials God has endowed them with. The quest to perfect oneself even in the artistic skills is eroding us. What we have today is the get rich quick syndrome that has pervaded the minds of the youths. There is a dare need for a change of attitude and mentality. Bob marley in his freedom somg talks about “Emancipating oneself from mental slavery”. Unless a radical change takes place where mediocrity and its attributes are shunned, then the future will certainly remain bleak for all of us.

 

RESISTING THE CULTURE OF MEDIOCRITY AND CHAMPIONING EXCELLENCE (PANACEAS AND CONCLUSION)

As I gradually conclude this piece, it is good to note that, mediocrity cannot be destroyed. It can only be resisted. What is necessary is one’s attitude towards it. It is one’s attitude that determines its strength and if it is to be countered, one must not neglect his attitudes. By resisting mediocrity one is invariably saying yes to excellence in any field he finds himself. Excellence is resilient. It is determined. It feeds on aspiration and hope and its strength lies in a powerful instinct which relentlessly drives it not only to compete with brilliance but to surpass it. Excellence can only survive through the aid of excellence but this is not so with mediocrity. It can survive just anywhere. This is why one has to be vigilant and focused on rooting out those things that will sprout the growth of mediocrity.

It is quite an arduous task. To make this move involves overcoming a massive inertia. It requires absolute commitment and a relentless drive to lift expectations. When we (especially the youths) begin this mind revolution, we can be rest assured that we can begin to compete favourably as world citizens with our peers outside the shores of Nigeria and of course our society will be greatly improved.

 

STANLEY C. IJEOMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African philosophy, american election, american politics, Atheism, New atheism, New Year, Nigeria, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, science, science fiction movies, Uncategorized, Western philosophy

THANK YOU FR ARISTOTLE BUT PHILOSOPHY MUST TRANSCEND

PRELUDE
The man dies, but his legacy and spirit still hovers and lives on. It’s been thousands of years since the birth and death of Aristotle, the wise man of Stagira. Yet, it is not an over statement to say that, his works still hold strong grips not only in the intellectual world but also in other strata of education. In philosophy all other philosophical works are seen as “Footnotes to his works” as a result of his huge impact in the branches of Philosophy. While I laud and doff my cap for this great ancestor, I dare to say that time is already late for philosophy especially that of the West which is heavily influenced by Aristotle to take up their mats and start walking. If philosophy must remain progressive and critical which is due to its nature, she must scrutinize all systems and traditions. None is sacrosanct. Nonetheless, since the death of Aristotle, everything about his teachings seems to be swallowed hook, line and sinker. The West seem to give a blind eye to the severe dangers and polarities posed by some of his teachings especially his metaphysics heavily ladened with his Philosophy of essence. It is my intention in this work somewhat to say that a greater cause of the polarity and dichotomizing tendencies that we see today in western philosophy and her allies have their roots in Aristotle’s philosophy of essence. While I applaud still his laudable contributions, I think it is high time his disciples accept his teachings while putting on their critical lenses.
MUCH ADO ABOUT ARISTOTLE’S PHILOSOPHY OF ESSENCE
One sees in the work of Aristotle especially his “Metaphysics”, the basic teachings about the Philosophy of essence . Looking at his metaphysics Book C, 2 Aristotle refers to Metaphysics as “First Philosophy”, because for him, it investigates the first principles, the ultimate causes of all things and the foundation of truths. The main focus of Metaphysics for Aristotle is the study of substance or essence. This means that, even if there are many substances, Aristotle recognizes that metaphysics or first Philosophy has to do with the unchangeable substance. In his words:
If there is no substance other than those which were formed by nature, natural science will be the first science; but if there is an immovable substance, the science of this must be prior and must be first Philosophy and universal in this way, because it is first. And, it will belong to this to consider being qua- being both what it is and the attributes which belong to it qua being
He goes on further to make an important distinction. The distinction between the wise and the unwise. Aristotle held strongly that it belongs to the character of the wise to know being as being which is the essence of reality. His reasons which he stated in his above cited works are because; the wise man knows all things as far as possible. Secondly, the wise man can learn things that are difficult and not easy for the unwise to know. He sums it up by saying that, the wise man must not be ordered but must order, he must not be subject to obedience but should subject others to obey. We shall see the great implications of this in our next section.
ONTOLOGICAL AND EXISTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF LONG YEARS OF ADHERENCE TO ARISTOTLE’S PHILOSOPHY OF ESSENCE.
The first question in this sub-section is, what is actually wrong with Aristotle’s philosophy of essence nay his metaphysic? Well, one can say that, his metaphysics is built under a mindset that has sees reality, human inter-personal relationship and science in a polarized, exclusivist and non-complementary mode this is largely seen in his dual conception of reality into substance and accidents, being and non-being which has become widespread even to inter-human relationships.
The first consequence (Ontological) of an attachment to Aristotle’s metaphysics is a polarized conception of reality. As a result of long years of faithfulness and subscription to the thoughts and ideas of this great man by the western counterparts, we see them quickly believing without much criticism that, substance or essence does not need accidents to subsist whereas accidents need substances on which they inhere. This will serve as one of the major loop holes inherent in western philosophy and thoughts. After all, the likes of Coppleston so much believed that, Aristotle’s Metaphysics had a tremendous influence on the subsequent thought of Europe
What one must note here is that, substance and accidents constitute what makes reality whole and complete. Were we to commit ourselves to the assumption that the substance is the very thing that makes a thing what it is, then we shall find ourselves in a very paradoxical situation where we might have to consider the dimension of accidents as a dispensable aspect of being in history.
In reality, we know that there are accidents that the mind can artificially isolate for such individual consideration. This is the case with almost all accidents such as beauty, age, sex colour, tribe e.t.c the mind can isolate these accidents, theoretically for independent consideration based on their goodness in itself. Besides, there is an unanswered question by the top disciples of Aristotle, if the existence of accidents is dependent on the existence of substances, how do we know substances except by conceptualizing them? If we conceptualize them, then their existence is dependent on all the possible relations that enter into their emergence in the process of cognition, this is applicable to the essence of God that can be conceptualized analogously.
When now, Aristotle makes the conceptualization of accidents dependent on substances, then accidents pure and simple would either have no existence or where they do exist as pure abstract discrete quantities or qualities would not have or require any essence. This means that, either substances alone exist or accidents would become our substances. If we accept this view, then Aristotle’s whole doctrine of pluralistic realism would have a very serious question mark. The solution to this age long error is that, for there to be things in the way we know them, we must talk about the serious linkage between substances and their accidents. A mutual complementary relationship must exist between these two where both substance and accidents need each other and serve each other in their being.
On the existential plane, we see that the character of accidents as conceived by Aristotle are so mistaken that they have turned into cases of tensions and conflicts in the wider society. Are we thus surprised that such issues as race, tribe, nationality, skin colour and so on play decisive roles and get extraordinary meanings in our lives and in our dealings with others? Today as well as in the past, people are crying out as to how strangers and foreigners are treated and forced to play roles that are inhuman because of their status. The so called craze for women emancipation and liberation all stems from the age long distinction and undue emphasis placed between substance and accidents.
Asouzu is right in affirming that, Aristotle’s ontology “has an inherent moment of bifurcation which can always be turned one way or the other to achieve desired ideological gains”. The wise and the unwise, the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor can co-exist only if the requisite mindset is acquired so as to make this possible. If philosophy must remain love of wisdom and truth (or as some contemporary scholars will refer to it as construction of knowledge) then, we must transcend the confines of the Aristoltelian world filled with so many paradoxes and contradictions. In this case, I think of a philosophy of complementation and not one of rejection and exclusiveness.
TRANSCENDING THE LEGACIES OF FR ARISTOTLE THROUGH FR ASOUZU’S IBUANYIDANDA PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy in our contemporary times is in dire need of a harmonized idea of being so as to make our idea of science and inter-human relationship meaningful. This can be achieved if there is a way to relate essence ( Substance) and accidents, ends and means, practical reason and theoretical reason such that their realization can be mutually harmonized. Doing this, we go a long way to end the subject-object divide often experienced in philosophy. This is the task of Ibuanyidanda Philosophy.
The concept Ibuanyidanda draws its inspiration from the teachings of traditional Igbo Philosophers of the complementary system of thought. The closest English equivalent to the word “Ibuanyidanda” is Complementarity. Danda are the species of ants that have the capcity to carry out loads that are naturally bigger than they are as a result of the mutual dependence and interdependence that exist between the two. Traditional Igbos thus say Ibuanyidanda( this means that no task is insurmountable for danda).
Applying this to philosophy, Asouzu makes us understand that the mutual dependence that exists in complementarity as exemplified by the ants is strongly negated by Aristotle’s philosophy of essence which we have seen above. To remind us, we stated earlier that Aristotle understands reality through the concept of essence or substance which does not need any accident to subsist. Fidelity to this Aristotlelian mindset has bred strong exclusivity and polarity. Under the lens of Ibuanyidanda, being is re-defined and given a new meaning. Being is that “on account of which anything that exists serves a missing link of reality” missing links are diverse entities within the framework of a whole and as they are complementarily related. They are all the important units that make up the whole; substances and their accidents inclusive. Here, nothing is left out and nothing is more important than the other.
With this in mind Fr Asouzu as against Fr Aristotle sees existence as, to be in a complementary relationship (ka so mu adina) as opposed to being alone (ka so mu di). Having discovered further that the problem we have stem from the mindset with which philosophy has been practiced all these years, fr Asouzu advocates for a Noetic Propadeutic or a pre-pedagogy of the mind so as to enable individuals acquire a complementary action through complementary education to further overcome the subject-object dichotomy. Complementarism having gained wide acclaim in academic circles has gone a long way in resolving the excesses from the philosophy of Aristotle by advocating for a mutual understanding and harmonization of reality.
CONCLUSION
Philosophy is always in constant need of overhaul. What I have done above is not in any way to denigrate the efforts of one of our greatest ancestors in the field of Philosophy. I tend rather to see it as the Ponty’s view of riding on the shoulders of giants so as to give clarity and objectivity to philosophical thoughts. The Aristotleian metaphysics which both western and African scholars hold today with closeed fists must be reformulated or totally abandoned so as to give way for novel approaches (not just that of Asouzu) to redress the metaphysical cum existential issues bordering the philosophical milieu. The journey and efforts has just begun and we must not rest on our oars. Scholars both western and African must not be afraid to truly allow the Soul of Aristotelian Metaphysics to “rest in peace”. Mediocrity and all forms of uncomplimentary approach to reality must be shunned for progress to be made. The challenge is for Philosophy today to go for a Study of the Totality of reality which will steer the wheel of progress and development. This will be a sign of our commitment to scholarship and also our ability to put into practice the critical part of our philosophy.

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THE REVOLUTION OF  INTERIOR SILENCE : REDISCOVERING HER OASES. 

In order for us to discover more the meaning and essence of our existence, it is necessary that we must drift away and rediscover anew the power of silence. Silence here does not just imply keeping mute neither does it imply remaining cold, indifferent and timid in the face of evils. Our concept of silence here implies carving out a considerable amount of time for self reflection and interior conversation with our being.  Our modern world marked with technological mastery seems to downplay this attitude. Most of us find it difficult to keep still even while sleeping. We tend to relish one form of noise at one point or the other. Silence is not our enemy. It is in fact a great teacher. By allowing stillness to unfold, we come very close to our true self. The contemporary man faces many problems today as a result of his inability to break out of his noisy environment. Cardinal Robert Sarah reflecting on this points at “the dictatorship of noise” which is very pervasive today. Noise of course has its negative effects. Today in the hospitals and houses of psychologists people constantly complain of increase in stress levels. These are not just due to the nature of our work places or family problems but also fruits of excessive noise. In addition to stress levels, we have reduced mental energy, daily unexamined lives and consciences. No one sees the need for stock taking and sober reflection.  This might actually pose the question, are we afraid of what we will discover when we come face to face with ourselves?  From the moment when we are awake, we are already confronted with some inner noise, our stream of thoughts,  memories,  day dreams and fantasies, fears. One with no interior silence will continue navigating between the past and the uncertain future without learning how to live in the present. This is because, he has lost touch with the “teacher within”, the peace of soul. We can also loose our authenticity. Just like a sponge, our minds unknowingly pick up all kinds of behaviours, perceptions from the world around us, our TVs internet, videos. That is why the wise man must return to silence again. Today, the topic of meditation is not widely discussed except within the religious setting. People tend to see meditation as a prerogative of those who wish to embrace a religious vocation. This is quite erroneous. Every man needs some alone time and moments of introspection devoid of any religion or not. With interior silence, we can rebalance our value system. When people focus their attention on frivolities and shadows, we can always turn our gaze to the question of a meaningful existence. Silence can be the catalyst. We are in constant need of Deegotizing ourselves so that the I can emerge. A gregarious civilization and the rationalizing slogans of the crowd must be avoided. The man who desires to excel in character must retire to himself. Through this, new windows are opened, new lights shine in and one sees a strong resolution to be better emerging from the Soul. Have a blissful week! 

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WHITHER NIGERIA AT 56?… 

Against all odds, I join my voice to that of other good spirited Nigerians to wish our beloved country a happy independence. Wow! 56 years has passed on since we struggled to break free from the shackles of colonialism. But at 56,it seems we are still held bondage by another form of “colonial masters”. At this critical period in Nigerian history we have become our own colonial masters who like the proverbial dog has eaten the bone hung on his neck. It is true that we are free from colonial masters with white skin colours but our fellow black skins continue to torment us more and soak us in abject poverty and penury.        It is not an exaggeration that ever since we gained our independence on a platter of gold, it has been from one problem to another. We have not enjoyed genuine freedom or national prosperity. A quick glance at our daillies will reveal gory stories of tribalism, political instabilities, ethnic hatred, poor leadership, religious ignorance to mention but a few. These I must humbly submit is a failure on the path of both the so called military and democratic governments. Talking about religion, I dare say that the issue of prosperity Gospel is also taking a devastating turn in our country. Thanks to the so called economic inactivity (recession). While our neighbours are tapping into the next frontiers  of technological innovations and advancements, some religious leaders fuel the problem more by encouraging their members to look up to “heaven” where God will continue raining down manna. What an insult to the African mind and intelligence! This sense of mediocrity and false religiosity has crept into our educational sector. A visit to most university campuses will show cases  of immorality, strikes, poor and inefficient lecturers. This is why the issue of brain drain is increasingly sky rocketing even to our neighbouring countries like Ghana and South Africa.  Whither NIGERIA at 56? Is thus a clarion call not just for celebration but more for stock taking. A call to use our compass to cross check whether we are on course or if we have lost our way as a nation. More than ever we are running late in our work of nation building. As we continue to wait for the transformation promised by the presence administration, we as a nation must not fail to play our own paths well. Everything must not be done by the government, the wealthy amongst us can use a little portion of their wealth to help the masses, we can also do better by shunning negative habits, disordeliness and fraud which does not necessarily come from the government. Ours is not to sit down and judge history. Yes, we must realize the mistakes of the past but we must strive earnestly to improve the present in order to better our tomorrow. We must not give up in our search for a healthy nation. We can disprove those who think that we are an utter disappointment or a light that refused to shine. Some analysts are of the view that at 56 we are the locus classicus of an injury not properly managed. But I Still believe that we have not defiled “pathological Genius”. There is still some potency. Hope still abounds despite our present state. Some years past, a dire prediction was made that Nigeria will soon disintegrate. The events that took place during the just concluded elections could have necessitated that. But here we are today still in one piece. We are not just victims of neo-colonialists/colonialists  influences as some scholars would want us to believe. We are also victims of poverty of good leadership emanating from ourselves. The Apc’s mantra of change must note that we do not want any type of change except that which will reshape the future of our beloved country. The present administration has a lot to catch up with albeit there is no time. She must not loose sight of a proper articulation of a grand vision for the country so as to give her a deserving place in the global arena. At this age we are tired of pseudo promises and empty arguments. We cannot continue to apportion blames on the past regimes. Enough on emphasis on secondary issues and trivialities. One whose house is on fire does not chase rats! Let us take the bull at the horn to see how Nigeria with its rich and pluralistic nature can become a source and means of unification instead of division. May the labours of our heroes past never be in vain! Happy birthday Nigeria! God loves us! 

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VIRTUE A DANGEROUS CAREER?

This reflection is a fruit of a mutual discussion i had with an online friend of mine last week. The crux of our conversation was on the current crisis bedevilling our modern world and what actually was the place of those who wish to steer the virtuous paddle. As the discussion progressed, he said to me “actually Stan, I quite agree with those who say that, virtue is a dangerous career.” At first, i kept silent allowing the words to sink in then, we continued with our chat. But after then, i sank into deep reflection, pondering what it actually meant for virtue to be a danger to the one who decides to wear her mantle.

I do not intend in this work to thread the path of an exhaustive lecture towards philosophical virtues. i reserve that exclusively to scholars in Philosophical Ethics and Moral Theology. My interest here is simple. To reflect on how and why virtue can be a danger and the hope of those who still maintain this life or aspire towards it. is it possible that they can find a light at the end of the tunnel?

Virtue from the Latin “virtus” and the ancient Greek “arete” simply means moral excellence. it is a trait or a quality deemed to be morally good and this is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral well being. Following the above definition, any trait or quality that promotes good moral well being can be called virtues. There are however different kinds of virtues but i think the four classical platonian cardinal virtues encapsulates most of the virtuous acts; (prudence, temperance, courage and justice). virtue then is a good habit(habitus). The Catechism calls it “a firm disposition that allows the person not only to perform good acts but also to give the best of himself”. The question now is, can adapting this habitual and firm disposition to do good pose a threat to the agent? how is this possible? why must this be so? well i think that if it is not actually a dangerous career, Perfect Goodness would not have been crucified like a thief. Saint Paul once said in his letter to the Galatians “Have I made enemies because i tell you the truth?(4:16). Here we see the courage to be truthful (Virtue) being an avenue to acquire more enemies. (we know that enemies may pose dangers to one’s life).

Virtue can be hated for so many reasons which  makes it possible to attract dangers. The first reason is pride which refuses to admit that a position, statement or action once taken can be a false one. Here we observe that some of us do not like to be contradicted or proven false. All their acts are good and so when you come with an action that gears at correcting them, Beware! you could be threading a dangerous path! you could loose your head like John the Baptist!

Virtue can also pose a dangerous path because accepting the message of the virtuous man might require the “giving up” of our evil ways. An instance, if i post on my facebook wall or in my blog the following “ALL THOSE WHO COMMIT FORNICATION IN THE NAME OF DATING ARE DESTROYING THEIR BODIES WHICH IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD”, do not be surprised then at the number of criticisms, verbal attacks and over rationalization that will thrall my blog or wall. A keen observer will notice that, part of the reason for such comments will be that, accepting the truth of the above message will imply giving up fornication during dating. Very few people can boast of that.

Virtue can also arouse hatred if it implies that another agent has come to discover the truth of our sins and is not convinced by our false face of immorality that has permeated our world. This is why the virtuous man may be threading a dangerous path because, he is swimming against the current. In our world today, the above three examples are clearly metamorphosing into a Residual Escapism. This escapism sheds its light today in the various acts of indifference, ridicule and persecution of the truth. i guess it did not actually begin with us. After all, Pilate asked Jesus the vexing question “what is truth?” in other words Pilate was asking what is virtue? what does the good life actually consist of?

Virtue is not just a mere academic and abstract theory. It has some element of witnessing that goes with it. Witnessing to a good and a habitual disposition that is already innate in man. This is why the martyrs are usually respected for their excellence in one heroic act or another. Since we have seen that virtue can sometimes pose a threat, those who wish to thread this path must be disposed to fish in dangerous waters if need be. They must know that the can sometimes ;live in an atmosphere of coldness to their deepest beliefs, this is more true because of the pervasive ideological currents, human deceptions and trickery that seem to entice people into error. However this makes the task of witnessing to virtues more urgent. As the igbos say “Anaghi aso mgbagbu hara iga ogu( one does not avoid going to war because of being shot). Those wishing to thread this path are like those who want to pass through the proverbial narrow gate or undertake the Igbo Proverbial concept of war.

Thus, this is my little way of encouraging all of us not to be afraid of taking this path because i strongly believe that it is through this path that the spirit of God can recreate the face of the earth. Once this recreation takes place, then just like Gandhi spoke about in the year 1925 we can think of a society where people will value work so as to acquire wealth, to enjoy pleasure with a conscience, to acquire knowledge alongside characterimages4images4stan ijeoma memoir, to engage in business carrying the spirit of ethics, to practice science with a humane heart and to participate in politics with principles.

HAVE A BLISSFUL WEEK!!!