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By NBF News
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Professionalism is the sum total of the ethical principles and values which define the tenets that ensure the integrity of the different professions and which being strictly mindful of, govern the conduct of all members of that professional body to which they must of necessity subscribe (acting within the provisions of laws of the land) to reflect the best traditions of the practice in which they are supposed to have been trained, in order to enhance the appeal base and esteem of their profession; with an encapsulated code of discipline to punish acts of professional shenanigan; and with provisions for interface with other professionals with whom to work in a symbiotic relationship; thereby emphasizing (through such) the need for interdisciplinary approach to the myriad of societal problems.

There is a sense in which adhering strictly to the tenets of professionalism, the true essence of our Being comes to light and we are propelled by our patriotic instinct to accomplish feats. In the absence of such discipline, the society turns into one of anything goes. And that leaves us with the wrong perception of issues and unwholesome attachment to them.

When we deliberately prevent works that are meant to promote societal well-being from seeing the light of the day, we not only kill such works; we also kill the spirit that is behind them. Likewise, when we corruptly enrich ourselves and diligently undermine cherished values thereby weaking the moral fabric of the society, we kill the society instalmentally. In all these, we engage in the moral equivalent of a military coup. There s obvious contradiction in condemning military coup only to be actively involved in its moral equivalent.

When, for instance, goodness (or anything that will benefit mankind in general) is made an object of contention, there is need to look diligently for the underlying motive(s). From any diligent studies, all contentions take place against the backdrop of the inseperable duo of poverty and hunger; which coexist like the Siamese twins; being interdependent. The issue of poverty and hunger cuts across status; and the attitude or inclination of the mind says it all; it does not matter if one is a neophyte or highly experienced; and the professional group to which he belongs. Therefore, in all situations in which issues are in contention, we are likely to have:

Poverty of the mind (a certainty); Material poverty (may or may not be); Intellectual/mental poverty (may or may not be); and Spiritual poverty (a certainty), etc.

Poverty (of any kind) induces hunger for what is lacking. In the negative sense, it makes us highly vulnerable to the machinations of the evil one by reducing us to willing tools in the hands. The condition is thus created which induces hunger for affluence, power, sex, fame, etc. In addition, it goes to precipitate the dependency (almajiri) syndrome. In the positive sense, it creates those conditions necessary to strive for what is evidently lacking.

For instance, in our spiritual poverty and with an abiding fear of God in us, the condition is thus created to enable us have the humility to ask God to fill our emptiness with all the measures of His fullness. And in our material poverty, we are challenged to work hard to create wealth. And this can only be achieved in the spirit or atmosphere of competitiveness.

The spirit is the last and the ultimate in existence. Beyond the spirit, there is no other existence. Now, let us approach this work from the spiritual angle.

God (as we should know) is the Most Supreme Spirit and Guiding Intelligence; He is holiness and perfection epitomized. As nothing is greater than its source, God is greater than all He that created put together. He created the immeasurable expanse called space; yet, His holiness is immeasurably more than that. Being the epitome of holiness, God is mindful of His holy Name; and for that, He warned against using His Name in vain. But people would always associate the holy Name of God with the evil inclinations of their narrow minds; inclinations that are desperately evil and devoid of conscience.

Conscience (we are told) is an open wound, only truth can heal it. Paraphrased, the mind is a void, only thoughts can fill it. The mind creates or generates thoughts and feeds on thoughts; and provides spiritual platform where goodness and evil slug it out for supremacy and control. Therefore, the mind is as polluted or purified as the thoughts that fill it. Good thoughts aggregate into the ennobling concepts that power change. But evil minds create and feed on impure thoughts that bring shame to our collective humanity. Consequently, the inclination of the heart is the aggregate sum of the thoughts that fill it; even as the very substance of a case is the aggregate sum of the values it throws up.

If we are to be like God (in whose Image we are made), we must shed our toga of sin in order to be clothed with Christ (our Lord and Saviour) as our new spiritual garment. Only then can we (like God) be mindful of the names we bear; their meanings; and what our names are associated with. And if to the warning against using the Name of God in vain, we add the value which God attaches to what He said (encapsulated in His vow that instead what He says will not bear fruit, let heaven and earth pass away), we get quite closer to appreciating the nature of God.

Having created us in His own perfect Image, we are enjoined to be mindful of the words we use (for what will kill is what issues from our mouths). Given that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, there is therefore the need to be mindful that our words, thoughts and deeds are subjected to the strictest discipline by simply made to pass through the spiritual crucible if they are to be spiritually refined; for the substance of discipline is mindfulness.

The categories of goodness and evil have different spiritual wavelengths; will ever manifest differently and be at polar end; being spiritual opposites. Consequently, to prosecute one's to defend the other. Prosecution of evil is as godly an act as the defence of evil is very ungodly; an aberration. Prosecution and defence represent the conflict of opposites. Therefore, prosecution and defence are parallel lines that can never meet; as contrasting tendencies aggregate at polar ends in the on-going dialectics.

Moshood writes from Lagos.