How To Transform A Nation Through Truth And Honesty. (part One)
Most of the time when we talk about national transformation, what we often hear about is, politics, economics, numbers, etc. But today I want us to talk about national transformation from the perspective of such everyday principle as truth and honesty.
Most people can’t seem to see the relationship between truth, honesty and national development. In the real sense though, truth and honesty are some of the most powerful principles to developing a nation.
“Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.” - Abraham Lincoln
Truth is a fundamental principle that is needed for any form of building or construction. So also is honesty. If you see any country that is advanced and developed today, it is because that society is fundamentally based on principles of truth and honesty.
“The truth is the only thing worth having, and, in a civilized life, like ours, where so many risks are removed, facing it is almost the only courageous thing left to do.” - E.V. Lucas
The key challenge facing us today is to successfully transmit into daily and everyday lifestyle the principle of truth and honesty. True development only comes when the principles of truth and honesty have been successfully transmitted into the daily and everyday lifestyle of the people. When truth and honesty is successfully intertwined into the business world of a nation, the result is a boost in commerce.
When the economy of a country is based fundamentally on the principles of truth and honesty, that nation experiences economic stability. If a country successfully translate the principles of truth and honesty into their social life, then that country experiences peace, tranquility and serenity.
Social crisis is minimized in such a society. There is a high level of understanding between different ethnicities of the land. Social issues and problems are resolved in a civilized manner.
It is possible to have a rather tranquil political atmosphere in any given nation. The secret is to put truth and honesty as the foundation of the political structure in that nation.
Ladies and gentlemen, I intend to proof to you in this write up the economic and financial conversion that is actually attainable, thanks to this principle of truth and honesty. I wish to communicate to you the possibility of economic growth through honesty and truth. I also hope to be able to help you see how this principle could bring about healing and harmony in any nation.
Let’s start with the economy because that is one area that developing countries are always particular about. How can truth and honesty bring about economic prosperity?
Let me start my analysis with a story. I recently received a letter just a week before the presidential election in Nigeria from a young man whose name I will not mention here. He wrote me about his dilemma. He was coming from church when he discovered that one of the political parties had just pitched their tent in his neighborhood. He couldn’t pass by the blasting music and jubilation going on. He fell into the temptation of going to have a look at the happenings there, especially since he sensed that some of his Nollywood heroes were present and it was a good chance for him to have a look at them.
On getting there, this young man discovered that this was not just a jamboree of music, it was also a jamboree of largesse. Over his head, bags of rice and beans were been passed around. In all fairness to this young man, he actually wrote me to describe his dilemma, that day he did not take with him any of the largesse that were been distributed. He however confessed that he couldn’t sleep all night. The next day he too had to go and collect his own rice, beans and cash.
In his letter to me he was admitting that even though he knew what was right and that this particular party would not do anything good for the country, but he had an alibi or that is what he thought. He thought his actions were justified since if he didn’t take it, others were going to take it anyway.
Secondly he was in need, he really needed help. He needed the cash and food stuffs. Thirdly in his opinion everybody is corrupt anyway in Nigeria. That way, he managed to silent his conscience.
Dear readers, how many millions of Nigerians do you think actually act against their conscience on a daily basis. in their offices where the largesse come not in forms of rice, beans or sugar, but in form of millions of US dollars of Niger Delta oil.
What about in the general hospitals, where the money that is meant for patients, medications and equipment end up landing in foreign bank accounts. How many Nigerians think they have an alibi when they give bribes to the police men at the numerous police check points all over the nation?
How many people do you think tell themselves they have an alibi when the money that is to be used for road constructions are diverted into personal use and gains? How many universities could have been built, if not for people who believe they have an alibi?
Despite this pathetic story above, if you go to any gathering of Nigerians, everybody on daily basis thinks it is their duty to constantly condemn the corrupt politicians in the government for their corrupt practices. In the real sense however, the day to day corruption that is carried out everywhere in the country, from the streets to the offices are as detrimental to the nation as any other form of corruption.
This is a clear picture of the role of truth and honesty in transforming a nation. When truth and honesty is absent in the nation, it relates not just to the politicians. The young man who wrote me of his dilemma with the bags of rice, beans and sugar, was not looking at himself as being corrupt. But he surely thinks that the politicians are corrupt.
From this example alone, we see why national transformation is impossible, as long as ordinary citizens are as corrupt as the politicians in their daily lifestyle, the country will continue to suffer. I would not be surprised if the commuters who give bribes to police men on their way to their villages also think they are not corrupt, only the police men are corrupt. NO SIR!
A country cannot change, be transformed or developed as long as there is no truth and honesty as an everyday principle among the citizens of the nation. A sister recently told me of a story when she in the company if her Pastor were rushing to church. They were stopped by a greedy looking police man who demanded for his “blessing’ for the day. The Pastor was the first to give justification for the bribe they gave out to the police. After all even the bible says “give to Caesar what is Caesars.” According to him there is no problem, it is scriptural.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” ― Albert Einstein
One of the greatest indicators of how much truth and honesty is in a country, is easily seen by observing how people drive around the city. What is their attitude to the rules of road safety? What is their attitude towards other commuters? Do they try to beat the system by all means? Do they try to get their way by hook or by crook, or they follow the rules? That is also part of corruption!
Yet, most Nigerian drivers and commuters would not admit to the fact that they are part of the corruption in the nation. They would fight against the idea that they are corrupt. While in the real sense, they are corrupt because they don’t live by the principles of honesty and truth.