True Reality: Pun Or Paradox

By Ogunaike Samuel

All I shall tell in this court shall be the truth, nothing but the truth. Devoid of any exaggeration, this household expression has seated itself unchallenged in the court system and by literary extension, to the logic warehouse of the citizens of the universe, especially, those of African descent. Is every truth a reality and all realities true? That the witness said the truth is no proof that his articulation is realistic. This is not some naked philosophy but a conscious call by the conscionable infinite or finite universe to the unconscious victims, the vulnerable and the casualties running amiss on the life tracks.

At the individual level, the reigning mentality that the ultimate output is dependent on an invisible and invincible God, who perhaps, throws some dice to set the affairs of man straight. Some liberal philosophers have equally lent credence to this truism: we are nothing but pencil in the hand of the creator. As a matter of fact, there is one that has survived my fecund heart for years: ...we all dance to the beat of the drummer. At this sacred point, one should add the voice of the ecclesiastical to this whole truth: while we are preordained, events are predetermined. It is, however, a pious truth that since God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, at least for us who are non-atheists, He, then, to a large degree, should have the right to predeterminism. In my view, this is true but not realistic. Indeed, understanding the overlapping relationship between truth and reality is the very beginning of true wisdom. Considering the ravaging epidemic that the world is, today, confronted with, some households are living it hard yet console themselves with one of the ecclesiastical truths: God does as He pleases. This is true but the unfortunate reality of a tough time is the consequence of living for today or paying scant attention to tomorrow. Many a time, an individual has been wrongly educated to see the truth as the reality. The truth is, there is Covid19, the reality is you never for once prepared for the unknown. Life happens to everyone and seasons change. Even if events are predetermined, realities are not. Your ongoing harsh moments are interlinked to your embrace of hope, which is good, but not good enough. Hope without preparation and readiness is the worst system anyone can imagine. Covid 19, the unpleasant teacher, has taught a true real lesson: live for tomorrow, for hope is not a strategy.

At the society level, our politicians are learning it the hard way. We hope they are learning and rapidly absorbing the true real lessons of years of medical neglect and abandonment. Decades of siphoning and chronically callous looting. Our proportion of this epidemic is less than 400. Shamefully, we have outrun resources. A governor had to be relocated to another state for medical attention. What a time! We have sowed heavy corruption, now, let's reap massive pains. It is true that we may not have the sophistication and expertise of the white man, again, we may be unmatchable for him in terms of resources but the reality is, if we had laid our bed well, we would have lain differently on it. Is reality what the Bible expresses as: what a man sows, he reaps? Definitely, Nigeria like her African siblings are today victims of reality not casualties of truth. The truth we know, but the reality we ignore. According to the International Medical Travel Journal, Nigerian politicians and officials have practised medical tourism for decades with around $2 billion estimate. Now that they can't jet out, they rely on what has been our age long reliance- ill-equipped hospitals. For the first time, they are receiving treatment at home, with trust in our medical personnel. With covid 19, reality has overtaken the truth. Despite our endowed resources, we do not in any way have a world class health system. Whenever new hospitals are launched, they are so starved of operating cash that some have been closed or made to operate way below capacity. If covid 19 exited, would Nigerian leaders match truth with reality?

Samuel Ogunnaike Wrote from Lagos