Too much of everything is bad – including water.
What an irony, that, such a sweet sounding name has been the harbinger of so much mayhem? The images of the horrific devastion caused by Hurricane Sandy has flooded the internet and rightly so. We’ve all seen the images of the catastrophic losses that mother nature inflicted on her children. We’ve also seen and read the heroic and selfless actions of individuals who rose up to help their neighbors. Some even gave up their lives to save others in the process. This is one of the most admired traits seen in the American people. “People helping people.” They all always pull together in the time of adversity irrespective of their differences. Of course, their government also always rise to the occasion too. However, in their own case, the people never expect their governments to do everything. Relief and rebuilding largely come from individuals, organizations, neighbors and communal efforts. There, you will not find people wringing their hands, whining and complaining against their governments. Everyone, (individuals, companies, organization, etc etc ) stepping out and with rolled up “shirt-sleeves” not only ask, “What can I do to help?”, they also put life and action into their sympathy and empathy. Everyone helps to rebuild shattered lives – people helping people.
“What you are looking for in Sokoto city is right inside the pocket of your “shokoto”.” (shokoto means; a pair of trousers in Yoruba language)
Back at home, in our own very backyard, we have witnessed devasting floods in the Niger Delta area and several other parts of our country. You and I already know what our governments can do and are doing. So, let us leave that one out of the question. The issue I am raising here is, “What have I done to help these flood victims?” And, “what have you done from your own little corner to bring succour to these people?”
Don’t just fold your hands while complaining and watching the TV screens of these catastrophic destruction all over the place – far away and near ar home. You may not be able to go to those Niger Delta villages or New York city to help in person. But, wait, your money can go. Your N100s can go there. So can your N1000s, N10,000s and your N1,000,000s. Your N1,000,000s is not too much, neither is your N100 too little. “What is the bank account number?”, you ask. Don’t worry. Many of us already belong to credible and trustworthy civic bodies, churches, mosques, non-profit organizations, clubs, societies, companies, unions etc, etc. The local committees of the Red Cross & Red Crescent and reputable NGOs are also there. Some of us are happily living in our own personal or rented houses. Just stop and think for a moment. Can you ever imagine what it means? “You are rudely woken up in the middle of the night one day to discover that your life and the lives of your loved ones are in a clearly present and imminent danger, your house and all your material possessions are being swept away by flood?”
“Bad news,” as the saying goes, “is good news.” Don’t just fold your hands, looking at the screen and sighing in seeming helplessness, “oohhhh!”, “aaahhh!”, “yeepah!.” “yee paripah!”
The little good you do from your own little corner will bring hope and laughter to some lives in distress. Make a commitment. Do something today. Do not say, “It is not my concern”, because it is. Do not say, “there is nothing I can do”, because there is so much impact you can make. That seemingly little contribution, yours and mine will add up to put laughter and warmth to the beleaugered faces of our distressed brothers and sisters that have been ravaged by flood all over our nation.
Charity begins at home though it never ends there.
“My people, make we think o.” Not to only think. My people let us act. Today.