OGA, HIS GATE-MAN AND HIS DRIVER (4)
With Rev. Canon Chinemerem Uche
Donald wrote on his his site, Donald @lifeoptimizer.com “To live your life to the fullest, one key factor you need to remember is the size of your dreams. If your dreams are small, you will miss many things in life. You will miss them not because they are out of your reach, but because your limiting beliefs hinder you from reaching them.” Many people are poor today because of the size of their dream. Many still dwell on small things because they are afraid of doing great things or take risk. Everybody will not become an “Oga” or “Big man,” but no matter the level we operate from, the Lord demands excellence from us. If you are a driver or gate man, the Lord expects you to do the work excellently. Excellence is not limited to those who command human and financial resources. The Bible says that it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (NIV). The Good News Version interprets this faithfulness to mean being faithful to the master. There is no man on earth who is a master or supervisor over himself. Even the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is answerable to firstly to those who elected him, the legislator and the constitution.
I have seen bosses who commend their drivers for being meticulous with the vehicle entrusted to them. One of them once said, “My driver handles my car as if it is his own. He spends time washing it and making sure it is very neat.” This is a worthy commendation and such drivers should be rewarded. A word of commendation and some material and financial reward go a long way in making the staff under you zealous and dedicated to duty. In the satire we have been reading you will notice a driver who said if the rapture should take place that he would quickly inform his boos so that they both will go to meet the Lord together. This shows a very cordial and fatherly relationship between the boss and this driver. Many Bosses do help to pay the hospital, housing and school bills of their subordinates, this though a commendable attitude but should not be seen as a right by the subordinates. But it is advisable that a wise boss should ensure he sleeps with his (two) eyes closed by helping to kindly see to some aspects of his subordinates’ welfare that can only be seen as a privilege and not a right.
There are some subordinates however and less privileged people that can never be placated or changed by acts of kindness. During the time St Cyprian’s Church, Federal Housing Estate was worshiping at the Unity Primary School; I learned that a beggar came to the church one day begging for money. When accosted by some members of the church who offered to pray for him so that he would receive his sight, the beggar refused and preferred to remain blind in order to keep begging. He was therefore enjoying the benefits that he gained through begging. I also doubted if the man was actually blind. I have also had a case of a young man who kept terrorizing the elder brother to sell their landed property so that he can complete his education. The elder brother obliged after much pressure and the land was sold for almost half a million Naira. That was about thirteen years ago. The elder brother who was gainfully employed however insisted that the young man will go to school from his house while he paid the money into a special account for the sole aim of funding his education. The young man on hearing this threatened fire and brimstone insisting he was old enough to cater for himself. So off he went with his share of money! Two weeks later the Young man bought household electronics, new clothes and tastefully furnished a room in the village where he enjoyed himself with women. After six months he was poor again. Just like a terrorist, this young man started disturbing the entire family asking for another land to be sold. This time around he claimed needed money to start a business. He was rather offered a job to drive a school proprietor. The job included free education for his children if he got married, free breakfast and lunch, free accommodation and a period of leave. This man never took the job. Within one year he was married -after one of the girls got pregnant for him. Within two years again he was divorced and already had another baby from another woman whom he brought in as his next wife. Within another year, the second wife called it quit and he got married again to another woman who had another issue for him.
This young man however goes about telling people how his elder brother is well connected and living big and yet he operates in squalor. Some of these gate men, drivers and so called less privileged can be likened to the young man in this story. One man once told me, “My brother wears very costly dresses that I cannot wear and lives big. He also expects me to fund his luxury, but what I want him to know is that if I were living the way he lives now, I would not have gotten to this level of comfort.”
We blame the Government for everything but fail to do the very little we can to change our environment. When we initiate dreams to help ourselves we do it selfishly. There is no “We” in our dreams but “Me.” Everybody wants his own, and when this kind of mentality persists, we can never be better as people. Donald@lifeoptimizer wrote that “your dreams must be about your contribution to the world. They must be about giving rather than receiving. If you focus only on yourself, you won’t feel fulfilled – even if you get what you want.” We are presently enmeshed in a rat race of selfish atomistic preoccupation. That is why our universities are not serious about research and new discoveries. If some of our university professors are serious about research breakthrough and academic excellence, they would not be busy with chasing local chieftaincy titles and political offices. Our health care delivery system cannot work because a majority of our health professionals work for money and not honour. Those who work for money can do anything to get money and this is very unhealthy and dangerous for national development.