I have some professional colleagues, family members, friends and neighbours who are so busy with their jobs and businesses that they forget that they need to make an impact in the society. When I talk about my involvement in community development services, they ask if I am still doing NYSC. I am often internally disappointed at their responses because I expect them to know better. Sadly, a lot of people are this way- they don’t care about making an impact.
To be too engrossed in a job, business, religious activity or any other thing that it doesn’t give you consideration for impacting on your society is sheer lack of understanding. We should be able to give back to the society that accommodates us. A lot of people have the “Government should do it” mentality and lack a sense of responsibility.
I try to recommend NGO involvement to some of my colleagues but only a few deem it necessary. It is often “I don’t have time for such,” “I have better things to care about, why should I take on government’s job,” “I am not responsible for other people. My family is my only responsibility,” “How can I be working in a company and still be part of an NGO?” “If I want to help, there are people in my church I will help,” “Who says I’m not doing good? I am actively involved in religious activities. I don’t need to do community service.”
I repeat again, every man owes the community in which he lives, and our responsibilities to our families, organizations or religious groups do not replace or overrule our responsibilities to our society.
Come to think of it, the same people who are too serious, focusing on their businesses are the same people who nag about environmental problems. They see refuse on the streets and complain; they nag at power outages, criticize government leaders, hate it when people are begging on the streets. They complain about falling educational systems, inadequate health facilities, unclean environment, harsh economic weather. In fact, they complain about everything! They lack a sense of advocacy and community action; neither would they take steps to support the alleviation of poverty, reduction in environmental degradation or good governance. Their empathy for the society is merely pretense because it does not translate into passion and action.
While they are nagging, let those of us who have come to understand that the society needs us work towards achieving a better society. In our own capacities, let us collaborate to identify and solve problems in our communities because we are the change agents. As we make the society a better place, we are making the lives of others, as well as ourselves better.
In the next part of this article, I shall be suggesting ways in which we can contributes to the society and why it is important for us to be change agents.
Meanwhile, what do you think contributes to the apathy of the masses towards community development services? And why did you decide