Christmas is a season that is celebrated by over two billion people worldwide. The focus of the season differs from one person to another. There are those whose pre-occupation is to maximize the season through commercial activities, while others see it as the season to unwind and enjoy themselves through partying. A large number of these people see it as the season when Jesus Christ-the Savior of the world was born. There is an ongoing debate about the certainty of the date of birth of Christ, but whether the date is accurate or not, I choose to see it differently. I also believe that if you can use the period to reflect on the quality of your life, the impact it has had on your generation and also look at the life that lies ahead of you, it will be worth the while.
In addition, if you could sit down and try to see beyond yourself and your immediate family, your eyes would be opened to individuals and families who probably don’t know where the next meal would come from. When you see these, then there is a probability that you would realize that what is normal to you in terms of your condition of living is actually a luxury to many individuals or families out there. You might eventually be moved to take out of what doesn’t necessarily count to you and make it count for others that are out there. I hope that there would be a family or two, five, ten, twenty, fifty or even hundreds out there that would be helped through you after you are done reading this article. It was crafted genuinely from my heart so that we would have a network of people who would be committed to this cause so that we can collectively make a difference in the lives of the people that fell into this category.
Abraham Maslow came up with a theory called the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It has five major levels of needs clearly illustrated. The physiological (breathing, food, water, sex, sleep), Safety (security of: body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health, property), Love/Sense of Belonging (friendship, family, sexual intimacy), Esteem (self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others) and Self-Actualization (morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts). If the lower needs are not met, advancing to the next level will only be a mirage. Until one level is crossed, the next will NEVER be a priority. If we want to see a better community, city, nation or world, an individual needs to be helped to the stage of Self Actualization.
I read an article by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It estimated that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries.
I realised that the higher the percentage, the more the consequences on a community, nation or the world. The following are some of the offshoots of the increasing rate;
1. Increase in crime rate. 2. Depreciation in infrastructure. 3. Increase in poverty rate. 4. Continuous drop in the quality of education. 5. Gradual extinction of value for human life. 6. Breeding hurtful and bitter generation. 7. Gradual extinction of love among people. 8. Stunted development of the environment. 9. Negative impact on the family.
You don’t necessarily need to have everything before you can make a difference in your world. One little touch of help over time will result in great impact. The touch could come in the form of;
1.Sponsorship in skill acquisition
2.Sponsorship in colleges and universities education
3.Mentoring, assisting in business set up.and taking responsibility
4.Partnering with an NGO devoted to adding value to people’s lives.
5.Setting up an organization in order to create job openings.
6.Adopting a less privileged person or persons. Taking responsibility to give them meaning in life.
7.Influencing policy change that border on a nation
The above stated involvement has a way of bringing a great change to the community, nation or the world at large.
When you fail to play your role in life, you will deny others the opportunity to play theirs. I once read the story of a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry. About that time he saw a little shed in the distance. So he made his way over to the shed and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note. The note read: “Pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it; if you do this you will get all the water you need.” Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in it and it worked, he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he might still die.
After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle. At first nothing seemed to happen and he got a little scared, but he kept pumping and finally water started coming out. So much water came out that he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. The note that he had found by the pump said, “After you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveller.” So the man refilled the jug and added this to the note: “Please prime the pump; believe me it works!”
When you remember that your survival is not the only reason for your existence, you will take your thinking and sensitivity some notches higher to include other people in the picture you hold. Someone once said that; “ Your life is too small to be the purpose of your life”.
If there was nothing for the traveller to use for the priming, he would have died. At the same time, if he was greedy not to make some available, it would have been the end for another person. We can literarily say that you are a door that opens other doors for other people. Opening that door might sound risky like the traveller hesitated for a while before he carried out the instruction, but it is a better decision for the good of the community, nation or the world at large.
The way i see it, one should make this season a time to contribute greatly to the general good of your community, nation or world at large. There are people who are in positions to positively impact their immediate community; however, a lot of these people have failed to act out their scripts in the global scheme of life due to selfishness, greed, fear of the future, insecurity and past hurts. It doesn’t matter if you are the head of your family or the CEO of a multinational, we all have our different scripts to act out and we are all set to fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Taking this route will make your life a reference and an inspiration for many to emulate. Touching lives entails lending a helping hand. Lending a helping hand require your freedom from insensitivity, self-centredness and greed.
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