On Peace: Do More Good

Amb. Tunde Ogunyale

Ed. 192/ 14.01.2022

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” –  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The year 2022 is an exciting year and its ship has already left the harbour with all of us in it. On this never-been journey, humanity is depending on you to be humane towards men so we could have a smooth sail with everything good and beautiful. You probably, like many other serious-minded individuals, have a clear goal and expectation you have drawn a plan for or are planning to develop a strategy to achieve and consciously work towards this year. Great. I wished you knew, however, that at some point this year your help, solicited or otherwise, will be needed by some as much as you will also need the aids of some with or without solicitation to hit your goal.

Many of the challenges that befall us today as a people are what we could individually help in solving significantly if only we will take responsibility. According to UNICEF for example, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. Notwithstanding the fact that primary education is somewhat free and compulsory, about 10.5 million of the children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Research shows that one of the main reasons why children drop out of school is due to a lack of financial capacity to meet their academic needs.

 Similarly, hunger, a long-time known pandemic to the masses, is reported by the United Nations to be responsible for the avoidable death of 25,000 people daily, including more than 10,000 children. In contrast, however, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year- approximately 1.3 billion tons- gets lost or wasted as reported by the United Nations Environment Programme. It is quite an unfortunate imbalance.

 Knowing all this, one could not but reiterate the voice of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of blessed memory when he said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”.  Apt. What is your contribution? How do you respond to these glaring challenges? Did you know you could save a life or more even with your token? With your N13,000 (Thirteen Thousand Naira) or $26 donated for feeding, you could help a child in a Nigerian public school remain in school for 13 weeks, a full term at the rate of N200 per day for feeding in school! Truth is, if most of these out-of-school children could afford just an N100 (One Hundred Naira) daily for feeding in school, they would not be seen roaming the street hawking sachet water or begging while their colleagues are in school.

You could also be generous with your food and food items. Locate and give to the needy. Enough of food wastage. Many people only think of the less privileged on Christmas Day and make effort to visit or serve them food on Christmas Day and probably on New Year, too, and that’s it. This is a good gesture but if we can make effort to do this more often, it will make a big difference.

This article, you should know, encourages me first as the author- to do more for humanity- and I hope it encourages you, too. Every religion preaches kindness and compassion and it’s emphasized in their holy books. The Holy Bible for example in Galatians 6:9 has this to say: “So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest”.  Among other things, there is a reward for helping others – the joy of being able to help. Indeed, there are many little things that we could do as a form of selfless service to humanity; starting from a simple act of kindness to a colleague at work, to extending helping hands to a needy on the street, to divinely or selectively picking one or two out-of-school children from the street and helping them back to school, etc. There is something you can do.

Goodness is a sure means of demonstrating love, and love in action is a foundation for peaceful coexistence. Someone else testimony is in your hands. Release it. You are certainly the next person’s miracle waiting to happen. Don’t delay. Do more good. You are more! 

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