Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stereotype of the Future in My Society - My Reflections

It might seem too generalized, but the truth is that my immediate society sees little to plan for in the future, living basically for today!

Many factors are jointly responsible for this unwillingness of the people in my community to see the future as something that they can envision, plan and work towards.

Starting from the personal level, many people in my immediate society live their lives upon the erroneous fatalist concept of accepting everything as being destined, and not believing that they could envision a different future for their unfavorable realities and work towards its actualization.

Wrong interpretations of religious teachings play a big role in this commonplace resignation to fate. On a personal note, I’d prefer a theological approach that preaches envisioning a future, planning and praying towards its actualization, and WORKING HARD towards to ensure it comes to be!

Institutionally, the long years of military misrule deeply affected the way in which the governments function. The military rulers, having come into power through coups, were never sure someone else won’t overthrow them tomorrow, and thus were not certain of a fixed term in office. They therefore made plans only with projections for the short-term, with little or no consideration for the long-term future!

In the early days of nationhood after independence, governments designed 3-5 years development plans upon which they tailored their policies, but these days, it is very rare to hear of a government policy being planned with projections made for 2 years!

Another contributing factor to this malaise of disregard for creating visions of the future, then planning and working towards its actualization is the erratic changes in government policies every few years. There is no clearly defined national vision based on the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people; every elected public office holder comes into office with his/her set of plans which are designed with only his 4-year tenure in mind. If at the end of his/her tenure, he is not reelected, the next elected official simply jettisons all the policies and projects started by his predecessors and embark on charting a new 4-year course.

On the whole, the stereotype view of the future held y many people in my immediate community, is of something over which they have no control, and therefore don’t feel any inclination to create visions about it, or take effective steps to shape how it evolves.


  1. Ibrahim,

    Some of these feelings also exist in the U.S. Many people are getting fed up with the federal government as they only seem to be interested in serving the needs of corporations. It is becoming quite common here for people to start focusing their dreams of the future through their local communities. More and more there are organizations and groups of people working to better their lives from the bottom up instead of the top down.

    In a way this is what you are doing at your school. If you were to wait for your national government to initiate peace education you would probably be waiting a long time. So instead you have begun peace education on your own. It may be the only way for change to take place.


  2. I believe Gandhi was right when he said ......................We have to be the change we want


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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi (mallamibro@gmail.com) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.