Last week, we looked at restoring our values as one of our roles in nation building. This week, we will look at another critical role that everyone who desires a better country must play. This is Role Modelling or Mentoring
2. Role Modelling or Mentoring: One of the reasons why we have so much rot, moral decadence and social malaise, especially amongst our youth today is the absence of positive role models or mentors. Some twenty to thirty years back, most young people had the likes of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Beko Ransome Kuti, and such other scholarly personalities. These were people who rose to the peak of their profession and brought pride to the nation. These people were both directly and indirectly shaping the lives of young people.
As technology advanced and with the advent of mobile phones and unrestricted access to internet, our youths have been exposed to millions of personalities, especially in the entertainment world, and only a few of these personalities have truly enviable lives. But because we are daily inundated with news and videos of these stars, many youths want to be like them in their dressing, speech, and lifestyle.
Coupled with the unhealthy display of material possessions by these stars, and the ‘seeming ease’ of acquiring wealth, many youngsters prefer to follow their lifestyle. Now, this in itself is not wrong, the problem is with the mindset, intent and manner of becoming a star.
And this is where we all need to start playing positive role models. If you are a star, whether in the entertainment world or anywhere else, make conscious effort to let people know the price you paid to become who you are. Consciously find mentees and mentor them. Even if you are not a star yet, in your neighborhood, find someone to teach and guide. Most of our youths have no idea or clue as to where they are going, so they become easy tools in the hands of evil minded people. Identify a boy or girl and invest in his or her life, you may be nurturing another Nelson Mandela.
However you cannot give what you don’t have, “nemo dat quod non have,” so live what you preach to them and you will find out that you are changing lives. Don’t just fold your hands and expect those troublesome youngsters in your neighborhood to change, reach out to them.
This is a collective duty and we all owe this nation the duty of positive role modelling for the young ones amongst us.
Have a great week ahead.