That corruption is a menace and a major concern in the world today, is no longer news. It is highly probable that you find it difficult to run a single day without your lips muttering the word co-rr-up-ti-on. A lot has been said about it and we all can point at its effects and even mention a number of people we perceive as corrupt. Hold it there.
Lately, rains are competing with gold in scarcity; drought has hit many parts of the country including areas where people have previously been tempted to include ‘rain-time’ in their daily diaries. It certainly has not escaped your mind that there exists a relationship between rains or water catchment and forest cover. You probably have heard it murmured somewhere or maybe you have read or you factually know that our continued deforestation is an attraction gesture for drought. Hold it there.
Joblessness is a reality that you are aware of; perhaps you are affected. Due to the pressures of life, the number of people whose hope for living flew through the window long ago, is surging and you know it! May be you are affected or you know a friend or relative who has lost hope for one reason or the other. Many relationships, marriage included, are undergoing strain every other day and you too are aware of this. Perhaps, you even keep statistics for the same; you could be a victim or are aware of one. The list of challenges facing the world today which you are aware of is endless. Hold it there again!
Today, I want to poke holes in your comfort; please pardon me. I appreciate your alertness because it has enabled your awareness of the challenges ailing society today. Your aptitude allows you to even cite examples of cases and people affected in each category of challenges. It is likely that you know the causes to some of these challenges. Allow me to pose to you this disturbing question, ‘what have you done about it?’ What are you doing about it?
Is it likely that you have filled your mind with the belief that these problems do not concern you? Perhaps you think that you have enough problems of your own and that thinking about other people’s problems would burden you more. Let me twist it a bit. Think of those people you consider to be successful in this world, whatever your definition of success. What did they do/are they doing? Bill Gates saw a computing problem and he sought to fix it; success followed him. Nelson Mandela, like him or not, sought to address a freedom problem. He had many of his own problems but his fortunes in life changed when he chose to pursue a course that would solve a problem affecting others. By the time of his demise, he was and still is, posthumously, an icon of freedom.
Our very own the late Professor Wangari Maathai saw the environment problem and made it her concern. Her name meandered its way into the world of Nobel Prizes. Help me imagine: would she have gotten the world acclaim without her attempt to solve the environment puzzle? The thing is this, most if not all successful people work towards solving a societal challenge. They see beyond their own problems; yet, in retrospect, their attempt to help others ends up solving their (successful people’s) problems.
In this world, we are intertwined; we need one another. The world is modelled in such a way that your contribution solves another person’s puzzle while his/hers helps to solve yours. When you imagine that other people’s problems do not concern you, you begin to limit your chances of excelling in life. Of course, you do not need to address every problem out there, just pick one that resonates with your calling, passion and/or gifting and run with it. All great people had to slay a giant which in this case, is a problem facing the world. These giants are many; kill one for us and the world will not leave you unattended. It is Mahatma Gandhi who correctly said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
The opportunities in life, whose scarcity you have affirmed and confirmed are hidden in problems ailing people. The world we live in has potential to be great if only we all concentrated on solving the available problems instead of only enumerating the problems. To be outstanding, you need to go beyond knowing the problems and venture into the world of solution finding. Albert Einstein reminded us aptly, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” While I hearten you to take action and make your contribution towards making the world a better place, I remind you that this is one of the great secrets of greatness. Do not just be a problem identifier; be a solution finder as well. Give us the chance to remember you for helping us resolve a puzzle in our lives. With this secret, YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Personal Development Coach, Motivational Speaker and Author.
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