Lessons From Feeding Kangaroos
Feeding kangaroos. It is an experience of a lifetime; something one must experience.
A kick from this animal can kill an adult; their claws are as sharp as 2-inch nails. But with food in my hands their aggressive nature did not manifest.
One particular thing I found out, during my visit to Adelaide, was that crime rate is very low. Fences are very low and 99.9% of the buildings have no burglary proof or metallic bars, including jewelry shops. I also noticed that during my stay in Addis Ababa. The reason is that the unemployed are paid, and even those with drug problems have a safety net.
Someone told me in Durban, South Africa, that Nigerians are criminals. I told him that criminality is, sometimes, intelligence looking for avenue for fulfillment in the midst of deprivation, desperation, and oppression. That is, however, not a good reason or excuse for criminality.
There is so much anger, contention, aggression, criminality, violence and inter-tribal rivalry in Nigeria, today, because of scarcity of resources, necessary for fulfillment, in the hands of a majority of the people.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom recently said that Nigeria is the capital of poverty in the world and has overtaken India in the number of poor people in any nation. This was Nigeria that was employing Indian teachers to teach us at Government College, Ughelli. There was a time an Indian teacher was paid his monthly salary. When he converted it to Dollars, he was so amazed and screamed that he did not want his annual salary at once. Then, the Dollar was exchanging at 2 Dollars to the Naira, and the Rupee was a very weak currency. In 1987, I took over from Dr. Nair, an Indian medical doctor, who was a medical director of Royal hospital. We were employing Indians.
The violence, criminality, and even the inter-tribal rivalry in our politics in Nigeria is as a result of the fact that there is too much poverty in the land.
Someone rightly said, “If the rich doesn’t spread their wealth to the poor, the poor will spread their poverty to them.“
Chris Agyris also rightly said that for any normal psychologically mature adult, a time comes when his personal interest comes in conflict with organizational goals. That is true for the church and the society. When pastors in big religious organizations are not well-taken care of, and their personal desires and aspirations are not met in the midst of obvious conspicuous consumption and extravagance in religious organizations, the pastors below, who are poorly paid, will definitely start looking for avenues to meet and attain their personal objectives. Hence, there is so much misbehavior in ministry today. When civil servants are not sure that their retirement benefits will be paid to them after 35 years of service, while politicians are earning large sums of money, regularly, they will definitely be corrupt, collect bribes, and cut corners. If a civil servant is not sure of his monthly pay on a regular basis, he will look for other things to do, including collecting bribes to meet his family organizations.
Until the fundamental needs of the citizenry, such as health, food, education, electricity, housing, and basic social amenities are provided and guaranteed by all strata of the government, they will seek it either by hook or crook. Corruption can hardly be eliminated in the midst of deprivation.
There is also the danger, from another perspective, that when people are feeding from your palms, their claws will be withdrawn. however, when they can no longer feed from you, their claws and feet will come out, ready to cause harm. That’s why it’s safer and better to teach men and women to be independent than to revel in their dependence and parasitic nature on you.
God bless you.