Captain Tom Moore is a 99-year-old WW2 veteran, who will be 100 years old by the end of April, from Bedfordshire, UK.
He had cancer of the skin and a broken hip some years ago, and was appreciative of the great care and love the NHS, the UK health system gave to him. To reciprocate their effort, he decided that he will walk the length of his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday.
The aim is to raise money for the NHS. His initial target was to raise just £1,000. As at the time of writing this post, 18/4/2020, he has raised more than £25.3 million and the donations are still coming.
Read Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 of COVID-19.
1. Despite His Age
At his age, if he was in Nigeria, he would be expecting help from one politician or government. His children and grandchildren would be all over social media about how he was neglected after serving his country.
2. Responsibility stretches us beyond our usual capacity.
Despite his medical history of cancer of the skin and a fractured hip in old age, he was not discouraged; he did not live in despair. He was not calling for death. He was looking forward to contributing his quota to his nation and humanity at this point of great need.
The elasticity of humanity is founded on appreciation for life and little things others do for you.
He had been an early riser, probably from his military career. He had been walking a few meters daily before now, but responsibility made him walk 25 meters a hundred times. That’s 2.5 kilometers at 99 years of age. He usually walks 10 laps a day.
Responsibility is the first daughter of vision. Persistence is the second daughter, and commitment is the third daughter. Hope is the midwife.
Hope made a widow in the Bible say she will not die until she sees Jesus. Hope made Simeon to defy death until he carried Jesus in his arms.
One of the things you must not lose in this period is hope. There is a future beyond now.
3. One step at a time
You never can tell how far you can go until you start. You never can tell what small steps on a regular basis can achieve. Remember the Philosophy of the Ant.
Captain Tom Moore uses a walker, but with his shuffle, he attracted national and global attention. I know there were times he was discouraged, but the next step he dared to take drew him closer to his goal.
There is so much energy trapped in each of us; we must dare to take the first step and keep going.
4. Value is the currency of life
Any developed society has value for human life and their environment. They have value for integrity, punctuality, honesty, truth, orderliness, and decency. It was value for humanity that made the nurses and doctors take good care of him. It was the reciprocity of value that prompted Captain Tom Moore to dare to walk alone.
Your values will determine your thoughts, your thoughts will determine your actions, and your actions will determine whether you stretch out to be a better and bigger person, or shrink to be a narcissist. A self-centered person is like a pangolin, the animal scientists believe to harbour the new coronavirus. The pangolin coils on itself to form a ball when it is scared.
5. His wife was not with him
I suspect he is a widower, but his losses in life did not weigh him down. His age mates most probably would have all died. He knows the secret of human nature—one with a God is a majority.
The herd and crowd effect is very restrictive.
He set out without his pastor or church members. Religion—Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism— usually breeds the herd effect. You dare not think differently. The day you dare to reason differently, you discover new possibilities and potentials in you.
6. Responsivity of humanity
One shall chase a thousand, and two shall chase ten thousand.
The elasticity of humanity is the responsivity of humanity to responsibility.
During the Ethiopian famine, a group of top musicians came together to do a song “We Are The World“, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian. Millions of dollars were raised and relief came to Ethiopia. Lives were saved.
There are still more good people than evil people.
Many of those who have excelled in life are those who, at one time, responded to the challenges of their generation. From Ford, Bill Gates, Jack Ma, to Dr. Salk, are all responsive people. They responded to the challenges of their times, and the elasticity of humanity responded in a greater magnitude to them. Most times, these people eventually donate more money to humanity in the time of need.
Backward societies do not respond to the needs and challenges of their people. They are usually very endemically, very self-centered people. In Africa, selfishness is a pandemic, particularly among the elite class in politics and in religious groups.
My friend and an old boy of Government College Ughelli, Ambassador Adjaro David Obaro, ran from Lagos to Benue state to raise money for flood victims. I’m not sure the people of Benue State even appreciated his efforts. He did it for several courses, but he was frustrated.
If Captain Tom Moore had done what he did in Nigeria, people would have made mockery of his efforts.
An unappreciative society or person is more debilitating than COVID-19.
Read the next lesson: The Nigerian Army, Police Force, And Citizenry.
God Bless You.
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