Headline: AIFENT: Protect Your WorldPosted on: 2015-07-21
Of Stakeholders and Zombies
Far too many people live in today's world like passive observers. Though not everyone can be a leader, I wish more people could get involved as stakeholders in the destiny of their world. The famous poem, "Desiderata" ought to be taken seriously. It reads, "You are a child of the universe, not unlike the trees or the stars, you have a right to be here". Yoruba folklore identifies three groups of people on earth; the stakeholders, the spectators and those who simply wonder what is really going on. Even mere spectators are better placed than these last ones who are little better than zombies, simply thrown around like flotsam and jetsam on life's waters. The book of Revelations addresses such people. "You are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, so I will spit you out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:16). In truth, the takeover of trivia in most areas of essential human life can practically make zombies of people. In fact, it has shortened the attention span of most people such that the things that really matter no longer get deserved attention. Serious matters of public and moral importance such as sexuality, the right to life, child rights, human dignity, cultural values and freedom of religion, are often altogether relegated to the sphere of mere personal pleasure, preference and choice. Ours is an age of chronic relativism and fanatical subjectivism. The truth however is that no human society or civilization can ever survive on those two principles. Discerning individuals must prepare themselves to salvage moral good sense and the sanity of values to survive the current global tsunami of flimsiness.
Where do I go from here
I often sense in conversation with people, this unspoken query which has a debilitating effect on many people confronted with the modern ideologies. How do I deal with these new, strange ideas around? What can I really change? Putting myself in their shoes I crafted for myself some steps which have proven helpful when confronted with these new ideologies. I have made an acronym out of those ideas which I call AIFENT. Here they are:
It is so important to be aware that life today is often not business as usual. So much is actually going on around us. Very little of that happens by chance. It is critical to be aware that aggressive efforts are being made to recreate the world in which we live not only technologically and scientifically but more importantly, culturally and morally. This is where the ongoing American lobby to redefine sexuality, marriage and family life must be collocated. With Western countries seeking to strip Africa of morality and socio-cultural decency, it is especially germane to Africans to know that these efforts are based on atheistic humanism. This is an ideology which sees man as the measure of all things. It seeks to disestablish God and religion from the society and enthrone instead as sovereign, the State and whatever powers would usurp its place. One can only imagine the disaster this would mean for African religions and cultural identity. It also seeks to blackmail religion as the cause of evil in the world. Of course, nothing could be more misleading. It is the exploitation of religion that is the culprit. Pristine religion does nothing but good all through history, preventing man from being an animal to fellow humans.
Once aware of the siege being laid to cultural and religious values and ideals today we have an obligation to be correctly informed about the strategies and methods of the lobby. A related obligation is to source for such information from helpful and credible sources. This is not an easy task because most powerful means of media today seem to promote more the wayward new ideologies. They are simply not the best channels for wholesome information.
Next to being informed is the need to be formed in the skills and strategies of engaging with the army of the new ideologies. It might not be possible to avoid contact with them in daily life but getting formed by positive and knowledgeable sources reasonably equips and insulates the individual from unwholesome effects. No one knows it all and credible formation is not easily accessed without due effort. It must be sought for.
We live in a world of encounter and interaction. Having been formed, Christians especially must not wait to be pressured before positively affecting their society. "Do not live as the unwise do but as responsible persons. Try to make good use of the present time because these days are evil" (Eph 5:15-16). It is important to reach out and engage even the wayward lobbies on the turfs which they have chosen to possess. Such enterprise is not impossible for those who are prepared.
Notwithstanding so much evil, the world of today is still replete with groups and individuals committed to keeping the sanity of a value-driven world. It is necessary to seek out such partners to share ideas and strategies with. Much psychological and structural strength is derived from such link-ups. As the old saying goes:"Travel alone, travel faster; travel together, travel further"
The whole purpose of the foregoing is that we all become stakeholders in a real cosmic transformation for a better world. Our faith in this possibility must be unshaken. With faith we become invincible. Faith is evidence and assurance of the hope we have (Heb. 11:1). That hope does not disappoint us. (Heb 12:1). So, when faced with contemporary corroding ideas, teachings and ideologies all around you, do not withdraw into navel-gazing, focusing only on your issues of bread and butter. Open up and play the stakeholder! Then perhaps, my humble AIFENT principle could help you affect your world.
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