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NEWS: Why our society is under developed

THE society is a reflection of the aggregate of values and priorities of its members. There are few things around us, both good and bad, that did not originate as a ‘thought’ in the mind of an individual or group of individuals. Consequently, if some societies are ordered and relatively more qualitative while others are in disarray, this is a direct result of the (in)actions of the inhabitants of these societies.

If you are an African, ask yourself these simple questions, and the reason for the dire circumstance of the mother continent will come home to you. Have you ever,

1.    Entered a packed banking hall and instead of joining the queue, sought out the ‘sister of your friend’s cousin’ who happens to work somewhere in the building, in order to circumvent the queue and in the process increase the misery of those doing it the right way by prolonging their waiting times
2.    Driven against the flow of traffic simply because it looks expedient at the time
3.    Given money to the ubiquitous civil servant to ensure that your document gets signed on the same day, when the standard procedure is to wait for two weeks
4.    Induced a police officer to look the other way because your car papers are not in order and you are too sloppy to attend to it
5.    Manipulated the system to obtain admission for your ward, knowing full well that s/he did not merit such consideration, and in so doing deprive a better qualified candidate the opportunity
6.    Known a friend/family member living ostensibly above their means and legitimate income and rather than question the anomaly, asked for your share of the unexplained windfall
7.    Voted for someone simply because s/he is from your geographical region, religion, speaks the same language and other such spurious reasons, rather than the merit and fitness of the person
8.    Heaped curses and abuses on your Local Government Chairperson, governor and president, and on that single occasion you had audience with the idiot, became a wimp and instead spewed false adulations on him, calling him ‘the best thing since sliced bread....’
9.    Evaded tax and duties, and then went ahead to bribe the Revenue Officer to issue you a fraudulent Tax Clearance Certificate
10.    Obtained a drivers licence without actually being to a testing ground and passing the prescribed practice test
11.    Paid less to clear your goods at the port
12.    When caught-out one way or the other, is your disposition to take full responsibility for your actions or to immediately start thinking/looking for who can/will bail you out/shield you from the natural consequence of your actions
13.    Turned-up late for work and blamed a non-existent traffic congestion
14.    Are you the ultimate custodian of the ‘African Time’, always late for appointments
15.    Do you live only to enjoy the titillations of your five senses, no matter the negative effect of your ‘enjoyment’ on others and society
16.    Are you an academic but have not contributed anything to the body-stock of knowledge; your specialization is indolence and college politics
17.    Taken money to vote in a particular way instead of voting your conscience
18.    Covered the truth, thwarted the truth or hinder the arbiter of the truth for your own selfish/sinister motives
19.    Held others to a higher ‘code of conduct’ than you demand of yourself
20.    Taken money or other valuables under false pretences and justified it on the grounds of ‘this is the way it is done here...’
21.    Having done the above, did you then enter the church/mosque or other religious congregation and gave testimonies of ‘God’s (or Allah’s) goodness’
22.    Are you an integral part of your society’s problem and you do not even realise it
If ever, you answered ‘yes’ to many of the preceding posers, you have no ground to stand on and criticize your representatives; they after all represent what you stand for, your modus operandi, your values and your reward systems. The (wo)man to criticize and change is the one looking back at you in the mirror.

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