Our Society: The home we ought to build together!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

The Nigerian society is our home. It belongs to each and every one of us. As our home each one of us has the right to feel at home in our society. Each one of us too has also an obligation to contribute to the growth and well-being of our society.

If the society belongs to its members, it means that the identities of each member must be recognized and respected. One important way of recognizing the identities of members of a society is to recognize that there are differences. Though we are all men and women of the same society, we are different.

We belong to the same society yet we are different in so many significant ways.Our differences constitute our strength. However we are also the same in several senses. There are things that make us one as well as things that make us evidently different.

What makes us different is what we are and what unites us is what we do. We create the common good. Society is not static but dynamic. It grows and matures. In the words of Jonathan Sacks, it is not just something we inherit and inhabit; it is something we make.

The more different we are, the richer the possibilities of what we make together. For instance, we have our private rooms, but we also have our public spaces and these are very important for our corporate existence as a people.

This explains why we work hard as much as we can to make our public spaces as expansive and gracious as we can. This act of making creates belonging. And everybody is involved in this shared belongingness.

But does every Nigerian belong actually to the Nigerian society? Does everyone feel at home? These are million Naira questions. The truth is that our Nigerian society faces a lot of challenges. The concept of society as our home where everybody should be at home is a good theory.

The practical truth is that most of us are not at home in Nigeria. There is a tendency to believe that Nigeria belongs to some people and others are simply strangers or even immigrants from without. There is a type of double standards in the belongingness. Some are more Nigerians than others.

Others are the owners of the society while some are simply being tolerated. Is there any wonder therefore that there are several conflicts here and there in Nigeria. There are agitations for integration. Exclusion is the order of the day. The situation is such that you do not belong if you are not a part of them.

There is a 'them anda 'us'. The society belongs to them and not to us all. Nothing can impair development and social cohesion among a people in a society as a segregation mentality that hinders people of the same society from access to the patrimony of their fathers. There can be no peace where justice is brazenly denied. And that is the fate of our Nigerian society.

The truth remains that Nigeria is our home. We all have the bounden duty to build our Nigerian society together. Each and every one of us has something good to contribute to the making of our society. And that is the beauty of our togetherness.

The attitude of segregation and exclusion either in thought, word or action among us must stop forthwith. There is a divine purpose for our belonging to the same society.

We must therefore expend our energies in good works to justify this divine arrangement; and we are able to do just that. Perform therefore your own part of the collective assignments and the entire society will be integrally transformed!

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