By Nelson Ekujumi
Some few days ago, one read a comment by a Nigerian in the social media in which he lamented the erosion of values such that our people are so fixated on materialism at the expense of human values and one couldn’t but ponder what and where did we start going wrong, that we did not take heed and which has brought us to this sorry state, economically, politically and socially.To quote him, he said, when he is out of the house on foot without driving his car, that the first thing, people in the neighbourhood ask is, se e ko gbe motor ni? Motor yin nko? Se ko si ti e ko gbe motor yin loni? These three 3 questions in the Yoruba language means, where is your car, why are you not going out with your car, hope there is no problem with your car?
Take note that this man has a family and like we know or under the values with which we were brought up in this same environment in the not too distant past, the first thing you do when you come in contact with a man in the day is to ask after his personal welfare and then the family, before any other thing. But, reverse is the case these days.
Infact, one day, a friend came complaining bitterly about his colleagues in the office. This friend has a car with which he helps the colleagues going home on the same route with him after the close of work everyday, only for the car to breakdown and he was unable to come to the office with the car for some time.
This friend was bitter that instead of his colleagues to ask about his welfare and family, all that they keep asking after every time is, what is happening to your car, Mr. X. To him, he was disappointed because it seemed that the reason why some of these people became his friends was because of the free ride that he provided as they cared less about his welfare or his family.
One can see that this relationship between Mr. X and his colleagues seemed to centre on materialism, the car and no more as they were not concerned about how he was doing or his family because they never asked after them. To Mr. X, he felt the relationship should be about the human being first, before material things which naturally should be the case.
He even swore never to go to the office again with the car of which one counseled against it, that you don’t displease yourself just to punish others or else, you will be punishing yourself too.
Back to the matter, unfortunately, this is the rot that has bedevilled our society today because we place a huge premium on materialism far and above our human relations and values and this is chiefly responsible for all the crisis in the world in which peace and order has become the elusive Gold.
We are a country in which we acquire education without morals, we acquire wealth without honour, hence our society is one in which anything goes and there is no society which toes this path and makes progress because even the Bible admonish that “…. Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound”? (Romans 6:1). Definitely not.
Therefore, the ball is in our court as citizens to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, which is by being conscientious and then all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).