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The Cycle of Actions, Reactions & Consequences



A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint. The man ran to his son, knocked him away and hammered the little boy’s hands into pulp as punishment. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital. Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the boy’s hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery & saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, ” Daddy, I’m sorry about your truck.” Then he asked, “but when are my fingers going to grow back?” The father went home & committed suicide. This story is reported as a true story in the US.

From this story, it is obvious that many times, the problem is not the real problem; the real problem is how we respond to the problem.

It is funny how a man sells fake drugs to his own countrymen and when he is caught, points accusing fingers at the government saying that if they had fulfilled their promise to provide jobs, he would have had a decent job and not have to sell fake drugs. It is funny how a policeman kills a commercial bus driver for not giving him 50 Naira and then points accusing fingers at the government for whatever bu-ha-ha reason his warped brain is able to conjure. Isn’t it funny how an unemployed youth rapes the seven year old daughter of his neighbour and people somehow manage to conjure up reasons to blame the same government.

Aren’t we tired of blaming the government and using their sins as excuses to commit atrocities? A Gambian traditional folklore says that “if a donkey kicks you and you kick back, you are both donkeys. If the government is corrupt and you choose to embrace corruption as a way of life (whether to get back at them or to get your own share of the so-called national cake) then you are also corrupt.

I am beginning to worry about this country more than ever before because the major problem with this country is not even the corruption that every Tosin, Dumebi and Hassan thinks is the problem of this nation, the problem is our response to this ‘corruption’.

If we embrace corruption and teach it to our kids and the next generation as the only way to make it in this country;if we refuse to do what we are supposed to do because a group of people have choosen to shirk their responsibilities; if we kill each other in the name of religion; if we destroy pipelines, industries and systems in this country as an expression of our anger towards our leaders or the surrealistic politics that is played in this country or the legislative or judicial system, when we finally have good people in government, what will be left of this country, would there even be a Nigeria to be governed in the first instance?

I think it is time we learnt emotional maturity. It is time to break away from that which causes us to focus on the weaknesses of others and the circumstances we feel are responsible for our stagnant situation or the quagmiric state of this country; that causes us to ‘react’ rather than ‘act’.

It is time to do what you would do in spite of what others do; subordinate our feelings, actions and reactions to your own values. In finding solutions or responding to problems, it is important to focus on actions that would solve the problem rather than just taking an action for the sake of it. Because, our response to any mistake/problem affects the quality of the next moment and the next generation. Therefore, it is important to have the right response to issues/problems so that they are settled once and for all so that we do not have the same problem popping up every now and again like an old note.

Remember that sometimes in life we lose the privilege of making choices because of the choices we have made, and the only option/choice remaining is to grapple with consequences.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anwana Umo is an economist who is passionate about issues relating to personal development. She is the CEO of ‘House of Umo'(an outfit that designs and makes ankara bags). She is also a writer and publisher of You can follow her @umoscoop.

Umo Anwana is an Economist with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is a fashion entrepreneur as well as a writer and manages an Instagram page @naijaentreprenuerscity where she shares free resources, tested business principles, business case studies and insights to empower small business owners in order to significantly increase their understanding, knowledge base and capacity to grow their business by increasing sales, market share, customer loyalty, managing profits, e.t.c . @naijaentreprenuerscity is also an interactive page where small business owners can share their challenges, experiences and lessons learnt from running a business in Nigeria.


  1. Marilyn

    January 31, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Thumbs up boh, you tok am well! Nice write-up ooooo

  2. Sexxie

    January 31, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Well written! Thank you Umo!

  3. Olub

    January 31, 2013 at 11:57 am

    True talk Umo this is so true. Hmmn seriously found something to think upon. God help us all

  4. Iwari

    January 31, 2013 at 11:57 am

    PREACH! when i say it people look at me like im dreamng, d gov may be corrupt but some people are no different. D change needs to start with us in whatever way we can.

  5. nems

    January 31, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Great Article, if we all decide to react differently to corruption it will bring about a major change in Nigeria.
    www. anemistyle

    www. anemistyle

  6. Lola

    January 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I agree with you Umo.

    However, look at it from the perspective of graduates and master holders applying for drivers job at Dangote. That in my view already stooping to lower for graduates but because they are willing to work and not corrupt, they apply for the job. Now imagine if they do not get the job and they decided to start stealing or selling expired drugs (which I do not support) I can not say I will place 100% of the blame at their feet.

    To make a country progress its a 2 way street in my opinion. The govt must provide jobs even the jobs will pay bare minimum to allow people have the basic necessity for survival and the people must be willing to work and not be greedy.

    The journey of a thousand miles starts with a foot step so maybe the people should start the change but change is easier from the top down.

  7. diva

    January 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    well spoken

  8. Road2Great

    January 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    The story touched me. So sad. Well written. Ghandi said it best: ” we must be the change we wish to see in the world.” If we all came together and worked as a one- the world would be such a better place. One love.

  9. notaplayerhater

    January 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Sorry Lola, but i beg to differ.
    If you dont get the driver job and decide to start stealing, that is a CHOICE., a variety of which they have but decide to take the WRONG one. I know these days everyone wants to be a BB porsche flashing, infinity jeep spinning, brazillian hair flying afficionado, but that aint all there is to life and it is the hurry to shorten the distance to getting these things that push folks into wrong choices.
    As a parent, i keep telling my hubby that in addition to regular classroom education (which is seriously hole-ridden here, i might add) i intend for my two kids to get some form of vocational training every holiday! which kind yeye summer leson dem dey go do??? Where did summer lesson take me? The most prepared graduates today are those whose parents ensured they went to their shops with them every holiday and learnt the most essential skill in the world today-marketing/selling!!! If you prepare your mind, you can sell ANYTHING and it doesnt have to be fake drugs! As a pampered (no silver spoon though) 19 year old in 3rd year in a federal university in the east few years ago, i was selling zobo prepared by me and stored in a friend’s fridge (i had none meself) to friends and neighbours! With my looks (not trying to brag) i could have bedded a monk-make that a very rich monk; if i wanted to. But guess what, i chose what to sell!!! and it wasnt my dignity or my concience! That’s the difference and what the average nigerian needs to learn! its ALWAYS up to the b*tch in the mirror!

    • ifemi

      January 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      God bless you!

  10. PLUSH & LUSH

    January 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    U said it all. Come to think of it, it requires as much effort (if not more)to do the wrong thing as it takes to do the right thing. Think of the time, risk and effort that goes into planning a robbery, getting weapons and executing flawlessly; or getting up every night to make-up, wear endless heels and go stand in d cold of the night, strutting up and down trying to sell your body to complete strangers who might even end up taking your life; what about accepting to carry hard-drugs across borders with ur very life at stake? Place all that side by side with what it would take to learn how to sew, make hair, even sell recharge card…or do something, anything that is legit. Obviously, some people think honest hardwork is outdated, and the government has become the scapegoat to blame every corrupt inclination on. Very sad!

  11. isaid!!

    January 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I totally agree with @notaplayerhater. The reality on ground in our country is that skills in addition to academics is now inevitable except if you are one of those silver spoon kids or your parents are doing well so you don’t have huge financial responsibilities after school. I know of people who start fending for their siblings while still serving. I am friends with a police officer who while we were in school before she joined the force used every holiday period/strike to train as a fashion designer.Today she runs her fashion house and will soon quit the force cos she cant cope with clients demands. This kind of officer i assure you is not waiting for government or is interested in any form of bribe! she’s living comfortable on her salary and what she makes as a designer and believe me she’s doing very well.I definitely intend to make my own children acquire skills during any holiday instead of “wasting” away on lesson. Those era is long gone now and we being faced with a new reality in Nigeria. Sorry if this is too lengthy.

  12. lilz

    January 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    this is the bestest piece i’ve read this year on BN. I can completely relate to it..thanks

  13. Tiki

    January 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Good stuff! I don’t live in Nigeria but the rot is everywhere, in every third world country – people blame the system, the government, our colonial masters…evetybody but the ONE person responsible for their destinies, themselves. Eve while it is true that we are influenced by our circumstances, they do not make us…they MOLD us. People need to stop being whiners, sit up, take responsibility for their actions, and be somebody without waiting to get handed opportunities on a silver platter!

  14. Tess

    January 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Goodstuff Anwana, and welldone to most of the contributors. Its true what the adage says, “your destiny lies in YOUR hands”, not the govt. or GEJ!

  15. faith

    February 1, 2013 at 6:34 am

    But theft by d govt is too much o…it’s so hard to do right wen d pple u look up to r stealing everyday in front of u n nothing is being done to them….

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