It felt refreshing to hear my parents and some elderly reminisce about the good old days as they knew it. I enjoyed the nostalgia on their faces and I wished that those days would repeat themselves in my time, so I could feel as they did and have cause to share like stories with my own children someday. But later, as if they had forgotten the good tales they had told earlier, I heard these same parents and elderly begin to contradict themselves by cursing certain events they had earlier praised, and mocked themselves over some bad experiences they can now afford to laugh about. Confusing, is it not? Not so much so, because you understand that their frame of mind allows them to recollect events as it suits them at the particular time they relay their stories.
As I grew older and read some historical books, I realized there were many violent times and economic hardship in those olden days. And my mother continued to complain about the worsening economy and praised times when she could make soup with a N100; whereas, I remember she also cursed those days too remembering her childhood days when her parents could cook for shillings, and grandma praised the days she could cook for cowries. Na wao!
Indeed, times change with events, scientific and technological growth around the world, which today have turned the world into a global village, so much so that whatever affects a country afar affects all other countries with hardly any exceptions. A lot of ethnic, civic, international and intercontinental cold and physical wars have taken place in the world since the times in the Bible. A lot of unimaginable crimes and atrocities have taken place too. And different countries have different levels of economic hardships and corruption. The world does not seem to look so good anymore that people are beginning to clamour for the second coming of Christ, even though they are not ready for it.
As I cringe at the evils of my time, I no longer wish for the good old days either, having read about the miseries it brought on the people at the time by international encroachments and colonialism, slavery, apartheid, ethnic and domestic violence, racism, civil wars and world wars. Indeed, there were times of reliefs in the love that bind families and religious gatherings, in moments of charities and goodwill of good and selfless people, in heroic ventures to change the world for the better by brave people, in the ease that technology brings, in education, in the spread of the Gospel and enlightenment, as well as, in entertainments. These are humane efforts of man towards one another.
When we think of all the wars and crimes against humanity, we see the result of the vices of pride, hatred, greed, envy, arrogance, wrath or vengeance, impatience, injustice, recklessness and vanity. These are common not just in the common persons but in the leaders that we empower to manage our affairs at all levels. When drunken with power, they ungird their vices to unleash mayhem on hapless citizens.
So, what makes days – good? Nothing more than the conscious effort by ALL to be good: towards self and one another and at all times, place and in the capacity you may find yourself; whether at home, at your office, in a position of influence or great responsibility, in political offices that affect mass of individuals, as one human to another irrespective of race, belief or country, and so on. However it be, consider yourself a leader towards showing good examples of virtuous living and taking the lead in doing good or being proactive towards positive change. You do not really need the title of a leader to show leadership because leadership is service of self to others, exemplary behaviour and proactiveness, in order to lead and effect positive change and growth in others. It takes self-giving and humility, love and goodwill. People will see this and naturally follow you. That was how Jesus had followers; Martin Luther King, Mandela, Anthony Enahoro, and all others who stood and fought for righteousness, had followers.
If everyone embraced virtues and morality, without pretense and hypocrisy, the world would be a better place: children would grow up to be responsible and productive, leaders would be effective and accountable, citizens would enjoy peace, good economy and harmony in their differences, the world would live in love despite race and uniqueness, the earth would be a good environment for all to breath and live healthy, and so on.
My conclusion is that it takes all being good to attain good days/times. It may not be easy to turn the other cheek in the face of injustice, but the source of goodness, love and life – God, can help us to forgive and reciprocate in love and good deeds. If only we can tap into this image of God within us by the nurturing of our spirit and soul in union with our Maker, then we can begin to appreciate the dignity of our fellow persons and think and act right and in love towards them. This is because it is our actions that created the evils of our times [from the beginning with the disobedience of Adam and Eve]. And it is our actions that will heal and recreate the world into a better place again [as seen in the obedience of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph]; to a new Eden.
We need not wait for the second coming for this; we can all decide to be the change. We may not be aware, but a lot of others are watching us and depending on our character and actions to form theirs too. Once again, it all takes being good; and thanking the source of goodness, love and life – GOD, to attain good times.
What else comes to mind if you think of good times? Please mention in the comment area below. Thank you. And do not forget to like and share too.
By IfeanyiChukwu Oluwafemi Chukwudi, May 1, 2020