The environment can mean air; water; land, a community where one lives or one’s place of work. When one lives in an undisturbed environment, one feels happy, healthy and becomes productive. An outside force can influence our environment for better or worse. The coming of the white man inf luenced our environment a lot. The white man’s coming had both positive and negative impacts on us. The white man’s teachings and indoctrinations changed the way we were. Positive influence can make an environment more conducive to learning.
It can create a culture of peace and progress. Negative influences poison an environment and destabilize things. An environment can be disorganized. Many children of today are victims of negative influence in school. The dangerous ideas and bizarre philosophies of some of their teachers contribute towards polluting their minds. We had thought that the purpose of education was to make a better man, but now we have realized that negative influences poison the mind. Nobody sees the university anymore as a sanctuary for social responsibility.
The so-called educated man behaves like the stone-age man because the institution that should help shape him has now become an institution of violence induced by negative philosophy, lack of morality and civility. T hings can only be better if the authorities try to find out the causes. It is the people that poison the system by inf luencing it in a negative manner. Those who went to school in the forties, fifties and even sixties had better learning environment, fear of God and a great number of them became achievers and great men in Nigeria.
Politics of today do influence the environment. They use money and propaganda to make you change your mind and attitude towards them and their political parties. Many are lured to commit atrocities on behalf of politicians thereby making the political environment toxic for people to venture into. Societies, communities and institutions should beware of the negative influences of some of their members. Some can carry with them their unresolved problems to the society while seeking leadership of the community.
They can come in with distorted personality and irrational way of doing things at the expense of the whole. They can use the society as a dumping ground for their hostility thereby using it to f ight their enemies. An individual can convince the society that his enemy is their enemy. Those in the society who are not spiritual or who swallow everything without examining it will buy the idea from such a person. As this individual succeeds in playing on the psyche of the people, the people begin to disintegrate or fall apart as his/her gospel of hatred spreads like wild fire round the community.
Those who adhere to the gospel of truth will reject falsehood for the betterment of their society. They try to know really who they are. They will study persons because knowing who they are helps them to grow and spread the Gospel of love instead of a social Gospel opposed to what is spiritual and eternal.
• Very Rev. Monsignor Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a crusader of Peace and Social Justice.