In fact, we are all managers in this drama of life. This is a wonderful method used in the management of crisis. It is also an interventional psychology method. We are all different, different in ideas, different in understanding things, some are global icons, some are at the bottom of the ladder, and some are social outcast. Some have no voice in the society because they are the peripheries with no trappings of authority. Some are those who sleep under the bridge and immediately the red light shows, they rush to you for help with a look very offensive. How do you manage them? They do not belong to your class and how do you make them feel as somebodies? How do you manage their lack of mannerisms and politeness when they want you to help them? In any human relationship, there must be “give and take”; quid pro quo. There must be a way of lowering your ivory tower so that people can meet you there to unveil to you how life treats them, how they have been living in an island of misery and how lack of contact with professionals or those who have the capacity of solving their problems ended in bureaucracy and resulted to depersonalization of the person in need of help. Human beings are very complex and we must learn to manage them for the good of the world.
Managing each other is a sign that we want to grow together to make a statement in the neighbourhood and even in the world. Each and every one of us is unique and we can use our uniqueness to confront the world of indifference, the world that is xenophobic, the world that is afraid to create a space for others, the world that build walls and not bridges. When we manage each other and interact deeply we discover the richness in each person. The fear of each other is gone. But when we push people to a certain geographic area and allow them to rot, it becomes inhuman and does not make even economic sense. Man is rich in quality and when he interacts with the other man the universe is benefitted. The rich ideas that will come out of them will shock the doubting Thomas. Managing each other for a constructive future is the watchword. We have lost a lot for not knowing how to manage ourselves. In managing ourselves, we can discover the good things in each person that others see as bad and not useful to the country. When we do not communicate to each other, how can we find those vital values in them? Sometimes our culture socializes us to be that kind of person that maintains critical distance from our fellow human beings. Culture is a social construct and not divine.
We cannot over estimate God in our myopic way of thinking. Stereotypes and how culture classifies people is not the proper way of classifying people. Sometimes pride, selfishness and developed mindsets alienate us from tolerating and getting vital views from others. We either see them as threats and competitors instead of “complementors”. The world is very large for everyone to live and spread their tentacles without obstructing others. Why must we become envious and struggle to pull others down instead of celebrating their greatness? Nigeria is in the very big mess she found herself due to religious, tribal and political intolerance. The politicians have discovered those elements as great political tools to cause divide and they regularly pull those strings at elections. This led to the various costly mistakes made during voting. We see fellow citizens as second class because they don’t belong to our tribe, religion or political party and our reasons are beclouded when choosing candidates to vote for. Terrorism brews everyday due to religious intolerance. One-sided nepotistic government appointments came as a result of ethnic and political intolerance. The unity of Nigeria became negotiable and debatable after great and consistent signs of intolerance manifested over the years. We preach unity but deep down we have come to know that we are truly divided.
How can we be united and experience progress in a country where there is no tolerance and management of our diversities? Nigeria should manage people of different ideological affiliations even if what they are doing does not meet Nigeria’s expectations. This is what makes a genuine humanity. We should not pursue those who don’t agree with us to death. Oppositions should not be labeled enemies of the nation. The essence of democracy is the freedom of expression and pointing out of the ills in government. When any government tries to suffocate the voices of opposition and justice, it finds its way to anarchy and doom. Good and experienced leaders know that everyone cannot be by their sides all the time. If everyone is by your side, know that there is an impending doom. We need to overcome the social stigma that does not allow us to enter into interpersonal communication with each other and manage each other even though we come from different backgrounds.
The universe is unfolding. It is when we can manage each other and make use of our usefulness that we can have visibility in the community and country at large. If we deny people visibility, it can affect our development. When you manage me and I manage you, we can loom high in the sky. If you manage me and I manage you and what comes in our relationship will be our shared experiences which can make both of us visible. And when we have many visible people in the world, we become a part of God’s creation. We become a sort of empowerment to the world. There should not be a disconnection. Disconnection is lack of managing each other. The government in their preaching for unity should first know how to tolerate and manage regional diversities for rapid economic development because we have been deeply divided across several lines with little faith on the centre we feel can no longer hold.
• Monsignor Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author and Social Justice Advocate