The need for a strong support system
…blessed are those who help the poor. Proverbs 14:21b NLT
It is every leader’s desire to make a difference, and this often implies challenging and sometimes changing the status quo. Ironically, nothing stirs up opposition or resistance as change. And the reason is not farfetched: any change, according to Arnold Bennett, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. It is, therefore, no wonder that people will resist change, even if it promises something good, as long as it introduces some measure of pains. This then underscores the need for determination or resolve to pull through diverse situations and circumstances, as they will have to be managed, and managed well, in order to accomplish goals and objectives. Trade-offs will have to be made and palliative measures introduced to cushion the effects of harsh but necessary policies. Otherwise, leadership could be seen as being unnecessarily rigid. Of course, these may make the journey a little longer, but it will be well worth it at the end of the day.
This was the situation in Argentina in the 1990s and early 2000s. The change in economic strategy, which brought about untold hardship, particularly on the poorest 40% of the population, led the government, to make anti-poverty programmes an integral part of its agenda. And in Brazil, a country known to have suffered much from harsh economic realities, a sweeping social welfare programme was launched under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2002 to provide financial aid to poor Brazilian families.
Today, it is commendable that in the midst of the prevailing circumstances in our own country, there are goals in place that are rooted in sound values and beliefs. It is also commendable that there is a yearning in the leadership, as well as the people for the realisation of true change. However, our resolve to bring this about will be further strengthened, if we are able to build a strong support system for those on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, who feel the pinch of the process much more than others. This, I believe, is one of the biggest challenges before us right now. We may not go exactly the way of Argentina or Brazil, but we need to start something and urgently, too. If we get this right, which I believe we will, there will be less tension, as the people will begin to understand, more than ever, that the pains of today are truly for the gains of tomorrow. And of course, we will be able to focus, without needless distraction, on our main task of laying the foundation for a better tomorrow.
Nigeria Has A Great Future!
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