What’s the price of human life?

 

After a while of ruminating on life and whether man sees and treats it for what it is, I engaged gear two. Yesterday, I looked for virtual trouble by googling the cost of human life. The search threw up quite some. Here are two for the price of one.

‘If you could harvest every organ and chemical in your body, you could make $45 million. But, in reality, Medical Transcription estimates the average price of a human dead body is more likely to fetch around $550,000 (with a few key body parts driving up the price).” That first has a second. “Every year, some one to two million children, women and men become victims of human trafficking; while traffickers make anywhere between $4,000 and $50,000 per person trafficked, depending on the victim’s place of origin and destination.”

As I had suspected, Google did not help me. In fact, if anything, it worsened the matter. I had been thinking about the value that man places on the life that God has given him. Like, knowing that life is everything and without it man is nothing, how expensive does that make it to him?

That is, how much value does man place on his life? How well does man treat life? How well does one man treat the other? If man were to pay God for life, how much would he be willing to offer?

This battery can neither be fielded in isolation nor in a vacuum. We have to look at man’s history with himself. Simultaneously, we have also to look at the way man treats life. That is, judging by current realities, how much -in terms of naira and Kobo- would a Nigerian offer for life in Nigeria?

A man who steals funds meant to build a school or a hospital, surely that man is not a thief. That man is not an armed robber. That man is a murderer, a hater of life, an enemy of everything God. That man is satanic.

Such a man would pay nothing for life. Such a man places no premium on life: not his, not another’s. Too many people are like that. Their greed and shortsightedness have buried the yesterday, today and tomorrow of life.

I remember reading a story that resonates fittingly here. A grandfather asked his grandson to move around with one of the family’s patrimonial jewelry and size up possible buyers. Different ad hoc experts priced the treasure differently: some incredibly exorbitantly; others so ridiculously low. The lesson was that people named a price based on one, their knowledge of the product, two, their money capacity; both of which informed three, the value they placed on it; the cost they were willing to pay for it.

Many human beings would readily pay more to buy a lion, an elephant or a tiger than they would a human being. You see that in the way they spare no cost in taking care of their domestic animal(s) or pet(s). On the other hand, they animalise or cannibalise co-human beings who are unfortunate to work under or need anything from them. Some Nigerian bosses pay graduates in their employ N15,000 monthly but spend twenty times that or more on feeding pets every week.

Back to the question. How much is human life,say in Nigeria? If you had one billion in the strongest currency, where on earth or anywhere else can you go and buy life? Now, you catch my drift: life -human life- is totally, completely and absolutely priceless.

If you don’t accept let alone carry on so, you are an ungodly person. You neither know nor fear God. You are evil, you are satanic. In fact, just go away; you are good-for-nothing.

Today, please upgrade your  humanity. Value people more. Do more for humanity. Learn to see and treat life for what it is: the best, the most expensive, and the greatest.

Stop ritual killing, stop slavery, stop human trafficking, stop organ harvesting and trade. Stop everything that makes the other person to feel inferior. Start adding value to life and living. Start making God proud of being your Father.

It is better to see and do this way with life than to be a believer or so-called lover of God who treats others like trash. No lover of God pooh-poohs life. A person who truly knows God is not known by how much they preach God or the Bible but by the monumental value they place on human beings. A lover of human beings is a great lover of God but a lover of God who classifies human beings and relates with them accordingly is not it at all.

Let’s break that down. A lover of human beings loves them all: the poor, the rich; the small, the big; the black, the white; the guilty, the innocent; the bad, the good; the weak, the strong. You must love them, in spite of and despite their gender, their age, their status; their religion, their politics, their warts and all. Love is not selective or when convenient.

We must see and treat other human beings exactly how we see and treat ourselves. We must realise we could have been them and they us. And, without any intention to stir any controversy whatever, how are we even sure they are not us and we them? Or, that in future, we or they won’t be?

Make of that what you would. If you want, switch into your religious mode and start arguing with yourself. However, thereafter, remember what I’ve told you, namely, that you must love everybody the way God does: totally, completely and absolutely. This is one sure way of not only proving beyond every reasonable doubt that you know God but also of preaching and evangelising, appropriately!

God bless Nigeria!

 

A deeper look at leader/follower burden

Being a leader is difficult but being a follower can be impossible. These things are especially this dicey in third world settings. While the leader worries essentially about sustaining the office, meeting needs of the jurisdiction and showing the way, the follower faces both a mountain and an ocean.

The follower must work or follow hard enough to impress the leader. The follower must pray hard enough the leader appreciates those efforts. The follower must pray and fast hard enough that the leader doesn’t listen to tales and gossips -what politics Nigeriana calls blackmail.

The follower must speak in tongues 25 hours daily to be remembered or noticed by the leader. That’s not all. The follower must walk on eggshells, in the presence or absence of the leader.

In fact, around those closest to the leader, the follower must only float. That is, the feet of the follower must never touch the ground nor their voice heard. Almost like, the follower must exist but not exist.

This is especially so in politics Nigeriana. The leader has a hill to climb, the follower a mountain first and then an ocean to swim. In Nigeria, the whole thing is almost as if followers are set up to fail.

The follower has to struggle to impress the leader and the caucus. That same follower has to struggle for access and relevance. Woe betide the follower if one of the pair is not obtained, or is denied or withdrawn.

Unfortunately, in Nigeria, this is not peculiar to just politics. Across nearly all strata of human endeavour, leaders and their people put followers through hell, and vice versa. It would shock you to hear leader/follower stories from worship centres, the corporate world and from such other hallowed places.

These are some of the reasons some leaders and followers become too desperate. Leaders go to every length to win and keep a position knowing it’s the only route to forcing a semblance of loyalty while followers descend to the deepest depths to be noticed and accepted. It’s a pitiable situation, signed and sealed in hell.

I don’t agree though, things should stay this way. I think leaders must deliberately cause a recontruct. Knowing that sooner or later they themselves would return to being followers (yet again) leaders should consciously lighten the burden borne by followers.

What to do is: open up the space, among others, by creating more access (long before and long after election). Between the leader and the follower, access is oxygen; if not everything. On their part, followers must be careful never to betray the confidence and service gusto and sundry privileges from the master’s table and above all, never to act too desperate, too sycophantic or to pay lip service!

Similarly, leaders and followers who are blessed with the right mix must hold them tight. The leader who finds an 85% and above follower must do even the impossible to keep them; ditto the follower. This is the surest way to fix the leadership-followership conundrum that has bedevilled our society for too long!

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