No big revolution is possible without small personal revolution, on a personal level. It must first happen inside. ~ Jim Morrison
When you think of a revolution in Nigeria, what comes to mind? Some of us think of street rallies and “Occupy Nigeria” protests, while others think of guns, war and bloodshed, but what if the power to start a revolution in Nigeria required none of the above?
On 20th November 2013, Joachim MacEbong @je_mc2 posted series of tweets about what it would take to really change Nigeria.
1. Most of us are not ready for what it will take to change Nigeria, even on an individual level; too ready to rationalise certain things.
2. Revolution has nothing to do with killing people. Revolution is when you tell your friends/loved ones to return Nigeria’s stolen money.
3. Revolution is when, while driving, you refuse to form another lane that will block oncoming traffic. Revolution is paying your water bill.
4. Revolution is refusing to inflate that contract in your office. Revolution is paying your electricity bill, without short cuts.
5. We don’t need to occupy anywhere to have a revolution. What we need is to refuse to have anything to do with corrupt people among us.
6. Revolution is ostracizing, socially, those who have brought us to this place. It is more effective than any jail term.
7. Revolution is when you wait your turn in the line; it is when you refuse to pay a bribe to get your passport or license.
8. There are several types of revolution. Pick the one that works for you. Do it now. Don’t wait. It could be you or your loved one next.
9. Revolution is when you refuse to cheat on an exam, or aid those who cheat. Revolution is when you report cheaters.
10. Revolution is refusing to aid or participate in election rigging, or giving excuses for those who do.
“When you look at it like that, revolution is not that hard. Or is it?” he asks with a smile.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “I’m already doing what is right. Why hasn’t Nigeria changed?” In response to the question, “But a lot of this is stuff we already do, why isn’t it working?” Joachim tweets back, “Not enough people are doing it, that’s why.”
That is the heart of the matter. A personal revolution is important, but it is not enough. The key to the Nigerian Revolution is to infect people with the Change virus. Starting a revolution in Nigeria will cost each one of us something, but what if we didn’t have to pay in blood? By deciding to do what is right, you can start an epidemic – or a revolution if you please – where you are!
The Free Dictionary defines an epidemic as “an outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.”
Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, is basically the life story of an idea, and the idea is very simple. It suggests that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the recession and coming in of crime waves, or for that matter, the way unknown books metamorphose into bestsellers, and so on, is to think of them as epidemics; that ideas, products, messages and behaviours spread just like viruses do.
A perfect example of a tipping point in America, for instance, is Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat. It was considered normal in America for black people to give up their bus seats for white people, and they continued to do so until the day Rosa Parks refused to get up from her seat. Suddenly everybody woke up, and the struggle for equality took on new, unprecedented strength. Yet it was a little thing – a mere refusal to give up her single bus seat simply because she was black.
It is obvious, then, that if we truly want a revolution with lasting results, we have our work cut out for us. We must not only act right, we must get someone else to do so as well. Tell someone, and let that person tell someone else, and before we know it, we’ll have an epidemic – a great host of Nigerians full of conviction and ready to take a stand for what is right, steadfastly and consistently. Only then will we have a chance to build the country of our dream, and to hand on to our children a banner without stain.