INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING ABOUT PROBLEMS, BE THE SOLUTION
“Be part of the solution and answer to the problem versus part of the problem and continuing argument around it.” — David Pratt
According to American Businessman and Philanthropist, David Pratt, every one of us must aim to be part of the solution rather than be amongst those complaining about the problem. I’ll like to share with you the story of a girl that successfully left her footprint in the sands of history by refusing to waste the energy of her frustrations. This girl single-handedly used the force of obsession (from anger and hatred against injustice) to cause a turn-around of a historical trend.
Malala Yousafzai was 11-years-old when she started her campaign against the almighty Taliban. She couldn’t sit down and watch how the radical Muslims of Pakistan denied girls the right to formal education. For many years, the Taliban blew up schools that admitted girls almost on a daily basis. Malala hated the prejudice, and despite her young age, she converted her anger and hate to obsession, and she fought back the only way she knew how to.
She started a movement where she spoke out about the rights of female children to formal education, and her passion was so powerful, people from around the world stood up to support her. When the Taliban announced that from the 15th of January 2009, no girl would be allowed to go to school in her Swat Valley part of Pakistan, Malala got irritated and angry, and she defied the ban. At this point, she was so obsessed with putting an end to the prejudice that she publicly declared that, “they cannot stop me…our challenge to the world around us is: save our school, save our Pakistan, save our Swat.”
Would you believe that the opposition put up by this young girl threatened the Taliban so much that they attempted to have her killed? The force of Malala’s obsession was just too much, even for the might of the Taliban. Her defiance, her doggedness, and her persistence—all traits of obsession—were so intense that they couldn’t stand it, they organized an attempt on her life in the year 2012.
Luckily, she survived. Since then, Malala has been a source of inspiration to people all over the world and a good example of how to tackle the wrongs going on around us.
Rather than join the thousands that were complaining, Malala decided that she’d do something about it and be part of the solution. The actions of the Taliban made her angry, and she hated how much power they had. In response, she used that hatred to harness the only power she could use to counter them, and her obsession triumphed even against the considerable heft of the Taliban.
It is this kind of anger and hatred exuded by this young girl that can be used to cause a national transformation. To some extent, it’s almost incredible to think that insult, anger, and irritation could be a positive force. Yet, history has taught us that the different sentiments, feelings, and reactions we sometimes have—if transformed into an effective obsession to find a solution—could be used to achieve the best results. There are three types of people in this world; there are those who feel insulted and angered by the injustice going around them and dedicate their lives to doing something about the injustices. Then there are some who spend all day talking about the problem without thinking of how to make things better, and lastly, there are people who don’t feel any kind of sentiment, insult and anger. These ones become complacent, indifferent and sometimes aloof from the realities going on all around them. Which category are you in?
William Wilberforce, an English politician and philanthropist, the man who led the movement for the abolishment of the slave trade, was definitely in the first category. This brilliant biography of Wilberforce would not come to be if not for the anger and frustration he experienced towards the act of trade of human beings by other men; he went on to become one of the leading English abolitionists.
Wilberforce was angered by what was going on around him, but he didn’t let his anger waste, he did something more than just cry and weep about the plight of the slaves. He started a Parliamentary campaign against slavery, a campaign that became his lifelong mission. Thanks to his 20-year fight in the parliament, the slave trade act of 1807 were eventually passed in the English Parliament.
Wilberforce was indeed a man of passion, and he obsessively addressed and challenged everything that was wrong around him.
Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralysed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to find a solution.” — Bill Hybels
According to American pastor and author Bill Hybels, revered visionaries face the same problems that everybody else does, and the difference is that they try to find a solution to the problems. Whenever he saw something that frustrated him, he responded not just with emotions and sentiments, but by obsessively pursuing the solution.
Wilberforce was a visionary, and he didn’t let the weight of the problems and the criticism he got from those who gained from slavery paralyse him. He sacrificed everything he had for the betterment of the world he lived in. Wilberforce was so obsessed with changing the negatives in society to positives that he suffered greatly in his health, and even though he lost his life in the process, he accomplished one of the men’s greatest feats; he changed his world. Others who never gave themselves out for the plight of their society also died, the difference is, they changed nothing.
What are you doing with your frustrations? Will you just whine, complain and grumble, bringing yourself emotional distress as a result? Or you will actually turn your passion into a force of change? Will you expend all your passion complaining about the problem, or will you obsess about the solution? Wilberforce stands as a colossal example for all of us to learn from.
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.” ― Jon Krakauer (American writer and mountaineer)
As Jon points out in the quote above, so many people live in not-so-ideal circumstances. However, instead of them to take charge and find a solution to the issues around them, they prefer to suffer in silence, afraid that any action on their part will threaten the life they’re used to. These people are definitely not obsessed with finding solutions to their problems. If they were, living an average, mediocre life would never stop them from taking action and seeking a better life for themselves.
Ironically, the suffering that Mary Slessor saw and took action to put an end to was not even in her immediate environment. Mary Slessor was Scottish, but she didn’t let the fact that she lived in another part of the world make her indifferent to what was going on in Africa. This simple lady left her native land just to stop the killings of twins in Nigeria.
It would have been so easy for her to have said, I don’t care for Africa, I would just remain in my country and enjoy the security that it affords. However, she could feel the frustration of a mother whose child is killed in cold blood just because he or she was born a twin.
Mary Slessor moved to the Calabar region of Nigeria at the age of 28. Obsessed with putting an end to a barbaric act, she lived in the same conditions as Nigerians, sacrificing her personal comfort.
In exchange for that, Mary Slessor saved millions of twins. All the twins in Nigeria today are alive due to the refusal of Mary Slessor to let her comfort get in the way of her making a change—even if it’s in the lives of strangers.
Many people lived in the days of Mary Slessor, many more probably heard about the human sacrifice in Africa, yet only this poor Scottish lady converted her anger and frustration into a constructive obsession. Thanks to her, today, mothers can see their twin children grow up. It can be said that she brought civilization to that part of Africa through her sacrificial service to humanity.
She died in Calabar in the year 1915, with no biological family or children, but she became the mother of a whole nation. That is what happens when you turn your frustration obsessively towards doing something impactful.
To be continued Tomorrow, don’t miss it!
Excerpts from the Book “Obsession The Master Key To Leaving An Impact On Your Generation”. #DSABOOKS
This book can be found on dsabooksplanet.com and Amazon.com
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.