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benjamin abegunde

Founder, YIESMAN

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How does one not acquiesce to suffering?

After I finished watching Natalie's talk , I showed my roommates and of course we all were inspired. Then I asked a question that, "why is it that the citizens of western nations seem to be so eager to help but while we here in the east seem to accept and in a way acquiesce to the hardship around us?"

The only conclusion I came up with is that when you see suffering 24/7 especially in Nigeria, you are tempted to just see it as the norm. Even after relocating to Nigeria I have been tempted to do this.

So the question is how do we prevent this?

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    Nov 30 2011: This may be an unpopular, and even a bit of a depressing answer because it's so hard to overcome... But, I'd have to put my money on life expectancy and sex drive.

    Sex drive, simply in the sense that, and I just wikied this so it might be wrong, but on average, the number I got, was 4.88 children per family in Nigeria. This creates depression, because no man or woman works hard enough, to earn enough money to feed 7 people... Smart people give up, because they can't support the ever increasing population. Meanwhile Europeans, and Americans, are literally averaging less than one child per two people. We've given up on supporting a large family... So we have nothing but time on our hands, our kids are spoiled, and we wish there was more we could do with our money. Curbing population is necessary I think, but it's so hard to enforce. I heard they're thinking about a 3 child rule, but can people tolerate it?

    The other is life expectancy... Europeans and Americans live until they're 80, so they think more long term. There were scientists that tried to blame this on genetic race, but it seems much more likely to me, that if you're brought up in a culture with a 40 year life expectancy, you never get taught to think long term. I think brains develop differently under different circumstancess. I think Europeans and Americans, think they're going to live 40 more years than Nigerians, so they're much more confident they can accomplish long term goals.

    I will say there is one other factor though. Self report... Everyone says they want to help in Europe... but who's actually helping 1, 2%? I don't think we're as much more caring or engaged than anyone else, I think we just like to say we are... The hopefull side to all this, is that those things are all improving. The number of children per family is going down almost worldwide, as life expectancy goes up. Also, Americans and Europeans are putting a bit more money where there mouth is. Time heals all.
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      Nov 30 2011: I appreciated you comment. I would have, however, instead of using 'sex drive', said 'birth control'.

      I did not know life expectancy was 40 years. That is astonishing to me.
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        Nov 30 2011: I think it's probably higher than that now... but as recently as 20 years ago, almost all of Africa, especially rural communities, were only in the high thirties. I'm a bit of a vulgar rabble rouser, and a bit of a stoic, so I'm all about controlling emotion, "must control sex drive"... but you're right birth control would be better terminology.

        Sex drive might be a bit offensive, but I like to think they're both a bit accurate too. I think America starting out as those weird prude puritans actually helped us out a bit in terms of wealth and life expectancy, even though I'm glad we've given it up. Culture plays a role, birth control definately plays a bigger role in modern times though.
        • Dec 4 2011: Life expectancy may be yes but family size? in Nigeria it isn't much of family size but more of a catastrophic colapse of the social structure.

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