TED Conversations

benjamin abegunde

Founder, YIESMAN

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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?

+6
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • W T 100+

    • +2
    Dec 9 2011: Benjamin, I read your question over a week ago, and I have been meditating on it and reading about it, and talking to others. Here, in a few words, I have something that might shed some light on your concern.
    A small knowledge of human nature will convince us,” George Washington wrote in 1778, “that, with far the greatest part of mankind, [self] interest is the governing principle; and that almost every man is more or less, under its influence. . . . Few men are capable of making a continual sacrifice of all views of private interest, or advantage, to the common good. It is vain to exclaim against the depravity of human nature on this account; the fact is so, the experience of every age and nation has proved it and we must in a great measure, change the constitution of man, before we can make it otherwise.”
    It has been impossible for any man to deal in an absolutely perfect and just way with his fellowman. Selfish personal interests either color or dominate his judgment and actions. And, try as men may to legislate against these inherent weaknesses, these cannot be set aside by any human government. “No system of government—whether by a monarch, dictator, tyrant, aristocracy, oligarchy, republic, pure democracy, or the Communist Party—has ever been devised that will insure that good and wise leaders will always steer the ship of state,” writes Laurence Beilenson in The Treaty Trap. “That is because those who select them or acquiesce in their rule have been people. . . . Nor are the people the rulers govern good and wise."

    The problem you want to prevent, is not mutually exclusive to Nigeria, or Africa, of India, or even the United States.
    To acquiesce, which comes from the Latin "to rest", is part of keeping peace. In my opinion, although humans acquiesce to suffering for different reasons, the prevention of it is in my opinion impossible. The real question is, how do we stop the suffering?

    What is at the root of the suffering? Do you know?
    • thumb
      Dec 12 2011: Hmm now this is food for thought, this reminds me of the, "state of nature" propounded by Thomas Hobbes saying how society gives up its rights to a sovereign body otherwise known as the, "moral entrepreneurs". It seems like to answer a question one, needs to ask more questions, it is true that suffering is not exclusive to only Nigeria, and this is just going to be the way things are if Jesus tarries. But now how does one mitigate against this suffering? One can only know the amount of roots a tree has by digging deeper and deeper, I can only see the problems that I have dug into with the amount of knowledge that I have and have handled, but for me, one root out of the many roots that I know is ignorance. But ignorance of what is another question? Seems like I have so much more digging to do, but I am getting closer.
      Thank you so much!
      • W T 100+

        • 0
        Dec 12 2011: You are very welcome.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.