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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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    Dec 13 2011: You seem to have sparked many peoples' interest, so hopefully I will not be too redundant.

    It isdespair that causes you to acquiesce. Being submerged in the vast ocean of human tears, shed by the millions of neglected and suffering people around you, it is easy to feel as though you will drown that you will never find the shore. Feeling that you are too small to face against the titans of social/political/environmental injustice (which leads to hardship). Knowing you mayhave to fight all your life, it is easier to relent than fight, it is easier to despair. Maybe it is a difference in parenting (east vs west), my parents always said I could do ANYTHING when I grow up. Perhaps, that naieve but inspiring sentiment is not told to enough children in Affrica.

    Be aware that happiness does not rest on the condition that you are free from hardship. I have known manypeople with seemingly charmed lives that still could find reasons to complain because inside (where happiness starts) they were miserable. Like flowers raised indoors, when exposed a harsh breeze, they break and wilt. People in underprivelaged countries, having been exposed to the cruel winds all their lives, they weather the storm. Hard life or easy life, happiness starts within.

    So how to prevent aquiescing? Face the titans, fight injustice/cruelty/greed, knowing that in your life time you may not win, but as long as you keep fighting, you will never lose. Know in your heart that you are NOT ALONE, and when you stand with others who will work with you, you need not despair. Find the happiness in the little ways you change things/help people, and in the knowledge you are doing what's right. Even if it is only in a small way, YOU MATTER.

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