True Alignment – Reaching For Self and Breaking Traditions

Alan Alda

‘’You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover is yourself’’

Lack of intuition, a dearth of inner will, an absence of self-reliance and a want of inner push, these words best describe our condition in the 21st century. It’s quite ironic that we push for new frontiers while still holding on to false traditional frameworks, we forget that our existence is a continuous unbuckling and demystification of age long traditions, someone once said that preoccupation with the past is always a retreat and I strongly believe that. Self-awareness is one of the fundamental keys to emotional intelligence as posited by Daniel Goleman and it has been defined as the ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well as their effect on others. As simple as this definition may seem, I must say it is one of the most despised truth of life, little wonder why we tread on buried values, deny the warning signal of truth whether out rightly or in silence, we do ignore the caution of Henri Frederic that says ‘’truth is not only violated by falsehood, it may be equally outraged by silence’’.

In as much as we are miraculously distinct, we still hold on to collective identity, we want to be heard but prefer to voice our thoughts just after others, we want to be free but we don’t mind some form of slavery(ask the African nation). We want to be in control but fall continuously under the temptation of impulse. In our quest for recognition and fame we abandon conscience and lick the sweet bitterness of moral decadence. Our desire for status gives us that feeling of self -aggrandizement enabling us indulge in the rat race of seeking attention from the other. Standards, regulation and limits look like words that would soon be expunged from our personal dictionary, as a matter of fact it’s no longer part of our diction, but ‘’Yolo’’(You only live once) will always have its way. We ultimately deceive our society into believing we are using to a great deal all our potentials.

Our social architecture is being crafted by those who care nonetheless about growth and development, by those who do not see the sanity in a national dream. Vehemence and fierceness best describes our push and longing to display our youthful exuberance. All we need is a tiny spark and that mighty flame of violence, hatred and hurt is made evident. As much as we deny it, we are too desperate to sell ourselves cheap to drugs and alcohol. If Esau was in the 21st century, probably selling his birth right won’t be a big deal, he would have been described as a ‘’sharp guy’’ ‘’No dulling’’ kind of guy. Our biggest employer (The social media) has so many recruits and is ever pushing for more, we now have an explosion of multiple personalities, one is the person that tweets, and the other is the person that has the fingers that tweet, two different persons I must say. We see the social media as a person, one to whom we share our feelings and innermost desires, it’s almost replacing true communication as it were.

The instructions that guide our heart and the experiences that shape our soul seem to be dwindling in its effects on our day to day decisions; the tyranny of the urgent seems to be our main currency. We are so negatively creative that our graph of social vices is ever on the increase, our maturity continuum is not typically characterised by incremental growth and progress but by geometric rise in drugs, sex and alcohol. We prefer to be acted upon rather than we acting, we do like to run even before we learn to walk, and we await a return ticket while we never travelled. Our value for intuition is low and we rely solely on tuition, forgetting that throughout our early years to higher education, all we have been paying for is tuition fees and not intuition fees. You might ask why, the answer lies in the fact that intuition is innate and cannot be paid for but can only be brought forth and discovered.

The great thing about the business of life is that as much as it is full of challenges, it is also full of the overcoming of it. What our society needs is not structures fit, tradition conformers, not a man who will lose his peculiarity in the midst of storms. Our society need a man who would stand tall in the event of danger and evil, a man who will not succumb to the impulsive pressure of youthful exuberance. Our society calls for a man who holds on to his calling, one who sees laws, regulations, social justice and standards as fundamental truths guiding the progress and development of a nation. Our society needs a man who truly knows the meaning of virtue, value and belief, one who believes in the equality of men and the right of women. Our society needs a man who possesses opinions, will and enthusiasm. One who believes in the very words of Ralph Waldo Emerson that says ‘’every great and commanding moment in the history of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm’’. The question is, are we aware that our society really has all these needs? It’s time to pause and think about our paradigms, is it going to give a different result from the previous, or is it going to engender us into a brighter future. Will the difference between the boys of yesterday and the men of today just be that the men’s toys cost more? Do we continue to watch the pornography of maternal mortality, sex trafficking, corruption and child abuse? Do we stand as spectators watching our values fight tirelessly moral decadence in the boxing ring of paradigms and culture?

Bertrand Russell once posited that ‘’It is a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things we have long taken for granted’’. This issue of self-reliance must therefore be emphasized as individuals and as a nation. One thing we know to be true about identity (right identity I must say) lies in the fact that it gives us the audacity to say things to the world, that they don’t believe actually make sense or is possible. With the right identity, Mandela after 27years in prison, ruled as president and stepped down after 4years, that’s simply anti-tradition especially when you put it in the African context. Right identity and self-reliance would mean that one must always insist on the right things even if that it is the most difficult thing to do at the moment. It’s been said that an old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim against the current. As much as we want to work out our physical bodies, we must also endeavour to work out our society, building up the muscles of growth and development .In the words of Abraham Maslow ‘’We can choose to go back towards safety or forward towards growth’’.

In a world of e-commerce and social networking, we easily fall into the trap of getting things done that we forget and neglect ‘’WHY’’ and ‘’HOW’’ we are doing them. Myles Munroe once said ’’When people misunderstand something but believe they understood, then the misunderstanding is understanding to the one who misunderstood’’, this best explains our situation today. Freedom is that very thing every generation must earn, and earning it would require a proper identity of who we truly are as individuals and as a nation. We sure do know that it’s very comfortable to do what everybody is doing, but that is not the best way to make a significant difference. An overreliance to the old will limit the emergence of the new; therefore if we want a different outcome, let us reach on to our inner will. In the words of Jim Collins ‘’we must avoid the trap of time-telling and embrace clock-building’’. We must endeavour continuously to fight for a chance to display our own emerging forces.

In closing this thought, I must say categorically that true alignment would mean being led by our inner will and not pathways, practises, traditions and catchwords of the secular world. As afore mentioned, our society demands from us, new ways to education, new ideologies, new designs, new songs, new books, new leaders, new politicians, new ways of doing things rightly, and in us is embedded the solutions. The civilisation we enjoy today was earned by heroes past; it’s therefore time to create new paths and frontiers of hope for the generation unborn. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson ‘’It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after our own, but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude; for a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’’

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One thought on “True Alignment – Reaching For Self and Breaking Traditions

  1. What an inciting one there with spices of the perils of non-conformism! Only men prepared with such will truly give salt to the earth and be real venerables!

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