Just Thinking...

Do You Love Nigeria? – Saleh Shehu Ashaka

Someone posed a very interesting question today that really got my wheels of thought whirring: Do you love your country? Are you patriotic?

I’m not sure what it is that provoked my train of thoughtful energy to chug and chug, but I really put a lot of chug and chug into this question.

After much, consideration…I emphatically announce, “Yes.  I am patriotic. I do love my country!”

To some, they may not understand the hesitation or why it would even be a big deal to make such announcement, but you’d have to come from where I come from and experience the things I experienced to understand the stutter step.

We can’t control the nation we are born in, but much like you can’t control that – you also can’t control the family you are born into.

Many of us have family members that do ugly and shameful things – and many of us still love them just the same.  Some of us don’t feel the same way.  Some people even go to the extent of dropping their family name and disappearing all together. Yet, for the majority of us, we stick by our family despite their flaws and shortcomings.

Our significant others have flaws too, but we are with our significant others for the things we love about them.  We recognize the problems they have, but help them work to make themselves better because we love them.

I hate that my country has a religious  & ethnic difference.  I hate that my country embraces violence and ethnic hatred.  I hate a lot of things about my country, but I love Nigeria

I love the fact that despite the uneven opportunities and playing field – if someone worked hard enough – s/he could still have control over her/his success.

The Nigerian family has a lot of beautiful members to it.  The beautiful mixture of people that make up our melting pot.  The things we have given to the world.  Nigeria is beautiful. I love Nigeria.

However, Nigeria is not perfect, but I am willing to do my part in making Nigeria a better family. Nigeria  is not the same country it was 50 of years ago.  It won’t be the same hundreds of years from now.  Nigeria is fluid.  It’s a raging river that sweeps, drowns, shapes, and powers. It is dangerous and beautiful, yet, wild –but manageable.  That’s why I love Nigeria.

Saleh Shehu Ashaka.

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