“Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such an important role in directing attitudes and behaviours that we cannot make sense of our world without them.” – Malcolm Gladwell.
Man has become a hopeful species, the Nigerian is even more so, but the definition of the Nigerian type of hope is unique. Many Nigerians do not imagine themselves the agents of their destiny, capable of determining their own fate. They have relinquished such power to a force greater than them to point them in the right direction and keep them safe.
It is hardly of their making, it is what a history of lack and deprivation can do to a people. Suppress their power to act against uncomfortable situation, but heighten their longing to be saved.
HOPE is defined as the perceived ability to produce pathways to achieve desired goals and to motivate oneself to use those pathways. Hope is the product of civilisation and the life force of modernisation.
The Nigerian culture of hope is a world where desires sit on anticipation, an expectation of obtainment tethered to nothing more than the longing itself. The Nigerian culture of hope is an effect, a mood; not an action.
That young people will inherit the world tomorrow is a fact, but whether we will change it is yet uncertain. The challenges we face as Nigerian youth are steep. We are hard hit by the world’s inequalities, inadequacies and injustices. Too many of us live in poverty, unable to realise our potential. Too few of us are gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence we need to find employment and engage opportunities in rapidly changing job markets, where the capacity to learn and adapt is essential.
“But if all we have is hope, then, we are of all men, poor, most miserable.”
It becomes imperative that we learn to hope rightly. We need to understand what it really means to hope. We need to identify with hope as the sum of the mental willpower and waypower that we have for our goals. To this there are 3 underlying concepts:
- GOALS are objects, experiences, or outcomes that we imagine and desire in our minds. The goals involving hope often fall somewhere between an impossibility and a sure thing.
- WILLPOWER is the driving force in hopeful thinking. It draws on the perception of our desired goal as well as one’s mental energy. It also depends on how well we understand our goal.
- WAYPOWER reflects the mental plans or road maps that guide hopeful thought. There are important versus less important goals that play a part in one’s ability to plan through a goal, to map out a plan.
When we learn the right way to hope, then we can achieve success from the steady accumulation of advantages that come our way often.