During one of my numerous freshers’ orientation events, I asked myself, “what is in it for me” if I am to become a student member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA)?
Why is it even important? My curious mind was racing back and forth as I asked myself these questions. Suddenly, the timeless quote by the much loved John F. Kennedy jumped up to my mind – “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” So, in this case, “Ask not what NIA can do for you, ask what you can do for NIA.” That response gave me a paradigm shift to think differently and caused me to look inwards; because of this new frame of mind my focus was now on how I could best contribute my quota and add value. I volunteered to assist the public relations officer of the departmental students association. This role gave me useful insights into some crude realities of life and paved a platform for me to do more.
What is the essence of education beyond seeking a job upon graduation? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, what is the essence of developing critical thinking skills, taking numerous courses and studying tirelessly to pass exams? Putting it simply, it’s to become a solution provider. This is the practical benefit. This is the reality as the world remains a place filled with daunting issues begging for practical solutions. The issues are indeed many, awaiting those adequately prepared to turn lemon into lemonade.
Nigeria and the world at large has grown beyond waiting for governments to create jobs. Rather, youth at all levels need to develop both creative and critical thinking capacity to proffer solutions and add value. The world is fast changing and we need to constantly question the status quo. Why? How? Why not? Look around you. Money is in circulation but you just need to open your eyes and mind to see how best to tap in, create value and money would automatically chase you. It is all about defining who you are and the role you want to play in this game called life. What can you bring to the table?