Be the change you desire and be the peace you seek….

As a child growing up in Nigeria, I had the great fortune and privilege of being constantly told that my only reason to exist was to make my world a little bit better. One of the most interesting quotes I read was from a little book called ‘The way’ by Josemaría Escrivá, “To criticize, to destroy, is not difficult; the clumsiest laborer knows how to drive his pick into the noble and finely-hewn stone of a cathedral. To construct – that is what requires the skills of a master.” The quest to create change seems to be a dominant theme of my life.  I know that other kids growing around me had similar experiences since so many of us have dedicated our  lives to becoming  the change we crave in our world. Perhaps our parents were closeted or outright revolutionaries disillusioned by a nation that many returned to after years in the diaspora only to find decay that continues to marinate five decades later into festering, putrid hopelessness. Complacency was not an option, and I learned to shout my dissent, march my dissent, and sing and cry and write, all in an effort to effect change. I also learned that idealism without practical, decisive goals was only fit for the trash can. I also learned that gluttony and greed make nightmares more colorful. Sometimes it seems that all my prayers, words, and actions are futile as change is so so slow. I quietly remind myself that it takes time, perhaps a lifetime to evolve into a master, capable of constructing effective change but that will not stop me from creating my own little oasis of change and peace. Until then, I savor spectacular sunsets as they foreshadow inevitable change.



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