Monday, 28 November 2011

Walking In Wisdom

By Bayo Ogunmupe

OUR true rewards in life depend on the quality and amount of contribution we make. From the scriptures to science, psychology to business, the documentation is the same. As we sow, we reap. You should know them by their works. You get out what you put in. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These are all sayings of the scriptures—and of the wise.

The way we can build self-reliance is to recognize alternative choices we have in a free society.

Earlier in my columns, I wrote about three great fears, namely, the fear of rejection, fear of change and fear of success. A good way to conquer fear and build self-reliance is to realize that we all are God-created but self-molded. That we are given love, spiritual leadership, divine rules and laws to help us understand how we cause our own effects by our own decisions. To build self-reliance, you must replace fear with knowledge and action.

We are only victims of our own fears. We are victims of habit and group conformity. Indeed, each of us becomes a hostage of our own making. To be self-reliant, we need to be different if it means being cleaner, and better groomed than the others. The greatest risk in life is to depend upon others for your security. The greatest security is to plan and act and take the risk that will make you independent. Carry this motto in all your teaching: Life is a do-it-yourself project. Become role models for your peers and always model yourself after people you respect. Never make excuses for anything. If a commitment cannot be met, always call immediately with the reason. Never make excuses after the fact. Procrastination leads to the rationalization of failure. Never make excuses to the people you are leading.

In ancient Rome being a sculptor was a popular profession. Really, you were not considered a celebrity if your home or office didn’t have several statues of the gods adorning it. As with every industry, there was good and bad quality statue. Occasionally when a sculptor makes a mistake in carving a particular statue, the crack would be filled with wax. Then, sculptors became so good at remodeling with wax that people could not tell the difference with the naked eye.

If anyone wanted quality statue, he would go to artisan market place and look for good statue makers, marked sine cera – without wax. In sine cera booths reside the real statue. Thus, more than any other virtue, we look for in people, we value sincerity – without wax. Previously, I have written about responsibility as understanding Jehovah’s great law of cause and effect. Here, we are dealing with how to walk in wisdom. Wisdom is the combination of honesty, intuition and knowledge applied through experience. Wisdom is honest knowledge in action. The application of knowledge with intuition is known as sagacity – practical wisdom. There is no greater example of the law of cause and effect than that which is demonstrated in the results of a person’s honesty or dishonesty, over a period of time. There can be no real success without honesty. Some day, the person’s house of wax will melt to reveal the fraud inside.

It is not enough to think the truth. You must act the truth and speak the truth. To be able to do this is to succeed in life. To be wise leaders, we also must consider the impact of our decisions on other people in our lives. The ability to anticipate the effects of our decisions on other people’s lives as well as on our own life is wisdom. When we honestly consider the wellbeing of others, before we decide to profit ourselves, we become truly rich and sagacious.

In life, however, knowledge makes the difference. According to the University of California (UCLA) Brain Research Institute, the power of the human brain to create, store and learn is limitless. The great Russian scholar, Ivan Yefremov, has told the Russian people: “Throughout our lives we use only a fraction of our thinking ability. We could without difficulty learn forty languages, memorise a dozen encyclopedias and complete the required courses of dozens of colleges.” However, one painful reason is that people don’t believe they are worth that much. This is why low self-esteem is such a devastating growth inhibitor. It is sad that people have an aversion to doing more than is necessary to get by.

Peter Drucker, the famous management expert, admonishes: “Today, knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement. Scholars are not merely on top, they are on top.” Human engineering research over a century indicates that one of the most important aptitudes for success is that a large vocabulary – which implies broad knowledge characterizes the more successful persons, regardless of their occupations. Brain is becoming more and more the master of brawn. It should please you to know that reading is the best way to gain knowledge and a greater vocabulary.

Our champion of today is Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, the Russian statesman who became the president of Russia in 1990. The architect of Russian Republic, yeltsin became the first popularly elected leader in Russian history in 1991, guiding the new republic into freedom through breaking up the Soviet Union until his resignation on 31 December, 1999.

He was born February 1, 1931, in Russia, attended Urals Polytechnic and worked in construction from 1955 to 1968. He joined the Communist Party in 1961, becoming the first secretary of his region’s party in 1976. Thereafter, he came to know Mikhail Gorbachev then his counterpart in the city of Stavropol. In 1985 Gorbachev chose Yeltsin to clean out the corruption in the Moscow party and elevated him to the Politburo in 1986. As Moscow’s mayor, yeltsin proved an able and determined reformer. But he estranged Gorbachev by criticizing him for the slowness of his reforms.

Gorbachev kicked him out of Moscow’s leadership in 1987 and from the Politburo in 1988. He was demoted to deputy minister of Construction. However, yeltsin staged a comeback. Through his advocacy of democracy and reform he became popular. He took advantage of Gorbachev’s policy to contest and win a seat in the new Russian Parliament in 1989. In 1990, he was elected President by the Russian Parliament against Gorbachev’s wishes.

Thereafter, yeltsin publicly called for the dissolution of the Soviet Union and then quit the Communist Party. His victory in the direct election of Russian President in 1991 he saw as a mandate to assert the independence of Russia from the Soviet Union. He won global acclaim by casting himself as a democrat and defying the August coup attempt in 1991. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union that December, Yeltsin transformed Russia’s socialist command economy into a free market economy by implementing price liberalization and privatization programmes.

In 1994, Yeltsin sent troops into Chechnya, which had seceded from Russia in 1991. The army was unable to suppress the rebellion. This further eroded Yeltsin’s declining popularity. In another spectacular comeback, however, Yeltsin defeated his Communist challenger in the second round of voting for this second term in office in 1996. He spent the months after, recovering from a heart attack. On 31 December 1999, he made a surprise announcement of his resignation, leaving the presidency with his chosen successor, the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he said Russia deserved new leaders in the new millennium. Yeltsin maintained a low profile after his resignation, making no statements or appearances. Boris Yeltsin died of heart failure in April 2007 at the age of 76.

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