I found myself once in an exclusive restaurant in New York city. After looking though the menu with my other colleagues and thrown into wonder what I was seeing as potential dishes on my table, I tried to see how I could combine things on the menu I was familiar with so as to be certain of the state of my bowels when journeying home. On my inquiry, I discovered I could alter anything on the menu, but only add to it, of course at an increased cost. The manager on duty informed me that these were classic Italian meals and altering them will reduce the value in taste and fulfilment, they are meant to deliver to the consumer. I sat there and had to make a choice between my uncertainty and the ethical imperative of a traditional dish. At the end of the day I felt absolutely satisfied, not for the taste of the dish, but for the unbreakable standards that lay behind the ingenuity of the meal.

Standards are what really give value to anything in life. You can imagine if there was no standard to the restaurant, they will serve me my desired concoction just to please me and erode the legal stance for claiming the value of the dish. I sat back in that restaurant and imagined if my country promoted standards in daily meals governance and leadership serve the people, what will the results be today? The trouble is in Nigeria, standards are a dead issue and survival has become the unarticulated motivation for our system. When survival becomes the opium of the people, then of course ethics, values, morals, rules, principles, judgement, guidelines and the like are murdered for bread and butter.

Standards must become a quintessential part of servant-hood in our nation and I am humbled to say that this must be evident even at the very foundation of society. Questions of standards must be at the heart of our engagement with each other. What principles do I stand for on my job and in school or in my business? Or do I throw them aside in my daily escapades within a disorderly society? Let us begin to build unbreakable standards in our little circles of influence and stop waiting for the government to determine by what standards we must live our lives, for they haven’t yet determined by what standard they should lead the people.

You know what I mean my friend, stop looking across your shoulders to the other person. Determine the standards by which you must live your life and no one will give you anything less. This way we can jointly begin to demand for increased standards from our leaders and pubic servants. When I say this I mean a demand that says 12 hours of light a day is not acceptable, but 24/ 7/365 uninterrupted power is the standard. We are tired of boreholes for water supply, we deserve flowing water to our bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, and even into our washing machines and fridges. We wouldn’t accept anything less than every Nigerian covered by a national health insurance scheme and an educational plan that sees all our children having basic access to good education. Providing these things should not appear on any politicians manifesto or evoke an applause when implemented.

We cannot allow the circumstances within our great country to impinge on our mentality negatively to the point that we abandon global standards and settle for obtuse living. Standards are everything and we must make sure in the fight to live it must not be defaced and given another appendage. We must keep standards as high as possible and if at all, we must increase the standards by which we judge our living. When standards die, we lose our value as a people and living becomes animalistic. I have promised myself, I will give myself wholly to see my country create a new global standard of living, which seeks to progressively give more to the people it bears and not draw from them.



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