Many people have heard of The American Dream. They may not know what it means, but see it as a doorway of prosperity. I checked the meaning of The American dream from my friend, google and got a definition
The American dream was first publicly defined in 1932. Historian James Truslow Adams used the phrase in his book, Epic of America. The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. James went on to say it is not ‘a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognised by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.’
Quite an impressive dream! Presenting America as a land of equal opportunity where the citizens are free to dream of greatness and are given tools to walk into that great future. No wonder many Nigerians especially, do anything to become American citizens, or set foot in that magical land of prosperity. A visa to America which some call God’s Own Country, is like a visa to Heaven. You need to hear the shouts of excitement when anyone shares a testimony about obtaining a visa to go there.
Two questions take up residence in my mind as I meditate upon The American Dream: What is the Nigerian dream? Is there really a Nigerian Dream?
I first heard the expression The Nigerian Dream from “Sam Adeyemi”. He spoke glowingly of his vision for the delightful country. In a tweet, he asked if a Nigerian Dream existed and got some interesting responses.
Many did not believe in the reality of a Nigerian dream. They saw Nigeria as a nation so bedevilled by challenges, that the citizens had no strength left to dream!
What a dismal picture.
Funny enough, some people tied the Nigerian dream to a journey overseas. One respondent said, ‘I want to go abroad to help the nation that has a dream, to develop their dream.’ As far as this person is concerned, Nigeria had no dream and it is wise for the citizens to ‘play safe’ by joining forces with those who could dream, to develop their own dreams.
Not very flattering either.
Away from that tweet, I have heard Nigerian citizens make comments about Nigeria, which has been described by foreign media, as a failed state. The citizens are vocal in their criticisms of the policies of the nation and do not want to hear any talk of a dream. ‘Is it not someone who has eaten, that can have the energy to dream?’ someone asked, sarcastically.
Even those who once nursed dreams of a great nation and were vocal in their defence of the nation that they feel is loaded with potentials, have begun to sing a dark song. Their optimism has almost been strangled by the reality of the challenges that confront them.
The challenges are real and the negative pictures that emerge when the nation is scrutinised, can be so disheartening to look at, but it is not wise to dwell on the negative reality.
I see beyond the challenges, to a field, teeming with dry bones. I see the man who was shown this field and who was sure there was nothing that could be done for the bones. I see the divine hand that caused a change in the midst of chaos. I hear the voice of divinity who asked if the dry bones can live. I see those bones, dead, dry and representing hopelessness, spring to life.
I see hope, in place of the dismal, unflattering and bad reports. I see freshly budded flowers spring up from the dead plants. I ask two questions that come to my mind.
Do you believe in the Nigerian Dream? Do you think that Nigeria has no dream?
As I write, I dream of A NEW NIGERIA, rising from the ashes of its struggles, emerging as gold from the furnace of fiery trials.
I see a NEW NIGERIA where the citizens will be judged by the content of their character, and not the family names they bear.
I see A NEW NIGERIA where intellectual property will be valued above the residue of black gold from an almost tired earth.
I see A NEW NIGERIA, excelling above the struggles of backwardness, to stand erect on a pedestal of prosperity.
I look at a NEW NIGERIA where the citizens will work together in unity to build a nation where no man is oppressed.
In my mind’s eyes, I see A NEW NIGERIA emerge, where the representatives of all the tribes will speak as ONE VOICE and forge ahead to a great future.
I call to existence a NEW NIGERIA where THE VALUE OF A NIGERIAN LIFE will be priced above rubies.
I think of a NEW NIGERIA where love for divinity and humanity will soar above greed for material wealth.
In all I see THIS NEW NIGERIA beckon at us. My dear readers, do you see this vision with me?
Let us call forth this NEW NIGERIA! And as we reach forth to bring it to existence, we will stand as ONE, believing in the unity of our shared history.
Then shall we see it emerge. THE NIGERIA OF OUR DREAMS, now enthroned in reality.
Welcome to a NEW NIGERIA.