Awake! Arise! Let us go to work: A Case for Dignity of Labour

The hope of a better tomorrow makes life livable and gives meaning to all human aspirations and endeavours. Hope is the sole reason why we have not parked up from the face of the earth. As the rising of the sun is a sure sign of a new day and new beginnings, there is need to get the ship to sea, pull in the anchor and set the sails. Even if the horizon is cloudy and lifeless, there is hope of a beautiful world somewhere behind the clouds. Let us step out for duty calls.
The dreamers’ dream remains but a dream until he wakes up. The most beautiful edifices of the dreamer vanishes upon his awakening. For all the achievements and accomplishments of the dreamer are mere fantasies as he dreams in his sleep. But the dreamer needs to be awake in order to actualize his dreams.
But now is the time to wake and work!!!
There is a wise saying among the African people that no matter how short a man is, he can always see the sky unless he fails to look up. Since opportunity often favours the prepared, I have set out here to sound the Agogo Aikoya to the young men and women of Igala race. Decoding the encoded message in the Okakachi Ayegba Oma Idoko. It is a call to duty. It is an invitation to manly fields where the strong and brave sweat to avoid the shames of servitude and subjugation.
We are to cultivate the habit of industry and hard work. We must learn to bake our breads and work for our daily bread. The shameless neo culture of “OMA WE DEE” should be proscribed and left in the dust bin of abrogated practices. The land has abundance to offer to those who speak to it the language it understands, namely -WORK!
The growing trend of able bodied people employing mendicant methods in order to survive cannot be encouraged. The lands are fertile. The sellers are making gains. Handiwork experts are smiling at days end. For that which you earn offers its own distinct satisfaction.
The Agogo hanging from the “OBOBO TREE ” in the Éga market is sounded after every five days. Young men and maidens, wake up. It is market day. Let the fruits of the fields and seas greet the market. And we shall smile now as our sweat turns to sweets.
The words of Marc Chagall comes to mind here, when he says “Work is not to make money, you work to justify life.” It is abundantly clear that to work and be useful is the reason for our existence. And in engaging ourselves in productive manner, we realise the purpose of our being.
Work does not only serve our needs by providing us food and what to drink. In the general or more universal scale, work is part of our responsibility to the world (which is our common home).
The man who cultivates the fields in order to reap harvest from the earth equally keeps away weeds and prunes the plants. In so doing, the farmer adds to the beauty and colours of the world.
The legendary sage Sophocles attests that “Without labour,  nothing prospers. This view finds agreement in the thoughts of Alice Walker too: “Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception and realise a partnership in the creation of the universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.
Work has the capacity to make the mind more orderly and organised. For to occupy the mind with something good and productive is a way of keeping oneself away from unwholesome thoughts that result in negative behaviours.
Since nature abhors vacuum, in order to forestall the mind from engaging itself in devilish thoughts that produce harmful characters, we must consciously direct it to a genuinely worthwhile enterprise.
The Athenians of Ancient Greece strove to build the mind with intellectual materials, and the Spartans had more focus on the physical aspects of the human body. The purpose of all these is to keep us in line with the essence of our existence. Richard Cumberland supports this point when he says “It is better to wear out than to rust out.” In similar vein, the great Thomas Jefferson reiterates “A mind always employed is always happy.  This is the true secret, the grand recipe for felicity.
There is a growing trend of laziness among the new generation youths of our time. The delusion that success has short cuts. Some believe in fairytales of how people can “HAMMER” by doing nothing. This tendencies totally undermines the principles of nature that something cannot come out of nothing. Echoes of Hope is calling for a return to the “old ways”, where our fathers ate from the fruits of their labours. When begging was a reproach to the Igala Man.
“What the country needs is dirtier finger nails and cleaner minds.” Nothing can be more truthful about this generation than these stinging words of Will Rogers.
Let us go to work for there is joy and reward in labour. And the rising of the sun is our hope of better days. Arise My Kinsmen of Igala race. The fields beckon………


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