BUILDING YOUR OWN HOUSE
By Engr. Ondeku
Once upon a time, there lived an elderly carpenter who was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire.
The contractor was sorry and worry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour before he leaves. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart and attention was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials because he just wants to do and go; this is similar to our situation in this country. The President, the Governors, the Senators, the Ministers, and the rest of us-the citizens of this country are like this carpenter. Are we truly committed into building this nation? Are we consciously using substandard materials because we have plans to leave? Remember, this carpenter was just unlucky because he was one of the dedicated workers in that company, but it was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, “This is your house… my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much more differently. But, you cannot turn back the hands of time. This country is not to blame rather we blame ourselves-the citizens for this mess. It’s a collective misdeed!
Notwithstanding, you are the chief carpenter of this nation Mr. President. As a governor, you are the carpenter of your state and, each time you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall in the form of policy, fiat or expertise; you are simply building your own house. You are building a house for your extended family, you are building a house for the generation yet unborn. One of my mentors, Prof. Ahmed Abere once said, that “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, the policy you make, and the choices you make today, help build the house you will live in tomorrow.
Therefore, Build wisely!