Intellectual Engagements Vs Service to Humanity

“The Elite”, “The Educated”, “The rich” and “Cream of Society”; these are statuses we desire and like to be associated with. Well, you know the irony, the essence of these statuses, when achieved, are best used to uplift others, speak for the voiceless, stand for the less privileged and oppressed, share knowledge and expertise with the less educated/uneducated, empower the younger generation, reach out to feed the hungry, and heal the sick. In other words, whatever you have and have become, is meant to be at the service of humanity.

Rather, what we commonly see is an attitude of “All man for himself, God for us all”, or you are “On Your Own” (OYO). Well, you may not be able to reach out to everyone, however, if you have had the privilege of being educated, of being in a certain position or highly positioned, have a voice, have some access to resources, have knowledge, then you have a responsibility to lay all that at the service of others. These gifts and blessings do not call for assuming a proud disposition and belittling others.

Using your position to oppress others, and the vanity of wanting to show that others are beneath you does not really achieve anything for anyone. It would only dent one’s image as being a proud person. Besides, there is the saying that, “What goes around comes around”. The good one does for others always comes around. One may be up and high today, while tomorrow things could be different.

Even some persons who say they do not believe that God exists still see the need to reach out to the next human being as a way of adding value to humanity. Despite their disbelief in a Supreme Being Creator, they still strive to make some positive contribution and positive influence/impact in the lives of others around them.

As a member of society, what you have or possess, be it wealth, resources, knowledge, career, position, privileges, skills, abilities and gifts are meant to make the world a better place. According to your abilities, you are called to empower the young, uplift the poor and oppressed, better your community and all those whom you represent (if in an elected position). Anything besides this leaves one with lots of questions to answer before God and man.

Even Jesus, the Son of God said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus also added that he came “…to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour…” (Luke 4:18-19).

In the light of this, the elite, the educated and those in positions of power, authority and influence, very often engage in intellectual discourse on issues. These issues may be national issues as it relates to the economy, to politics, political participation, socio-economic concerns, health, education, social amenities, infrastructure and citizen’s wellbeing.

It would be vital to know what results and development leaps emanate from intellectual engagements held at foras, seminars, symposiums, conferences, townhall meetings. It is important that intellectual engagements are genuinely geared towards improving the life of the ordinary child, woman and man on the street.

  • Linda Ellah

 

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