You’re a graduate, now what? - Part IV

Sunday February 9 2020



Norbert Mao

Norbert Mao  

By Norbert Mao

We live in an unequal world where the dignity of the majority of the human race is respected only on paper. The world is like a two-deck ship. On the upper deck live the privileged few who bask in the sun and enjoy the fat of the land. Underneath live the majority in squalid conditions. In the lower deck hunger and thirst abound.
One can only imagine what would happen to the voyage of humanity if those in the lower deck should punch a hole in the bottom of the ship to get a drink of water!
So I urge you to view humanity the way you would legal tender. If you have two bank notes, one crispy clean and new. The other old, dirty and tattered.
Also read: A very good question: What next dear graduate?

Do you think the new bank note can buy more goods than the old one? I reckon not because the intrinsic value is the same for both notwithstanding the difference in appearance. In the same way you should accept that intrinsically all human beings are equal. You may look up to people when you can, but by all means look down on no one.
Here is what certain people think about the man on the street. To a statistician he is one unit in a crowd. To a biologist, he is a specimen. To a physicist he is a formula of mass and energy. To a chemist he is a compound of substances. To a historian he is one of billions of beings who have inhabited our planet. To a politician he is just a vote. To a merchant he is a customer. To a mailman he is just an address.
Do not let your character and perspective on life be fragmented. Being fragmented is like looking at your image using a broken mirror. Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant. One touched the ear and declared that the elephant is like a blanket.

Another touched the side and said the elephant is like a wall. One touched the tail and said the elephant is like a rope. Another touched the trunk and said the elephant is like a snake. Another touched the leg and was convinced that the elephant is like a tree. In the real world, a lack of perspective can be your undoing.
Today, we hear of net worth versus network. Build on the friends you have so far made and create a network of people you can rely on for self advancement. I urge you to get interested in people. When you are in courtship, you do not think of your own interests.

You are consumed by the interests and wellbeing of the object of your desire. As we strive to know more about people, to understand rather than be understood, we are in a better position to fulfil the commandment, “to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.” And our friendship will be reciprocated.
Don’t believe the crap that politics is a dirty game to be avoided. Assume your full share of responsibility for the world in which you live. Vote. Run for office. Get involved in local community activities. Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper on issues of concern. Don’t be a bystander. You may avoid politics, but politics will not avoid you.
Think for yourself. Don’t be a sponge that absorbs any opinion, however unworthy. Develop a mind that sieves ideas. Develop your own policy, domestic and foreign. Give it thought, effort. Stand on it. Stand for it. Live it. Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.

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Lastly, pray consistently and confidently. Every once in a while we all face insurmountable odds. To go through life’s bad seasons, stay connected to God. Don’t unplug yourself. God’s network is never busy. His battery never runs out. You can always recharge your lift through prayer.
When soldiers in combat face enemy fire which they cannot handle they call the general headquarters! God is our general headquarters. We are like pilots. God is our control tower. The army has walkie-talkies. Pilots have radios. We have prayer. Prayer is the hub that holds the wheel of life together.

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