There is a lot of cry for equity in the distribution of world wealth today. We want to point out that though this cry for a just and even allocation of the global wealth seems so loud and shrill today it is nothing new rather it can be traced back to the very beginning of the human society. Perhaps some of human passions such as envy and jealousy can be said to have their roots from the same time too and it seems that they are never far from each other. Much of the time, the advocates for this world’s view whip up a lot of sentiments, appealing mostly to the human emotion rather than reason. As in everything else in life different people have different reactions to this unfortunate human condition. Some people shrug it off with their shoulders and continue about their businesses. Some others are appalled and anxious for some kind of action that will right the perceived wrong which has been done to the less affluent peoples of the world. When confronted with the fact that since the rich after all worked very hard to acquire their wealth and are therefore entitled to all they have got so why should they share with the less privileged? These people argue that after all we are all children of the universe and based on that birthright everything in the entire universe belongs to all of us equally. And when anyone takes a bird’s view of the different world societies these disparities can be heart-rending and even perplexing. So the cry is definitely not like crying wolf where there is none. The situation is genuine and urgent. The gap between the rich and the poor societies of the world sometimes seems so infinitely wide such that they can be even embarrassing. This nagging problem of the human society is apparent everywhere even to the disinterested observer.
Both now and in the past people have made attempts to address this issue by trying to close this ever widening gap. Some people have used the emotional approach as we stated above such as organizing elaborate programs focused on the rich donating generously even on a regular basis to supply the material and physical needs of the poor. As a result today the world is full of all kinds of agencies both governmental and private that are dedicated to responding to human crisis situations and trying to ameliorate human sufferings everywhere. By the nature of these organizations the operators firmly believe that if the donors can give enough this searing chasm will be sooner or later closed or at least bridged. The effort is without question a laudable one and we are not in any way discouraging it. There is nothing wrong when you see your neighbor in need and you reach out to give a helping hand. The gesture of when you see your neighbor hungry and you give him food to eat is part of what makes us human and it is the foundation on which the human society is built. It is an intrinsic part of the human society such that once the world society looses that aspect of its existence then it is doomed.
But be this as important as it is yet as experience has come to show we know that this has not by itself solved this problem – the donor approach. Over the years we have had enough experience as the operators of these various agencies will testify to that it is time we tried a different approach because whatever goal they had set out to achieve has at best remained quite elusive. The solution to this human predicament is not as simplistic as we had first thought. On an individual or inter-group basis within one society perhaps with very minor exceptions that maybe a fool-proof solution.
But when sovereign nation states are involved such as in the Sub-Sahara Africa we need to realize that the factors at play are more complex than just donating food, water, medicine and gadgets. In this region of the world it is the height of insincerity and dishonesty on the side of the donor nations and organizations to continue to believe that the problems here will be solved by donations and more donations. The many problems of this part of the world are more fundamental than that and the solution is an open secret which everyone that cares knows. Time or history and places have proved over and over again that in all the societies in the world today that have grappled with and solved their social, economic and political problems which usually translates to relative society comfort or affluence have done so because somebody or some people at some point told the people the truth and showed them how to live by it. And one aspect of that truth which time has proved too is that human problems cannot be solved by mere emotions. Emotions have their part to play in human affairs but not where the primary and complex issues of the human society are concerned. Emotions are fickle and less reliable than reason and every progressive human society is built on the later rather than the former.
The other part of the truth which every rich society does know is the fact that people’s problems are solved only when the root causes are tackled instead of the symptoms. The root cause of all the seemingly endemic problems in the Sub-Sahara Africa today is the present structure of the various societies in the region. The foundational construct of all the nation states is at the root of the bestial and unbridled form of mismanagement of resources and the wanton destruction of lives going on there now. We are therefore saying that all involvements of the rich nations and organizations in the region should be restricted to solving that problem if they are really sincere at helping the region to get out of the current doldrums. Anything short of that only amounts to mere symptomatic approach and showmanship and even trickery. The aim of every involvement should be to find a lasting solution that is transparent and void of any form of dishonesty or else we will be compounding rather than alleviating the people’s problems.
Most societies that have solved their problems will agree that they first realized at some point that all social problems can be solved. Then they recognized that real solutions to all problems are reached only through honest analysis and implementation of the sincere and true results of this analysis. The next important point they reached in the process of their problem solving is that most social problems can and should be solved sooner than later. And finally they accepted the fact that all it takes to solve the problems are some effort and sincerity on the side of the people in responsible positions. So what the Sub-Sahara Africa needs is not donation or any such thing rather it is honesty and sincerity in resolving the region’s problems. And we know that the true world wealth does not consist in the material and physical abundance but in honesty and sincerity.
So this now brings us to this point where we cannot resist asking the question of what in truth is the actual world wealth. Does it consist in the physical material structures and accumulation or the intangible qualities of the human mind and attitude? If you ask me I will choose the later over the former as the answer to that question. And based on that choice we can then argue that the disparity in the distribution of the global wealth that seems to be disproportionately lopsided is actually not exactly what it appears to be. The global wealth is equally and evenly distributed across the world population because basically all humans everywhere are gifted with the same mind capacity as the most elementary physiology lessons can prove. What we think to be the problem is the seemingly disparity in the distribution of resource management ability. The attitude of the general population and the ruling elite in particular is what makes the difference between the rich and the poor societies of the world. Yes, the world belongs to all of us equally but we must all learn to be responsible citizens of our world and demonstrate accountability in the management of the resources. All people everywhere must become conscious of the effect of every action they take, how it affects the now and coming generations of people and society.
EQUITY AND MANAGEMENT by Osita Ebiem