Monday, 21 August 2017 10:56

If Money Is worthless, Why Die For It?

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The idea of this essay comes from a book  this writer  saw a Korean man read while we were sitting beside  each other in a Jumbo airplane,  travelling  from America to China in 2013. I am sitting in this very large airplane beside this smallish Korean national who has a book in his hands. The front page of the book is written in the manner a chicken does with its legs as it scratches the ground to find food. The letters on the covers and inside the book are incomprehensible, meaning you cannot make a head or tail of the damned thing. I can recognize just one sentence written in English in bold letters at the very bottom of the front cover. It says: "WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY."  All the  pages in the book are filled with chicken scratches.

I say to the Korean, a total stranger sitting beside me:  May I take a look at your book for a few moments? The Korean ignores me because we aren't speaking the same language.  Unable to contain my curiosity much longer, I waited a little longer until the Korean rested his head on the head rest and then placed the book in back jacket of the seat in front of him. I reached for the book and pulled it out from a seat 's  jacket, where  it lay on top of other equally scratched up magazines in front of the Korean man.  The Korean ignores me, says nothing,  knowing too well we are on a 18-hour flight from America to China, and there is no way on God's earth  I could steal the book nor understand  the contents. I am asking for what does not make sense, asking for a thing that doesn't add meaning to existence.

I take an eager look inside the book, and immediately become frustrated. My frustration comes from  knowing  nothng, and from  realizing  how little I know of life,  how little I know about money. My mind goes back to the essay I wrote a few months ago entitled WHO OWNS THIS MONEY? Then, I decide to engage this Korean in an uneasy discussion, Please tell me some of the stuffs money cannot buy.  He shakes his head from side to side and nodded up and down with a smile to indicate he doesn't understand or speak English. We were total strangers born in different parts of God's earth.

I want to ask this Korean: "WHAT CAN'T MONEY BUY FOR ME OR YOU?" To me, the question is urgent and pressing. I need an answer right then, however trivial and feeble. It then hit me: Money can buy absolutely nothing. You may just say: Money can't buy anything that is  substantial. A thing is substantial if it is important, significant, consequential, or considerable. I can hear some readers heckle: (A) Money can buy food, clothes, vehicles, houses, or shelters; (B) Money can buy weapons of war with which we obtain greater wealth from people in possession of oil, metals, and things that convert easily to money.

This essay is purposed to underscore a problem that is destroying and  eating away the very fabric of life in my country.. We need to underline, highlight, emphasize, accentuate, and stress the fact that Nigeria and Nigerians are dying from  a problem  that is killing both the  old and young, from our leaders in the three branches of the Nigerian governance  to the child hawking  akara balls on the streets. The problem is  progressing rapidly and assuming  an epidemic significance. The problem is earth-shattering, worse than an invasion and eventual conquest by armies  of foreign nations.

The problem is Nigerians' untoward attitude that is unpleasant, problematic, and improper. How do we begin to explain why three young  Nigerians should be languishing for a total of 235 years after they were extradited from South Africa to Mississippi, USA,   for allegedly participating in international scam. These Nigerians received unbelievably stiff jail sentences.  Oladimeji  Seun  Ayelotan, 30, was handed 95 years in prison. Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, was given 115 years in prison, and Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, was handed 25 years in prison.

The sentences  were handed out after a three-week trial in early 2017, where a U S federal jury found each defendant guilty of several offenses including mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property. Additional charges were conspiracies to commit bank fraud and money laundering.

Can money authenticate or  repair these young Nigerian men's inauthentic  lives or replace years wasted away in a dungeon? Will money  ( ego in Igbo; kwudi in Hausa; owo in Yoruba) validate, confirm, or substantiate our wasted existence? Surely, it cannot bring back the lives of babies murdered at Ozubulu Catholic Church by seekers of money?  Alas, the  babies did not even know  what the bullets shattering  their bodies were all about. Little did they realize that the guns and bullets were not toys Daddy buys from K-Mart.

Can money buy, delay, or rush time? Can it disfigure the universe so I can leave New York one night and be at Lagos, Nigerian a day earlier? Can money make it possible for a favorite uncle who died in 1975 to come visit today and witness my metamorphosis, transformation, or transmutation of his village?   What exactly can money buy for you or me that nothing else can buy? Nothing! Zero! Zilch! Nought! Nonentity!

The longer we think about the value of money, the more we are convinced that money is more of a curse than a blessing. Look around you and observe the level of poverty, hatred, waste, death, envy and misery that we can justly attribute to money or as originating from money. The men I grew up with are all dead victims of money. They'd splash stolen money in unimaginable ways you thought they would not die.

Money does lots of meaningless things.  If you mention food, clothes, vehicles, vacation time and wartime as things money can buy, then I would ask you:  Aren't these things luxuries that do not add anything to life other than your  journey  from your mother's womb;  to the dining table,  to the toilet and finally to the grave in a borrowed attire? Where is the list of things money can buy that are not ephemeral, meaning short-lived, transient, passing, fleeting, brief, momentary,  rather than  lasting ?  Read to the end of this essay to find out.

Money is meaningless.  A thing is not meaningless  if it is  carrying great weight, is momentous, or  having an important effect. The question of what money can and cannot buy is a persistent one in the light of the disservice that money is doing to the human race in general and to Nigeria in particular, bearing in mind the dishonor people who have or lack money are doing to themselves. We are compelled to wager that money is an insubstantial, insignificant, worthless  piece of paper. We conclude  that:

Money cannot buy God, or  life, (the state of not dying from disease, old age, or accident).

Money cannot buy peace, love, respect, justice, being law abiding, or decency.

Money cannot buy commonsense, fairness, fair dealing, equality, or freedom from mental enslavement.

Money cannot buy weapons  to prevent human annihilation by the wicked.

Money cannot buy hope, salvation from fear, or freedom from old age and  eventual death.

Money cannot buy me; I don't know about you.

Money cannot buy anything we can be satisfied with without needing more.

By Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

 

COPYRIGHTED 3/25/ 2013. DIRECT COMMENTS TO THIS WRITER

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.