BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE OR BLAMING YOURSELF IS WRONG,
JUST DO WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHT
If you look around, you will find numerous things that other people did to impede your progress and hurt you. If you choose to you can use that situation to blame them for what they did wrong to you. You feel angry at what they did to you and want to get back at them. The problem is that if you get back at them, they will defend themselves by getting back at you. Thus, you and they are now caught in a war of mutual blaming and mutual attacks; it is a war that neither of you are going to win.
Those who blame other people, especially their parents, for how their lives turn out to be are usually weak feeling people; they do not have a sense that they can do it by themselves. They believe that their parents ought to have spoon fed them and believing that that did not occur they feel angry at them. They do not pause to see if their parents had the ability to do more than they did for them, they just assume that they had the ability to do so and choose not to do so. These people feel so weak that they do not believe that they can do the little that everyone is able to do to improve his life. They are totally depowered.
Empowered people know that they do not have absolute power, set realistic goals, and do whatever they can to achieve them and leave it at that.
Depowered people set grandiose goals of ruling the world and becoming trillionaires; neither goal is doable, so they fail in achieving them and look for scapegoats to blame for their unrealistic behaviors and consequent failure.
On the other hand, if you examine what is not working for you and choose to believe that you caused it, that you are responsible for your fate you are also wrong. Only you cannot be responsible for how your life turns out. The fact is that we live in a general system universe where everything affects everything else; the part of the whole is always responding to what other parts of the whole did and they are responding to it.
Other people do affect you, for good or bad, and you do affect them; it is stupid to say that only what you did or did not do determines your fate. It is what you did and what other people did to you that determines your trajectory in life.
Therefore, it is really a waste of time blaming you for your failure to succeed. No one is an island; all the trees in the forest affect each tree in the forest; all human beings affect each human being, and he affects them.
What is also true is that each human being plays a role in his life. His actions and inactions contribute to his success or failure but do not entirely determine them.
COLONIALISM AND NEOCOLONIALISM, FACTS AND FICTIONS
Africans tend to blame their former colonial masters for their current failures. The colonial masters had less than a century encounter with most African countries and for that little amount of time Africans attribute all their failures to them!
Africans ruled themselves in the past 100, 000 years since homo sapiens evolved in Africa and all they achieved during that large amount of time was destroyed by only a century of their relationship with Europe (and the preceding four hundred years of transatlantic slave trade). Think about that contention, does it make sense to you?
Britain ruled Nigeria for only sixty years (1900-1960) and thereafter Nigeria has ruled itself for sixty-two years. Yet, many Nigerians blame Britain for the current mess that Nigeria is in. You hear adult Nigerians talking about what the British did to them. Among other sayings, they claim that they destroyed their traditions.
Well, if your traditions were destroyed in such a brief amount of time, they were weak and needed to be destroyed; strong traditions resist other traditions’ attacks on them. India, for example, has retained its Hindu religion despite four hundred years of European presence in India; the West scarcely touched Chinese, Japanese and other Asians traditions despite extraordinary efforts to destroy them!
In the real world, more powerful traditions and cultures defeat weaker ones, so if your culture was destroyed it was weak and needed to be replaced.
To start with, most Nigerian traditions were not exactly admirable; for example, Nigerians did not have writing, and they did not have the wheel, the two prerequisites for civilization; in Southeastern Nigeria they used to throw twin babies into the forest to be devoured alive by animals; they used to throw children born with disabilities away for animals to eat them; Nigerians used to have many wives and produced many children that they did not provide for; worse, they sold some of their children into slavery!
Africans used to run around their world capturing their people and selling them as slaves to their fellow Africans or to Arabs and, much later, to Europeans. Europeans parked their ships at the coastal regions and Africans from the interior brought their people to the seacoasts and sold them.
Africans were backward; no one has had the courage to tell them this ugly fact thus they run around talking rubbish about their glorious traditions that the white man destroyed.
Given chance to imbibe western education it went into their heads, and they now run around blaming Westerners for all their woes, woes that are rooted in their inability to establish proper political structures and use them to govern themselves effectively.
They do not work hard to generate wealth or pay taxes; their conception of government is where they go to steal money from the national treasury and while doing so pretend to be big men who do nothing for their people. Corruption is their national culture; certainly, nothing gets done in Nigeria without someone bribing someone!
Africa failed not because of the white man but because of Africans inability to govern themselves right; blaming other people because of their issues do not make those issues go away.
African schools must stop the nonsense of teaching their students to blame Europeans for their people’s fate and, instead, teach them how to be courageous and govern themselves properly.
Blamers are children who, when given the opportunity to rule, given their learned sense of victimhood, do not do the right things.
On the topic of colonialism and neocolonialism, no one with any kind of brain in his head denies their deleterious impact on Africans. Slavery and colonialism humiliated those who were enslaved and or colonized. It is not right to humiliate any human being; only sociopaths derive sadistic pleasure from belittling people.
Those who are humiliated tend to feel angry and seek opportunity to counter humiliate those who humiliated them. Africans and Black folks in general would like a reversed situation where they humiliated white folks. That is what history is all about, a group humiliates others and those others, in turn, struggle to acquire power and use it to humiliate those who humiliated them. Romans enslaved Germans and Germans destroyed the Roman civilization.
The solution to this problem is for Europe to acknowledge that it humiliated Africans and for white Americans to apologize for degrading African Americans. African Americans, as I pointed out in numerous writings, need to be paid a reparation. Amends must be made to them otherwise their spirit of anger will not rest.
However, this essay is not the right place to address Black folks’ anger at those who humiliated them. What this paper aims at is to tell Black folks to resolve to work to improve Africa and place at the back burner whatever issues they have with white folks.
Neocolonialism is exploitative; as we talk, France practically lives off its former African colonies’ wealth. These colonizer and colonized relationships, as Albert Memmi pointed out in a book by that title, and Franz Fanon noted in his books, The wretched of the earth and Black Skin white mask, are serious issues. They must be addressed but, in this paper, I limit myself to talking about self-help rather than dwelling on the help that other folks, Europeans, can render to Africans.
AFRICANS WANT TO CONTROL EUROPEANS THROUGH INDUCING GUILT FEELING IN THEM
The greatest mistake one can make is to listen to blamers and feel guilty for their failed lives and on that ground try to help them. You cannot help them because they are playing the victim card. Until they realize that they are not victims, that their lives are in their hands, that they sleep on beds they made they are not going to change.
No one can change other people. Therefore, no one should feel guilty because another person blames him for his failure. Europeans must not feel guilty because of Africans poverty because Africans caused their poverty, Europeans did not cause it.
By the same token, it is not parents’ fault if their children did not do well in life; feeling guilty and out of guilt feeling providing for adult children does not really make them improve their lives; what helps them is for them to take charge of their lives and do what they must independently do to succeed or accept poverty and that is okay.
Give African leaders money to help develop their countries and they pocket the money, and their people remain poor, and they come to the world stage to blame the West for their eternal poverty.
The West must no longer accept their blaming them and ask them to do what they must do to become developed.
Africans are like children who are angry at their parents, white folks, for not taking care of them; well, they are not children; they are adults and, as such, must take care of their issues and not expect white men to take care of them.
Let them be as angry as they want to be but do not give in to their sociopathic ploy of manipulating your guilt so that you help them.
As a people they do not help each other but want foreigners to help them.
AFRICANS SELDOM SHOW GRATITUDE TO EUROPEANS WHO HELPED BRING THEM INTO THE MODERN WORLD
Africans seldom show any kind of gratitude towards the Europeans who came to Africa and lived with them, built schools in their villages, and trained them to read and write (and many of those teachers died from assorted tropical diseases).
It is true that there was some exploitation going on in black and white relationships, yet good judgment disposes folks to be grateful for the little good that other people did to them.
Other people do not owe you anything; only you owe you something to survive. Therefore, one must be grateful for whatever good other people did to one.
Ungrateful people are not nice people. Ungrateful Africans easily justify stealing from Europeans and their own people. Thus, Africans must learn gratitude if they want to do an excellent job of ruling themselves.
I do not blame Africans for their poverty; I also do not blame white folks for Africans poverty. As I see it, it is a waste of time blaming oneself or blaming other people for one’s fate; what needs to be done is for all of us to roll up our sleeves and do the work that enables us to make the most of our world.
Most Africans have been socialized to embrace their helplessness and powerlessness; what they are really seeking is to have white folks to return to Africa and develop Africa for them and give them money to sustain their lives; white folks failing to do that they feel angry at them and blame them because of their colonial encounter, as if one hundred years of their relationship with Europeans supersedes their thousands of years with themselves and their failure to develop any kind of meaningful civilization.
Africans must stop blaming White folks or themselves and simply do what they must do to develop their much-maligned continent; only they can do it, no other people will do it for them despite their crying for help because in our world each of us is responsible for his survival.
I am a pessimistic and idealistic thinker; like my philosophical mentor, Arthur Schopenhauer, I see human life as unnecessarily painful and full of suffering; life in body and on earth is something to be endured. If I had a choice in creating this world, I would not have created people and would not bring children into this world.
What is the point of bringing children to the world to live and suffer and die and be eaten by worms. Life is pain and then you die, a bummer. I would not have created this world and if God created it, I damn him; he is evil for only an evil person would have his children suffer as human beings suffer.
I do not think that God sent us to this world. We are spiritual beings, who, like the prodigal son, left our comfortable spiritual home to go live in matter, body, space and time and suffer and when we have had enough, we return to our spirit abode.
I simply do not like seeing human beings suffer, as I see Africans and poor people all over the world suffer.
Only a deluded person would choose to come to this world. I think that we, in a fit of insanity, chose to come to this world,
Gautama Buddha, like me, see life on earth as rooted in desire for special, separated self and suffering and sees the solution as giving up the desire to live in body and relinquishing the ego and living from unified self.
Well, we are, for now, here, so let us make the most of it by doing whatever we can do to live well without blaming ourselves or other people for our suffering.
Ozodi Osuji September 12, 2022