WORD FOR THE WEEK – STANDARD
I looked up the word standard in my dictionary and saw its many definitions. I will now regale you with some, before making a couple of notes.
Standard is defined as falling within an accepted range of size, amount, power, quality, etc. Having recognized excellence or authority. A principle or example or measure used for comparison. A level of quality or attainment. A rule or set of rules or requirements which are widely agreed upon or imposed by the government.
Before now, what comes to my mind when I hear or see the word standard, is a measure of excellence. That is what I think when people talk about Nigeria losing standard in education, health, industrial, service, public administration, sports or other sectors.
It seems the only industries that have witnessed progress in quality and quantity, proportional to what is obtainable elsewhere since 1999 has been the telecommunications and entertainment industries.
Nigerians are quick to point accusing fingers at the ruling class, until you point out that the rulers of this country have been a product of “direct” and “popular” elections since 1999. Four general elections to be specific.
Two sayings come to mind when I look at this situation. Firstly, a people get the leaders they deserve, per time. (Very true in the case of Nigeria). Secondly, in democracy, we choose the best of us to represent and govern the rest of us. (Totally untrue about Nigeria right now. Even since 1999).
How can Nigeria fix its collective falling standards? Every society is an amalgamation of families, and each family is a collection of individuals. It is time we take a look at and correct our individual standards.
That’s the easiest explanation for people’s behavior in traffic, showing up late for public events, improper disposal of waste, waste of public resources, lack of morals, disregard for constituted authority, and other vices.
School-age children should compulsorily be taught generally accepted morals, standards, ethics and values in every school. To set them on the path of being functional and healthy units of the society in future.
And as for adults, young and old, it is time to know what it is that you stand for and actually stand for it.
If you have set a standard for yourself in different spheres of your life and some people keep telling you it unrealistic or unattainable. Just ask them, “is it your standard or my standard?”
You want a job that gives you enough time for your family, you want a husband that helps with the chores after you both had a busy day at work, you want a wife that is a great cook and can also hold her own in a political or sport or economical discussion, who told you you can’t get that?
Your standard is yours, you neither have to defend nor explain it. Aim as high as possible. Live it, to show to others that they can live it. Breathe it, to keep yourself going at it. Think it through, again and again, to ensure you are still on the path of God’s will. Measure your actions against it, to ensure you haven’t fallen short of it.
Your standard is yours, don’t drop it, don’t reduce it, don’t quit on it, don’t trade it.