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THE REFORMERS MANIFESTO DISCOURSE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
THE REFORMERS MANIFESTO DISCOURSE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
By Denet N.Eyo & Mandus Akonjom Editor: Chika Ezeanya .
â€œDenet & Mandus, I must confess that I'm spellbound and born anew each time I read your reformer's manifesto. It is touching, inspiring, uplifting and life transforming. I am truly INSPIRED!!
Dr.Emmanuel Aniekan Essien, Calabar Nigeria. "So true is the necessity of what ought to be done to bring about the changes we desire to see in our lives and communities. No book has so reminded me on the need to take action. I recommend this piece to anyone who feel a Compelling need to be different; to rise to the occasion even without applause" Engr. Steve Okurit, President Ugandans in Diaspora Europe. ."There is no greater cause than this. I am sick and tired of the world's perception of Africa and Africans. Oh! Poor Africa always begging for aids. This has to end. It begins with you". Engr.Harry Tabi,New Orleans USA.
CONTENTS: Forward PART I THOUGHTS PART II YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE CALL TO REFORMS THE VIRTUE OF SACRIFICE TAKE ACTION OR RISK DECAY PART III NOBLE ASPIRATION THIS IS OUR TIME THE PARADOX PART IV BE THE DREAMER THE END LEAD RURAL AFRICA
FORWARD This discourse is not intended to be an exhaus ve treaty on the much talked about issue of social reforms. We the authors have put down our thoughts with one ideal in common, to bring our everyday life of common place du es to a closer realiza on of our ideals of "social reforms". It is sugges ve rather than explanatory, it's aim is to s mulate men and women to the discovery and percep on of that selﬂess centre which lies within the altar of their heart, and to fully apply them towards the ideals of unselﬁshness. We implore all to seek this path as a labor of love for the be erment of mankind. Denet N. Eyo & Mandus Akonjom
PART I THOUGHTS "Development must be judged by it's impact on people, not only by changes in their income but more generally in terms of their choices, capabili es and freedoms; and we should be concerned about the distribu on of these improvements, not just simple average for a societyâ€? Amartya Sen-Nobel Prize winning Economist.
In the alchemy of daily living we strive to keep our thought as well as our ideals simple; but the complex human life like the complex atom is forever seeking disintegration. Our minds like our universe are in a state of entropy; a persistent restlessness towards its "natural idealâ€?. Man in his quest to bring about certain reforms has succeeded to an extent, but his achievements are still far from adequate. Plagued by indecision and uncertainty as to whether his train of thought will uplift or debase humanity, he becomes burdened with amania which is partly rooted in ambition. These thoughts of ours; the rational, the intellectual, the prejudiced, and the vain often emanate from our fragile ego which depends on the afďŹ rmation of others. 6
Our desire to change the world is partly rooted in ambi on, and for that singular reason we have failed severally to inspire others. This has retarded our progress for years, and has deprived us of the opportunity to really enjoy the world. Are we giving up? No! We are s l in love with COMMUNITY REFORM. With the worthwhile goal And not the addic on to fame We are kicking our desire to applause And learning to reform for ourselves This allows us to follow our hearts regardless Whether it leads to fortune or failure And the commitment to do what is meaningful For ourselves and for others This is the challenge we are wil ing to accept, This is what we are wil ing to unfold. 7
This is both therapeu c and challenging And we are ďŹ nding out That we are not alone Reformers everywhere are discovering their Passion: Reforming!!! History is replete with great men and women Who laid the founda on for human progress Through their reforms This manifesto is a clarion call Wri en by reformers For reformers If you feel the same tension That breeds social reform Then congratula ons! If this awakens your intui ve longing, Then READ ON. 8
A WORD OF WARNING.... Be prepared to be challenged, Be prepared to be generous Because when you ďŹ nish reading this We are going to ask you to begin something. To start SOCIAL or COMMUNITY REFORMS For the right reasons Reformers don't reform to get recogni on True reformers don't reform to be acknowledged They don't do it for fame They do it because they cannot do without it By their thoughts, words, and ac ons They are compelled to inspire To dream To think To act
PART II YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE True reforms begin with the reforma on of self, With a change of heart and mind If thou would change the world, Change thou thyself! Change the way you think, The way you talk, And the way you act Be logical in thought, Be accurate in speech, Be orderly in act. This is the right step In the right direc on You have to believe that your words can inspire And that your ac ons can move others Some mes your work feels small and insigniďŹ cant,
Keep in mind that the building of a house begins with a brick And that a small ripple can gain momentum And build a current that is insurmountable. All inﬁnite varia ons of calcula ons Which tabulate the science and commerce of the world Are made up of just ten ﬁgures And all the hundreds of thousands of books Which cons tute the literature of the world And perpetuates its thoughts and genius, Are built up from 26 alphabets “The fundamentals in all things are few and simple”, said James Allen You have to believe that what you do counts for something Be the source of the consciousness you want others to experience They wil -when you do.
It begins with you.... You take the ﬁrst step You take the journey All you need you already have A willing eye to see the problems And a keen mind to solve them Your eager heart to keep you mo vated And courage to never give up It's all about taking the ﬁrst step Keep in mind that you have a chance To truly change a life You are not here to mark me You are here to make a diﬀerence. When thinking of your gi s in life
Think PEOPLE It is not your posi on but your disposi on That determines your inﬂuence on others Your aspira ons, beliefs, convic ons, And life experiences Are all that are needed To make it easy To render it in the near future A thing accomplished A blessed state realized.
CALL FOR REFORMS The evolu on of the world will go on Whether we join it or not, And reformers in all spheres of human life Are the catalysts of evolu on True reformers discipline themselves to begin Forsaking excuses and procras na on They understand That genius, power and magic Lies in boldness All moral teachings are an aﬃrma on Of man's freedom to choose his course And mould his des ny A man's un ring eﬀorts to achieve his ends Are declara ons of consciousness of freedom and power If we can't help ourselves nobody will do it for us 14
The sufferers of social injustice must bond together To do more for themselves Beyond what the Federal, State, and Local Governments Can do for them. All true reform must come from within, With a change of heart and mind You are an agent of change You hold the key to truly transform yourself, Your circumstances, your environment, You've got to believe that something within you Is superior to circumstances And that you can create the right circumstances For your reform A good knowledge of self implies knowledge of all men For all minds are the same in essence, Differing only in degree
THE VIRTUE OF SACRIFICE Who has measured the breath of Liberality? “There's something ultimately insincere and unfulﬁlling about the promise of a 'better you' that does not involve pain and sacriﬁce” said Jeff Goins. In each of our stories, there is a moment When all of our priorities, all of our concerns, are shifted Our identity begins to change with it There is this burden within us That something is wrong with the world. We've seen too much, and we can't bear it any longer Sometimes we suddenly ﬁnd ourselves Walking down the street naked, Exposing too much of our hearts and our minds, Revealing what is in the inside; That is when we may begin to get it right In that process we attract those who believe what we believe, 16
And by attracting we create. Reaching out to help other people gives you greater fulﬁl ment Than anything else you've ever done. We all have experienced the joy and exhilaration That attends the thinking of a kind thought And the doing of a good deed We are yet to see a kindly man Who is not blessed to the degree of his kindness.
“Philanthropy is about using the resources at our ﬁnger tips to help others” said Melinda gate. "Do any hearts beat faster, Do any faces brighten To hear your footstep on their stairs, To meet you, greet you anywhere? Are you so like your Master, Dark shadows to enlighten? Are any happier to-day Through words that they have heard you say? Life were not worth the living If no one were better, For having met you on the way, And known the sunshine of your stay" …………..James Allen 18
This is a call for all men and women to the practice of virtue, To believe in the possibility of goodness as an actual attainment And to consider the necessity Of being in the forefront of Social and Community Reforms. If we don't get involved We cannot inspire others to do same. The man who is not afraid to use his small means to assist others need not fear poverty - Jonathan Edwards. There is certainly in the heart of every man and woman A selďŹ‚ess centre Without which the outer man cannot be And the ignoring of which leads to suffering And confusion
In every community there are people Who are committed to doing something? For the good of that community Good deeds are the urgent need of the moment Therefore Awake! TAKE ACTION OR RISK DECAYING Life is synonymous with action Life is motion Life is change Life is a struggle both within and without Your very existence is a series of efforts and accomplishments. If you try to avoid exertion Be it physical or psychic, Then you have commenced decay. Take Action! 20
PART III NOBLE ASPIRATIONS What is our ideal If it does not hold the active desire to be useful? To seize the opportunities of the moment, Bring happiness, sympathy, and help to those around us? Doing simple things with grace and nobility of manner Is where it ought to lead us, And he who wil not do the little thing he can do, Wil never do the splendid things he thinks he can do. A True reformer advocates for fairer opportunities for all And strives to do something for the common good A true reformer is an exponent Of the philosophy of the golden rule,
And his ideals are of spotless purity and selďŹ‚essness. All that needs to be done can only be done by leadership, Not by endless complaints Things wil only change when you change This looking upward and going upward And seeking to unite your aspiration with the noble Is your eternal refuge from the storms of passion and prejudice; And this makes for human progress. Therefore ASPIRE.....
There is no limit to the dream a virtuous mind can hold Therefore aspire towards worthwhile goals! Lack of intellectual curiosity And a poverty of ambi on Will inevitably make for an average existence Debasing our thoughts with every importunity, Distrac ng us from what is truly important. As a true reformer You are the bridge that helps others Cross to the other side of life! From skep cism to faith From ignorance to knowledge From low self esteem to conďŹ dence Guide them from hopelessness to hope And faith in their abili es It is noble aspira on that engages our thought From dri ing into the abyss of slothfulness and prejudice 23
THIS IS OUR TIME This is our me This is our genera on It is the me to meet our moral obliga ons Of advancing equal opportuni es for socio-economic empowerment Knowing that poverty, ignorance, and discrimina on restricts growth. We meet in era of change and challenge In a decade of fear and hope In an age where knowledge and ignorance Blossom side by side We live in tough mes Yet we are tougher than our mes We do things not because they are easy But because they are right That is what deďŹ nes us. 24
You must begin to live your dream You don't need inspira on or an audience to begin Direct your inner forces of passion, intellect, and wil To guide and lead you to the a ainment Of that ideal which you secretly enthrone in your heart. Understand that 'power is a near neighbor to necessity' And wield it with judgment and discre on. This is the me to ďŹ nally meet our civic obliga ons To COMMUNITY and SOCIAL REFORMS! Even without applause This is the me... To honor our calling To show up READY FOR ACTION It is a call to begin
To REFORM! If our innate wisdom is used in the pursuit of degrading purposes, We become like so many people in our sorry world Depending upon others for the help Which should be found within themselves Again, the whole point is simple. Reformers' don't reform to be acknowledged They reform for the love of reform Disregard the tradi onal markers of status Avoid eleva ng appearance over substance, Celebrity over character, And short term gains over las ng achievements. Start an epidemic enthusiasm And be a catalyst for change. Develop the ability to see ability in others, It is priceless in the achieving your aims. Reform â€Śfor the love of reform! 26
Impress vividly upon the life of others That human interest is not dead to their existence Let your kindness revive their hope Let the inﬂuence of your example be accompanied By the necessary practical good Be the channel of expression where the crying need is greatest Reforming and Advocacy breeds conﬁdence Life favors those that pursue it intentionally!!!! As you reﬂect upon your thoughts someday wondering how your life could have been so unexamined that you have been so wrong, for so much, for so long; do realize that the choice is yours, and is always yours .
THE PARADOX If you are willing to suﬀer loss for the beneﬁt of many, To endure ridicule in the interest of general rec tude, To remain trenchant and even sound pedan c In the pursuit of public good To refuse to give up hope that things could be be er; Knowing that only yours can come to you.... If you care less about your audiences' aﬀec ons, More people will be aﬀected by your reforms. They will applaud it They will venerate it And congratulate those behind it ……….………………………..Someday. Un l then, We are not excused from reforming. 28
BE THE DREAMER It's me To dream lo y dreams To see what others cannot see To think outside the box To delay gra ﬁca on To make tougher choices To stop avoiding diﬃcult but necessary decisions The world needs you to step up They need you daring the odds They need your enthusiasm They need your imagina on They need you to ques on conven onal wisdom And rethink old dogmas They need you to make interes ng mistakes,
Break rules, and make the world A be er place to live in Above all, they need YOUR REFORM! It's me to begin.... I hope you will. THE END At the forefront of such change and its responsibili es towards the development of human capital and infrastructures for the most marginalized rural people and communi es is the Interna onal Organiza on for LEADERSHIP, EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT of Rural Africa (LEAD Rural Africa) ini a ve. Working to make the diﬀerence in people's lives, Opening up their choices and opportuni es. 30
LEAD RURAL AFRICA MANIFESTO MOTTO...Transforming Communi es Through The Millennium Village Project The Community Enterprise Movement We Offer Community-led solu ons S mula ng Rural Community enterprise Hope Conﬁdence · Bringing out the best in rural people Reclaim the stolen voices of rural people
OUR MISSION Developing leadership excellence to build resilient Rural Industries and communi es. OUR PLEDGE help communi es set up development trust grow a culture of community enterprise promote ownership of lands and buildings build alliance and co-opera on with partners across sectors demonstrate community impact
What we want from Government · make community friendly policies · increase community investment · community access to assets · fair contracts for community enterprise · community enterprise business support · community allowance for professionals We want rural communities to be social y and economically viable We want rural people to achieve their potentials and gain greater control of their future. This is our MANIFESTO.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY OF REFORMERS To ﬁnd out about 'THE REFORMERS Manifesto' and how you can get involved, Visit "oHYPERLINK "http://www.leadruralafrica. org or you can send an e-mail to: email@example.com. Find us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, SKYPE, YOUTUBE. Fund raise for us by sharing this manifesto online for 1 USD/Copy to your friend