Surviving as the Grass beneath the Fighting Elephants


When elephants fight, it is the grass beneath that suffers. This is an African proverb, meaning that the weak get hurt in conflicts between the powerful. This proverb refers to the crash of two large forces of power in disagreement, usually end up hurting innocent and powerless people, leaving them victimized by the circumstance.

Metaphorically-in this context, the elephants- ASUU and Federal Government- have attained a stage that gives them resistance to the negative effects of their actions. Conversely, the grass- vulnerable students- are always at the receiving end, feeling the effects.

While 'ASUU strike' isn't new to an average Nigerian student, its effects on him are always worrisome. At every point during the strike, he is overwhelmed with the fear of the future; the fear of the uncertainty of tomorrow; the fear of the extension of his years of programme; and the fear of the time being spent without a purpose.

By now, it should be evident to an average Nigerian that the Federal Government wasn't ready to work the talk. ASUU announced the suspension of the 9-month old industrial action in December 2020 and, 14 months after, another industrial action is ongoing on the same requests and agitations. Even as far back as November 17, 2021, the Union had told Nigerians that it would embark on another strike if the Federal Government continued to renege on the 2020 agreement with it. It is opined that the government had enough time to reach an agreement with the Union if it had wanted to. Perhaps there are some factors impeding the execution of the points of consensus.

On the means employed by ASUU to resolve her issues with the Federal Government, this approach has been in use for years without any different result. Humbly, how about reminding the Union of the words of the great genius, Albeit Einstein? He used a pejorative word in describing someone doing the same thing every time and expecting a different result.

That being said, Let's bend towards the students- the ones at the receiving end. Let's explore some things we need at this critical point of our lives. This is a session that started on a good note for the freshmen- who finally got their studentship after a long period of anxiety and the finalists- who hope to get out of the school in no time. The strike however brought a halt to the plan and, a dash to the hope.

Having affected by this, a large portion of our time would be without being used to pay any price. The usual routine is now broken and there is a need to get another one. With all these distractions that surround our daily lives, it's easy to spend hours on frivolities. It's important to understand the value of time and act by it. Unlike money which can be lost and got back, time cannot. Hence, a well-spent time is important.

Plan your time wisely to accommodate rest. However important your engagements are, ensure you set aside periods to ease your stress. Rest is vital for better mental health, increased concentration and memory, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, improved mood and even a better metabolism.

Most times, people who are in deteriorating relationships often identify time as the main factor affecting the relationship. This is the best time to create a better relationship with people and perfect the ones that are already experiencing a decrease in commitment.

Having spent two weeks of the semester, quite a number of courses would have commenced and their content would have become more evident. It's not too early to get them on track. Perhaps you, at a particular time, enrolled for online academic courses and have been abandoned, this is a good time to resume and eat the frog. With the nature of its flexible schedule, you can easily complete them at your convenience. Seize this opportunity to add to your knowledge and lace your Curriculum vitae with beautiful certificates.

Beyond academics, 21st century is bending towards skills acquisition. Schools in Nigeria were closed between March 2020 and October 2020 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic; this prompted various forms of alternative learnings and opened people's eyes to skills acquisition- especially digital. There are lucrative skills that can be alternative sources of income; explore the digital world, carve your niche(s) and hone their skills while at home.

With regard to all these, it's justified that this press organisation has, as usual, played a part in addressing the affecting issue and , to a very large extent identified ways to avoid overwhelming of this period.

While we await the fate of the ‘comprehensive and suffocating' warning strike within the stipulated time, it's expedient you're reminded of an opportunity to get closer to your Lord; watch over your heart and diligently guard it for its sensitivity and its inclination towards deflection.

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