Written by: Max Umeh

The mind and body are not designed for redundancy or monotony.  They die gradually with time when they are under these conditions. Scientific research reveals that the brain is a muscle on its own. If it is not regularly exercised, it shrinks and withers away; just like every other muscle in the body. It must be put to task regularly to keep it healthy. Therefore, when the brain is healthy and vibrant, it will positively influence the rest of the body.

A simple habit of reading books, or picking up a pen to write, or a pencil to draw; singing, dancing etcetera; taking out time to learn new things and do creative things regularly helps to create new Neuro-pathways in the brain that leads to an increase in I.Q (Intelligence Quotient).

It also builds and strengthens a person’s cognitive ability; thus, reduces the risk of developing neurological diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer’s disease and even partial/total paralysis (stroke). In fact, it still goes further to prevent depression which is said to be the greatest disease of the 21st century.

It is unfortunate however that most people live more for their bellies than for their minds. And where such an attitude prevails, there is an overall collective drop in I.Q level.  To such people, Arts, Science and Technology are almost none existent because there is little or no appreciation or value for anything creative or proactive.

When this becomes a way of life to them, they get confronted by economic stagnation, poverty, corruption, the insufficient utility of natural and human resources, lawlessness, mediocrity, complacency, anarchy, the absence of platforms for creative expression, lack of appreciation for knowledge, etcetera. You can see this clearly in all the Third World countries, particularly on the African continent. 

The soul is the seat of satisfaction, fulfilment, joy, and peace. One can only stay connected to one’s soul if one thirst for knowledge and stimulates the mind by engaging in creative endeavours. Wherever the pleasure of the belly is valued over the development of the mind, food over knowledge and creativity, such a soul can be said to be redundant or tending towards destruction.  And it reflects in all aspects of that person’s life.

Wherever mental development takes precedence over temporal gratification, knowledge and creativity valued more than food, you find depth, substance, grandeur and class, great attention to detail, and high standards in all that is done in such a place. Such a place has an active soul.

It is no surprise therefore that the most powerful nations in the world today are those that have great value and appreciation for knowledge and all forms of creativity. Be it in Arts, Science and Technology.

Such nations boast of having prosperous economies and are responsible for remarkable technological inventions, scientific research, Artistic excellence and incredible feats such as mankind’s adventure into outer space and planetary/galactic exploration.

Meanwhile, we here in Africa particularly Nigeria has lost it. We are poor because we have refused to use our God-given resources. 

We are backward because we are concerned more with our bellies than with our minds, having no value for knowledge and creativity. There is a widespread depression in the country because most people take up jobs they don’t like and do things they would rather not do just because it pays the bills and puts food on their tables.

They put aside their dreams and passions because it seems easier and more convenient to just finish school and take up a paid job. In this process, they become mentally lazy rather than task the brain to think up ways to bring their dreams and passions to life.

Knowledge and creativity have become ridiculed and looked upon with contempt. The average Nigerian will tell you “Na dat one I go chop?” Most Nigerians will make such a statement because 80 per cent of Nigerians carry-on every day with a survival instinct. This has turned Nigeria into a soulless society.

We often say there is hunger in the land hold the government responsible.  Even though they are partly responsible, but we should know we also have a role to play. If as a nation we endeavour to develop our minds and truly seek for knowledge to be more informed. And learn to invest our energy and time in developing our God-given talents and skills; we will emerge as a nation.

When we emerge, then we will be individually and collectively more self-sufficient, rely less on what the government can provide.

It is important we know that every one of the 180 million people in Nigeria together forms the government. So you and I have the power to bring positive change by reaching deep into ourselves and tapping into our God-given abilities. There is no hunger in the land. 

We can start by changing and mindset and priority and learn to seek after knowledge. When knowledge is absent creativity dies; and when creativity dies the soul perishes.

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