Dr. Louis Brown Ogbeifun

Accredited Mediator | Certified Professional Manager and Trainer in Workplace Conflicts


Lessons in Patriotism: How Acts of Empathy Define Nations and Shape Future Leaders

Patriotism and nationalism are not taught but ingrained in people’s DNA by the acts of empathy, kindness, and care shown towards the upliftment of their citizens by corporate organizations, the Federal, State, and Local governments

Each time I ponder the change that begins with the “me” mantra, I find that leaders direct the “ME” to the citizens, not themselves. If it were the reverse, our health, educational, welfare, and social infrastructures would not be as deplorable as we are today.

Great nations are what they are because the first thing leaders care about in those environments is the good and welfare of their citizens. Their care towards their citizens is encapsulated in the phrase that “nobody should be left behind,” which means be it in health, social and educational care, they believe in not leaving any citizen behind.

Two examples of such acts of empathy and care towards a citizen to earn the state’s respect and patriotism are the Japanese Kana and Philip the American.

In 2015, three train stations in Japan, namely, Kami-shirataki, Kyu-shirataki, and Shimo-shirataki, which operated from Hokkaido to other parts of Japan, were set to close because of low patronage. However, the Japan Railway (JR) found that if it closed the train stations, one girl named Kana, who commuted to and from school in the trains, would either trek for 73 minutes to get to any station in other suburbs or drop out of school. So, for the sake of Kana, JR decided not to close the stations until Kana graduated from high school. Most of the time, Kana was the only passenger until she graduated high school in 2016. What a show of kindness! If that happened here, the girl might have dropped out of school. (https://www.globalcitizen.org/…/train-station-closing…)

Another example was the 27-year-old Philip Walton, who was kidnapped from the Niger Republic and ferried to the precincts of Sambisa Forest in Nigeria. The United States planned and executed a rescue mission through its Special Forces. The multi-dimensional forces, which included the Navy Seals, rescued Philip unharmed (https://www.reuters.com/…/u-s-special-forces-rescue…)

Why would Kana and Philip not be willing to die for their respective countries that were there for them when they needed help the most? Why would they do anything that could hurt the anatomy and physiology of their countries? Why would they prefer Nigeria or any other country to Japan or the United States?

Kana and Philip do not need to be taught what patriotism and nationalism mean. When they are called upon to lead their countrymen and women in the future, I am sure they will govern with the fear of their makers. Nobody will need to remind the two people involved in these acts of kindness from their countries to be patriotic or to cultivate the spirit of nationalism because they saw practical examples of how nations should protect and care for their citizens.

Nigeria has all it takes to be greater than it is today. The place to start is respect for its citizens and not leaving anybody behind in access to good roads, food security, education, and health care. Nigerians who are still in captivity with kidnappers in various bandit cells nationwide, should be rescued and reconciled with their families.

Grace and peace!!!