Tag Archives: Ethics

You snooze, You lose

To snooze is to have a catnap or kip. It is usually momentary that may just make one lose a golden opportunity which may never be possible to recoup. The magnitude of the loss may be out of tune with the individual’s expectation. If one had remained watchful or always expectant of a worthy cause, to lose would be very rare. Even if one had achieved success, it is still another thing to pay candid attention to maintaining the standard already reached while there could still be more of future opportunities. Vigilance, they say, is the price of liberty.

Nehemiah knew his homeland was in distress and wished he could return to Jerusalem to effect the needed transformation. In-spite-of his heavy heart over the situation in Jerusalem, he continued to work diligently in the service of King Artaxerxes but clearly focused on getting an opportunity to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Under this obsession, the king noticed the change in his countenance for Nehemiah was on fasting and prayer mode. It paid off for the king sponsored his return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Walls round Jerusalem. On arrival, Nehemiah undertook to do need analysis, mapped out strategies for accomplishing the goal of his mission and kept strictly focused before showing up to the public. Those who worked with him never snoozed and armed themselves to the teeth, to accomplish the task in fifty-two days. The result was obvious. Adversaries, in the persons of Sanballat, Tobias, the Arabians, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites conspired against the work being done. Nehemiah 4: 1-23

King Saul snoozed as he effected an agenda alien to God’s instruction requiring him to wipe out the Amalekites. In consequence, he lost the King’s dynasty that God promised him. 1 Sam 15:1-35. He lost his sanity for the rest of his life during which he fruitlessly pursued the life of David who eventually became the king over the twelve tribes of Israel.

Col. Muammar Gaddafi (June 7, 1942 – Oct 20, 2011) ruled Libya for 42 years  49 days. He was the longest ruling non-royal ruler from 1900 till he died (Wikipedia.org). For his failing to quit when the ovation was loudest, he was killed as if he did nothing good to his country before the Arab spring. President Robert Mugabe was adjudged to have deviated from his revolutionary ideas and ideals and was ‘respectfully’ eased out of power recently.

From other angles, a judge that fails to uphold justice and equity will ever remain a snoozing judge and would in the end lose out from the revered seat of justice as well as in the case of a politician. However celebrated he or she may be, up to the time the keg of the gun powder of his sexual harassment explodes, such a politician will then come to realize that he/she had snoozed and should lose out in disgrace. An African proverb says, “Pounded yam of twenty years can still be too hot for the hand to touch”. In the present US congress (Senate and the House) the spate of accusation of sexual misconduct is no more news. We have witnessed series of accusations and denials leading to loss of vital election, abrupt resignation to preempt formal call for withdrawal or going under the hammer of being found guilty of having violated the ethical rules of the Congress. This idea is relevant to individual relationship to self and others as well as in intranational and international relations.

Failure to resolve to carry out the purpose for which one had set out to achieve amounts to snoozing. Surely, losing out is not negotiable.

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