The concept of the transitional relationship between the philosophies of science and engineering is one of the building blocks of modern society. After a systematic study of the environment or when a need arises to make an existing solution more efficient, a problem arises.
After days and years of observation, tests and experiments, a solution is found. A new beginning.
There is always the euphoria of discovery. The ‘eureka’ spirit flows at this stage; from the heart of a scientist into his paper as he joyfully records his solution. From then on, an engineer, using this information, designs and builds solutions that brings to life the imaginations of the scientist.
The relationship is simple and has being well rehearsed over centuries.
It is unfortunate, however, that Nigeria and Nigerians fail to understand this relationship.
This writer has quickly acknowledged the error of his last sentence.
We are Nigerians. We ‘understand’ everything!
Our educational system has being designed so that we – I say ‘we’ because I am a youth too – ‘understand’ how to change things but are too happy with understanding to actually do anything with it.
The Nigerian society only demands from us proof of the level at which we ‘understand’ in form of certificates and who can blame them? Ours is an economy so riddled with unemployment, poverty and illiteracy. To survive and be comfortable in its harsh socio-political climate is no small feat. Still, we must demand more from ourselves. What use are certificates and degrees if we cannot create one new thing? The world is made of metal not certificates.
There is need for a new way of thinking. A new way that encourages us to surpass the expectations that are beyond our own expectations and build for the future. No more thinking small. Can we not create the next Google or Microsoft or even the next Intel? Why do we line up in thousands to work for these companies when we can create ours?
The world is big and rich with problems. Problems that are waiting for us to solve. Why do we all work so hard to earn enough money to buy a new car? Can we not make ours? This writer cannot wait to see a ‘wazobia’ car brand. Or even a wazobia search engine. We understand these things. We have what it takes to implement them.
We cannot, however, ignore the challenges for they are indeed great. Money, time, equipment, corruption, etc are but a few of our many excuses. I dare say that our biggest obstacle after ourselves is our society.
The society has placed us in a ‘GET A GOOD JOB’ box that few of us are willing to break out of. The society is satisfied with us collecting fat salaries, getting married, having children and driving fancy cars. And because the society is satisfied, so are we. We do not have the courage to break free from our fear of discomfort.
In semi-ancient America and Europe, inventors and scientists where attributed celebrity status. Men and women dedicated their lives to the discovery of new solutions. They were well respected and indeed popular. Most of their work – even the most seemingly insignificant – laid the foundation for the modern society we all enjoy today.
Some American inventors and scientists even went on to become politicians and where involved in some of the landmark moments of the country’s political history. Two of whom have their face plastered on different denominations of the dollar – Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. The latter, the 16th president of the united states, patented a system that alters the buoyancy of speedboats in 1864. The former will always be remembered for his work on electricity, especially his famous kite and key experiment.
They wait for us to show what we can do. They taunt us with their paychecks and promises of comfort. Is that all our lives should be about? Comfort? What happened to integrity? What happened to making a difference? Why can we not be the generation that says NO to mediocrity? We have no excuse. We cannot feign ignorance. The internet has brought other countries closer to us and now more than ever the gap between our societies has never being wider.
It starts from you and me and it can never be too late. The best time to plant a tree was 50 years ago. The next best time is now. Should the world tell us that we are too small to achieve, we will tell them we are too big not to.
Edwin A. Ajogun
is a young entrepreneur and Director of Operations, Youyarnz Networks
“I cannot wait to get the message of change across to as many people who are willing to listen”.
Do you agree with his views? Share your comments and opinions.