Monday, 13 July 2015

Valour: A core value to Nation Building by Bobby Udoh

After studying the attitude of Nigerians for years now as part of my nation-building work, I wrote an article titled "Core Values: The Missing Ingredient" In that article, I posited that:

“I am fully persuaded that our greatest need is for a critical mass of citizens to adopt, practice, teach and inspire these values in and through their lives. In doing so, we do not only provide the much needed foundation for credible leadership but more than that, we will see a significant rise in credible leadership at all levels of governance and in all sectors (the home, school, place of worship, workplace) of our nation.”
In his book, “The Heart of America: Ten Core Values That Make Our Country Great”, Bill Halamandaris listed ten core values that built America. Ten values with proven ability to build a world superpower:

Compassion Opportunity Responsibility Equality

Valour Ambition Liberty Unity Enterprise Spirituality

For the month of July, my focus will be on the fifth core value – Valour. The remaining five months of the year will be dedicated to the remaining five values. You can read about the first four values clicking on – Compassion, Opportunity, Responsibility and Equality. 

What is Valour?

According to the Webster dictionary, “Valour is the strength of mind (or spirit) in regards to danger; that quality which enables a man to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery; courage; prowess; intrepidity.”

The importance of valour as a value that builds a nation can be seen in the history of any great nation. Such history is rich with countless acts of bravery and heroism in the face of danger and in ordinary daily living. It is this rich history that gives these nations, e.g. America, a deep sense of pride in themselves and commands a high degree of respect from the committee of nations.

Founder of the US Democratic Party and 7th US President, Andrew Jackson expressed this perfectly when he said to his people during their difficult years, “You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.” Valour is the currency citizens need to pay the price to secure the blessing – a developed Nigeria. We can and will take back the destiny of our nation from the so called cabals when we become a people of valour.

What benefits does this value bring to nation-building?

To see this value in action, we will look at it from its association with the other nation-building core values.

Compassion: Many people who need compassion look dangerous, stubborn, unkempt, and their needs seem overwhelming. Valour helps us overcome our fears and reach out to connect and exhibit compassion.

Opportunity: Opportunities abound in our nation for our development but there are many challenges to harnessing them. Valour will enable us change mindset (see challenges as opportunities), shake off our apathy and pursue these opportunities with vigour and persistency.

Responsibility: Our country is in a serious state of underdevelopment and the depth of the problem affects our ability to accept responsibility. Valour does not ignore the challenges but give us the ability to say, ‘I am responsible for Nigeria’s present and her future’.

Equality: Our state of lawlessness has made inequality a big problem in Nigeria but with valour, we can demand for us and others (especially the less privileged) to be treated equally.

Ambition: The lack of valour has been one of the biggest inhibitors to big ambition amongst citizens. For those who’ve crossed that bridge, the lack of valour to launch out has been one of the main obstacles. Valour will enable many citizens break societal barriers and break new grounds that will lead to our national development.

Liberty: When we become a people of valour, we set ourselves and our nation free from the oppression of the cabals. Through valour, we the people will take back the destiny of this nation and keep it.

Unity: Valour enables the value of equality to deliver a people who are united. It takes valour to overlook the deficiencies and ‘sin’ of other ethnic groups and accept them as fellow Nigerians. With valour as a core value, we will drop our superiority or inferiority complexes.

Enterprise: The ability to launch out, give total commitment, deliver excellence, go beyond the call of duty, innovate, etc., is inspired by valour. The spirit of enterprise involves a lot of risk taking and making a lot of sacrifices to achieve an objective. This also is inspired by valour.

Spirituality: Valour gives us the ability to commit to the assignment for our lives, with the knowledge that our Creator made and equipped us for this purpose and will demand an account when we are done with life on earth.

How do we develop Valour as a core value?

Through study: A sincere and intimate relationship with God will open us to a growth in valour. We must also consistently read stories of citizens of our nation and that of developed nations, to get inspired and gain practical steps to put into practice.

Like other values, it’s more about becoming rather than doing.

Through Practice: We need to put into practice what we’ve learnt about valour because our understanding will grow as we practice. As our understanding grows, our exhibition of valour will be stronger and more visible to others.

Through Teaching: We have a duty to teach others about this value and we do so through our communication, our modeling and our mentoring. We do this to raise the critical mass of citizens with the right mindset and core values actively participating in efforts to build a developed Nigeria.

Many will be converted into nation-building by our teaching of the core values particularly through our modeling (our example).


We need the spirit of Valour to enable us do whatever is required, irrespective of the cost, with firm commitment to however long it takes, in our fight against injustice and disunity, defense of civil rights and liberties, the harnessimg of opportunities, the pursuit and attainment of ambition with an enterprising spirit, the exhibition of compassion and the responsibility for one another.

Ultimately, we are accountable to God for what we do about Nigeria. So, let valour arise in us and let it compel us to surmount the obstacles that have hindered our development for this long. This challenge is to you, how will you respond?

From Bobby  Udoh's blog.

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