Opinion: Two sides of a coin, free sex and patriotism in Nigeria

by Japheth Omojuwa

Patriotism is like free sex, it is indeed expensive, hence patriotism is neither in the real sense free and it is in fact not cheap

The most expensive sex is free sex – Woody Allen

Everyone remembers the words of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” but very few people remember the other things he said in that 1961 inaugural address.

More often than not, this Kennedy quotation is thrown at citizens by leaders who are either failing to do the right thing for the citizens or by those who want to blackmail citizens under the guise of patriotism. In that same address, President Kennedy said “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich,” and also said “ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.” There are reasons why these words matter. Patriotism is like free sex, it is indeed expensive, hence patriotism is neither in the real sense free and it is in fact not cheap.

Let us do a little talk about free sex. I believe people who have sex with themselves do it mostly in two forms; it is either paid for, or it is free. Those who pay for sex essentially engage the market norm of buying and selling. There is a negotiation process; there is an agreement, the sex and finally the walking away.

After the sex, the relationship between the buyer and seller of the sex essentially ends. Whatever they discuss after that would amount to the beginning, most likely of a new negotiation. Free sex on the other hand is far more complex and relatively takes more time. More often than not, free sex takes place between two people dating or between friends who happen to find themselves in the “heat of the moment.” Either way, it requires certain commitments.

When a man takes a woman out for the night and walks her to her door, he may ask to kiss her but if the woman refuses, the man is not expected to say something like “come woman, I have been taking you out all these days and spending money on you, all I ask is a kiss, at least for now.” If the man says that, the terms of their relationship will essentially shift from a social norm to a market one. If the woman at that point agrees to kiss him – which in rational cases which would not – the terms of their engagement would be based on commercial values as it simply means her kiss and eventually the sex was being paid for. It will never last beyond a market process eventually.

Except for modern day loose relationships, it costs a man time, many dinners, gifts, time bidding, patience and for some an element of luck to finally get that sex in the relationship. What they will not do is use the money and time they have spent as the central point of their bargain. Let us face it though, in real terms, the sex came about because all of those things the man did came to show some form of commitment and women essentially trust you when you’ve not only spoken of your love and care but when you have acted it. When a woman finally trusts you or at least yields to trusting you, she lets go of her body. The act of sleeping with you is the consummation of that submission.

What I have described here is a real relationship not the outliers that end up with sex on the first night. Placed side by side with the sex that was bargained and paid for, you’d see that like Woody Allen said, free sex is indeed the most expensive sex! 

What has this got to do with patriotism? Everything! Whether or not you know it or admit it, generally speaking, Americans are more patriotic than Nigerians. The average American knows and believes the state exists for him. Contrast these and the general perception of what it is to be an American citizen and what it is to be a Nigerian citizen and you’d easily see the reason for the gulf in patriotism. I have used America because an average Nigerian understands a description better when you use America. This is the same case with Sweden, with England, with close neighbours Ghana and indeed many countries where an average citizen always looks as though s/he could die for his country. Google the benefits that accrue to a fire man in America if he loses his life at the point of duty, then Google that of the Nigerian police man who experiences the same fate. You expect the police man to face criminals in gun battles and be committed to the government and people they swore to defend but they remember their families at critical times like that and know that their families will be left alone and forgotten when they are gone.

The act of patriotism in citizens is essentially built overtime and it comes out of realities of what your country indeed had done and could do for you. Patriotism is free but it is extremely expensive. An average Nigerian in government wants to grab for him and his family.

Let me conclude with the words of Richelle Mead in Vampire Academy, “The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.”

Never forget that a time would come in our nation when the Nigerian would not only be proud of Nigeria because that is what he sees other citizens of the world do or because government is embarking on a “proudly Nigerian” campaign. Our pride would eventually come from knowing that we the people are the government, that we the people matter to the government, that we the people of Nigeria can enjoy the respect of those we elect to office.

That time, our presidents would not come from do-or-die processes, they will not shirk from debates, neither will they not give a damn about us, because they will see that the pool of patriotism of we the people could sweep them off even with the blood of their own guilt. That time would come, you can choose to believe or doubt it, I have chosen to live and prepare for it. That day will come like a thief in the night or like the rage of a sweeping tide. We must make that time come!

J Japheth Omojuwa © @omojuwa 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

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One comment

  1. That time for the Silent Revolution has begun,I thankful to God that I am alive to see it come to Pass in The Now. Subtly & Steadily, the march is On, The Awareness is Being Created and The People are Being INFORMED. Thank you for your piece,Precise and Insightful.

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