During my first and second year in the University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria, I was privileged to live in the school hostel. We were about eight in total in the spacious room. I can vividly remember a few times when there was not much food to eat. Towards the end of each session, you would see students, guys especially eating white beans without stew, all to survive. But one thing I observed about my roommates that made me love them is the spirit of collaboration. When there was no food, what we simply do is to “collaborate”. Everyone donated what they had: water, beans, oil etc., and in a few minutes meal was ready. This was how we survived in those days. As Fr. Godswill Agbagwa says: “collaboration is a way of achieving more by doing less.” It involves people putting in their best in their community to achieve a goal that everyone can benefit from. Sometimes arguments occur especially when someone gives in more than the other. But during the session on solidarity, Fr. Agbagwa made it clear that in a ‘solidary’ community, the driving principle should be each according to his strength and not everyone contributing equally. The former is better than the latter because everyone does his or her best within the limit of his or her capacity. The person with more resources should do more to the community than the person with less to nothing. This will greatly benefit the community because everyone will put in their best. An effective leader is someone who sees collaboration from the point of view of people contributing their quota and not each person contributing equally. Although there is nothing wrong with people contributing equally but it doesn’t drive the notion of solidarity. If we truly want the best for our nation, it should be on equity and not equality. If you can do more for your community, please go ahead.
Thank you Rev. Fr. Dr. Godswill Agbagwa.