When I first read about the unfortunate OceanGate submersible incident yesterday, my first thought was, “These white people sef, they know how to look for trouble that’s on its own. What concern these people with the Titanic that sunk over a century ago?”
I had a rethink almost immediately. I asked myself why I was chewing that kind of rotten meat. There was no reason to fault the producers for “wasting money producing the submersible worth millions. For what?!” or fault “the millionaires looking for where to waste their money.” I was engaging in the thought pattern of a mediocre human. I realized that I was speaking from a “poverty-stricken” mind. I’ll explain.
I’ve always wondered about innovations. What inspired bulbs? Look at the miles technology has covered in the production of moving and flying vehicles, computers, electricity, and communications. Look at what we know about space from astrologers. Think of delicate medical innovations such as radiotherapy, organ transplants, and stem cell therapy. We have learnt a lot about the past from archaeologists too.
Where do you think the Remotely Operated Vehicles used in searching for the missing submersible came from?
Three days ago, I was gushing with a friend at the research prowess of Westerners in the field of psychology and how they knew so much about the human mind.
Two mornings ago, I encountered an article on the ten most dangerous fishes known to man on BBC. That knowledge certainly did not fall into man’s lap. I’ve never been to the sea. Heck, I’ve never seen a live snake and I live on land with them but I currently know about the poisonous Candiru fish because somebody, sorry, many people took it as a life mission to find out. All I had to do years later was read a 15mins post to glean what it took them so long to find. This is the power of research.
Humans will keep going further to learn more because man’s curiosity is still unsated and his quest for knowledge unfulfilled.
In the last 24 hours, I have seen many comments from my fellow Nigerians in a similar line as my initial thoughts. Now, I must publicly declare that I don’t agree with it.
Before anybody goes mouthing off about the irony of a CEO and millionaires paying to kill themselves, they should know this: Research is not a sin, research is important and research does not come without risks. Did you know that Marie Curie, the woman that discovered radium died years later from a radiation-related illness? Do you know how important radium is today in medicine?
In that submersible, were explorers and adventurers not just “money-spenders.” They did nothing wrong by being there. The only problem with the OceanGate case is that the CEO ignored the safety concerns he was informed of.
I’m saying all this to dampen your smartass mouth because newsflash; that you’re not the one dead is nothing to feel proud about. People have been known to die right on their beds. Death is death. I think half of our problem can be diagnosed as jealousy, the other half as ignorance.
That proud self-preservation and feeling of self-righteousness as you read about the case is part of what keeps Nigeria and Africa from progressing. Like how our ancestors loved to hide money in pots and bury them, we have not outgrown them much. We simply prefer to save them in banks rather than throw them into investments or in the search for knowledge.
Did you know that when a man starts asking questions, something new is about to be conceived? It is this curiosity, aided by the environment that makes the Westerners and Easterners leaders in research and innovations. On the other side of the coin, it’s also their doom.
This is what the Africans lack in a large percentage. We are not encouraged to ask questions or dream wild. Even becoming a pilot is still too big a dream here. All the African adult wants to do is make money. We are hardly asking questions or trying to find their answers. We are not implementing even the known solutions. Our economic, and political policies were majorly inherited and we wonder what our problem is. Who is sincerely brainstorming over Nigeria’s problems? Where are our researchers?
Even if the situation requires it, which the OceanGate Submersible case does not, in the face of tragedy is not the time to laugh. I learnt this the hard way the day I chanted “I told you so” obsessively to my mum’s face after a prophesied failure came to pass. The slap that connected with my chin did so unapologetically and since then I know how to gauge my mouth.
My fellow humans, let us gauge our mouths. Now is the time to retreat silly thoughts to the back of your head and mourn with the bereaved families and friends.
Share your thoughts with me in the comment box.