Mr Wale is a typical example of the average man in Lagos. A chronic sufferer of the viral disease called poverty, encumbered with the responsibility of keeping the house together whilst finding time for himself and his needs. Married to a nagging housewife and father to five children, Mr Wale is the ideal example of a life stricken with poverty. Living in a shabby one room apartment with his family, he struggles daily to provide three square meals for his ever-grumbling family. This task is made even more difficult by his lack of any useful skills which would’ve been valuable in his search for a well paying job. At this point in his life, Mr Wale is ready to do anything to get money for himself and his family.

And can we blame him?

In a society where the patient dog goes home hungry, a society where hard work does not guarantee reward, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it would be almost stupid to expect the average man to have a decent set of morals and ethics.

But here we are.

As the famous and yet divisive philosopher Prince Machiavelli once said, “The end justifies the means”. In an ideal world, anybody who engages in suspicious activities just to gain material wealth should be looked upon with distaste and shunned from society. But as Machiavelli correctly observed, the world we live in is far from perfect. In fact, it is almost dystopic. Does that mean any individual with a Machiavellian outlook is more likely to succeed? Or is a person who has strong morals and unshakable ethics likely to succeed, as the law of Karma implies?

A candid look at the current state of our society would sufficiently answer the questions stated above. Good men die poor, and men of disputable character rise to the top at an alarming rate. One might say that money is not everything, and that a good name is worth more than silver and gold. But then I ask you, is a good name capable of putting food on the table? Or can a good name provide the basic necessities to facilitate a healthy existence? Obviously not.

In a “dog eat dog” society, is survival based on an individual’s ability to manipulate his morals when need be?
Does this mean that all hope is lost for people who believe in doing good, or does good triumph against evil in the end?

As the wise saying goes, “Look within yourself, and you shall find the answer”.

This article was written by Durojaye Temisayo; connect with her on IG here


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