Monday, February 7, 2011

‘The greener pasture syndrome’

The dreams for many people in Africa especially from the disadvantaged backgrounds, is to succeed in foreign states for example in USA and Europe. If I’m not wrong, what I call the ‘greener pasture syndrome’ shouldn’t be a mental block that hinders us from looking locally for ways to find the green pasture within (you don’t know what you got until you miss or find it). Without any doubts Africa has got the best climate in the world among other things and visiting a foreign country either for convention, business, studies etc, is of great importance for one to network and to expand their horizon in the field of practice.

I urge my fellow youth not to be in a hurry to visit a foreign country of their dream, thus they should study why and what they want, and scrutinize the opportunity if it is from genuine sources by consulting with trusted colleague for advice.

Never the less, there are lots of opportunities in Africa that you will realize when you apply yourself into creative and positive activities from the grass root to the top. The ‘greener pasture syndrome’ has preoccupied the minds of many youths to the extent it appears repeatedly in their wish list for many years.

It is in the interest for everyone to achieve in life for example in academics, sports, business etc. The only worrying trend is the path we take to reach the land of success. Many of us have strived in difficult situations but through hard work and patience we have been able to determine our paths through genuine means and that what makes someone a real champion by conquering tough situations.

I’m perplexed when I see groups of youth who wish to make quick cash but end up dying young in the search for greener pasture either locally or abroad, and in my own definition I call them the young and the restless.

Poverty is a situation you can decide to change through transformation of your attitude, behavior and activities which will propel you to success. Instead of focusing too much energy on free, dubious and dangerous undertaking you can decide to be patient and utilize your energy in positive and creative projects for example; joining a church choir, drama group, community youth groups, football clubs, set a business etc. Sober up and avoid peer pressure, abuse of drugs and alcohol and idleness. Listen to your inner self and find what you want and determine the positive path to take. Remember for one to achieve whatever they want in life you have to be patient and work your way through success.

Take a look around your neighborhood, how many dedicated youth have succeeded? (From zero to hero stories through rightful means) and how many lived the life of kings and queens but ended up dying young through dubious ways of getting quick cash? You can make change by doing something responsible with your life, you need to have a positive attitude in your endeavors, and please note nothing comes in a silver platter.

One thing that I can confidently talk about is getting prepared and conversant in what you are about to engage yourself, in the search for greener pasture either locally or abroad. Here I mean you should have some basic knowledge of at least everything that you have interest in and do thorough research on pros and cons of the new opportunity.

Let us look at for instance one day your dream of traveling to a foreign country will be at your door step either for business, education, convention etc. You will be required to prepare and have some vital information under your belt to help in the processing of traveling documents and other logistical issues.

Here are quick tips to consider before you say YES or No to an opportunity oversee either in education or work to avoid being swindled or end up a being a slave in a foreign country . This is from my own perspective;

1. Ask yourself did you apply for it?

2. Scrutinize the source of the opportunity? For example from a friend (trusted or not trusted), books, internet etc.

3. Scrutinize the procedures...

4. Keenly follow all the communications.

5. Understand how much it will cost you? Is it fully funded or partially funded by yourself and the second party?

6. Define your goals?

7. What does it mean to you?

8. What threat and opportunities do you foresee?

9. Do thorough research about it? How long as it been in existence? Is it credited? (Search online, ask friends etc).

10. Learn the culture of the place prior to your arrival.

11. What are the government policies that will directly or indirectly affect you?
12. Place to visit and not to visit?

13. Does your country have an embassy in the country you are visiting?

14. Communicate often with people at home when you are there. Call, email etc.

15. Make back up of important documents both in soft and hard copies.

16. Understand the economic situation of the country you’re visiting, especially the exchange rate and living standards.

17. Consult with trusted friend about the opportunity before commit yourself. Beware of tricksters.

18. Beware of international and local signs, colors etc.

19. What is the National language?

20. Lastly learn about the staple food of the country. And many more…

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