Self Reliance Way To Go To Deal With Complexities Of Life

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say from yesterday’s FBC programme 4 The Record.     Help or assistance of any kind is always appreciated particular in
13 Feb 2017 11:00
Self Reliance Way To Go To Deal With Complexities Of Life

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say from yesterday’s FBC programme 4 The Record.



Help or assistance of any kind is always appreciated particular in times of need.

We are all grateful that Government has rolled out several initiatives to help give people a leg up so that one day they can become independent self reliant.

We should also be grateful that Government did not introduce the dole system or unemployed benefit as some developed countries, like New Zealand and Australia, have done. In  New Zealand, for example, the dole has become the bane of that country’s welfare system.

It is now so entrenched in the national psyche that successive governments have faced stiff resistance as they tried to scale it down and get people to work.

Some families have lived on the dole for four generations.

The thought of not having to go to work and still get “paid” every week or fortnight by the Government is too tempting and a cop-out especially for able-bodied people.

Thank goodness we do not have that in Fiji.

The free tuition, free bus fare for primary and secondary school students etc are great incentives for our children to get educated.

They help students and their families to focus on passing the examinations.

There is no excuse for any school-age children to be staying at home. Before the education initiative came, many parents used to work hard for the school fees. Students were sent home for non-payment of schools fees.

Those days have long gone. While education is not compulsory, there should be a way where those responsible should be held accountable.

One of the tools of self reliance is education. In this modern day and age our children cannot afford not to be educated. New knowledge and skills empower people and open doors to opportunities. The Government initiatives, technical colleges and the small business grants, help people get qualifications so that they can stand on their feet.

We should not expect Government to do everything for us.

Since the beginning of time man has been counselled to earn his own way, thereby becoming self-reliant. The Bible tells us that Adam, the first man, was commanded to eat from the sweat of his brow.

The emphasis on self reliance is tied closely to freedom itself. When people are self reliant, they are free.

Around the world many programmes have been set up by well-meaning individuals to aid those who are in need. However, many of these programs are designed with the shortsighted objective of “helping people,” as opposed to “helping people help themselves.” Our efforts must always be directed toward making able-bodied people self-reliant. There are some people for no reason or fault of their own cannot become self reliant. They include the disabled, the aged and sickly. They deserve assistance.

While we always focus on Government regarding welfare issues, we should not lose sight of families.

One church leader said: “We fear many parents are making ‘gullible gulls’ out of their children with their permissiveness and their doling out of family resources. Parents who place their children on the dole are just as guilty as governments which place their citizens on the dole.”

In “Fable of the Gullible Gull,” Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950, the writer talks about these great flocks of sea gulls that are starving amid plenty.

“Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …

“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead, they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.

“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolise liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure’! ”

We must teach our people to be self reliant in all things to be able to cope with the complexities of life. When we are self reliant it’s a lot easier to reach out and help those in need.

Self reliance is both physical and spiritual. A person can be physically self reliant but unless he balances it with spiritual strength, it can canker his soul.

This quotation from a church leader sums up this message. He says: “The development of our spiritual nature should concern us most. Spirituality is the highest acquisition of the soul, the divine in man; the supreme, crowning gift that makes him king of all created things. It is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the infinite. It is spirituality alone which really gives one the best in life.”



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