A selfish nation dies slowly

By Victor Angula |

Namibia has all the characteristics of a selfish nation. And this is why the country has such problems of rising unemployment, rising cost of living, rising inequality, and rising crime rates.

If you look carefully you can see that hardly anyone cares about the welfare of another.

People work just to earn a living instead of contributing something of value to society or rendering a service to humanity. You can look and look for days and not come across someone who is doing public work just for public benefit.

For instance, in Namibia you will not find a volunteer – someone who is doing some work for the community without being paid for it. You will not find a public servant, someone who is in public office and he or she says ‘please don’t pay me so much money’.

It is the same so-called public servants who are raking in huge salaries every month. It is the same pastors who keep fighting for positions in church because such positions come with power, prestige, and fat remuneration packages.

In other societies, when people go out to eat at a restaurant they have to give a tip to the waiter. But in the Namibian society such thing doesn’t exist. People will eat, pay the bill and go away.

In Namibia when people walk out of the supermarket, and they see a security guard or a watch-boy at the parking lot, instead of giving him the change coins they will silently jump in their car and drive off.

This is the culture of a selfish nation.

In other societies, rich people do patronise the arts, literature and theatre. Not so much because they do appreciate art so much, but because it’s a form of giving back to the community.

In other societies, the upper class and even the middle class do make it a habit to give to charity. Not really because they believe in charitable work, but just because giving is part of their culture.

In other societies, when start-up enterprises come on the scene there would be big companies and organisations which will be ready to do business with them, as well as venture capitalists who will want to invest in them, not because everyone believes in the start-ups’ potential or the value they will present to society but just because giving a helping hand is part of the culture.

The result of this culture is that there is less inequality and little poverty since money changes hands and moves from one class to the other class, back and forth – from the formal economy to the informal economy and back again.

And I am not talking about socialist countries. I am talking about societies rooted in the capitalist system.

But in Namibia, when start-up enterprises come on the scene everyone will look the other way. In the Namibian society if a guitarist go to the CBD and strum his guitar in public, everybody will pass by without anyone throwing any coins to him. A lot of people will even pretend that they can’t see him.

A person who is blind or crippled, or homeless, will sit at a busy street corner with a bowl at his feet, and nobody will throw in any coins.

This is the behavior of a selfish nation. And the same people who go around behaving this way are some of the same people who sit in government offices and in offices of big companies all the same getting paid for wondering why poverty and inequality keep going up all the time.

Meanwhile, slowly the nation dies as a result of this culture of selfishness.