Relationship with Self: Are You Principled?

Hey you… Yes you… Do you know what it means to be principled?  Does it simply mean being a good person?  Does it involve earning degrees and awards?  Does it have anything to do with one’s level of exposure and / or education?

Being principled means consistently applying the values one professes (one’s principles) regardless of who is involved.  Do you recognise any of these people?

Taiye professes her belief in quality education, yet she sends young Segun (who lives with her but is not one of her biological children) to a school she knows to be inferior to the one her own children attend. Taiye is not principled.

Hassana believes that a sound night’s sleep is extremely important to a young child’s development, yet she gives Hauwa (her young assistant) so much work to do, that she cannot get to bed early enough and has to be up earlier than the rest. Hassana is not principled.

Danladi says the roads are unsafe, hence his kids are not allowed to walk from point A to point B within the neighborhood, yet he makes Ahmed (his less well-off sister’s son) trek all over town. Danladi is not principled.

Gbemi says Itunu (her daughter-in-law, Segun’s wife) must be able to cook fresh food for Segun everyday, keep their home spotlessly clean, and come to her house every Friday to rub her feet; yet when her daughter Tomi’s mother-in-law Kemi makes similar pronouncements, she calls Kemi a bully.  Gbemi is not principled.

Ngozi insists that her daughter Ada helps her out in the kitchen and around the house as that would teach her useful lifelong lessons, yet she leaves her son Chidi to lounge around and raise his feet up while Ada sweeps.  Ngozi is not principled.

Adamu is the first to make a fuss when his employer delays the payment of his salary by a day, yet he shouts down at Abu (his driver) when Abu comes to beg for his salary that is 15 days overdue. Adamu is not principled.

Femi shouts to the mountains and all over social media that he believes in the equality of all men and women, yet when Simbi his daughter brings home a man of another religious faith, he screams “over my dead body!” Femi is not principled.

Nnamdi rolled his eyes and shouted blasphemy when he heard about churches receiving humongous amounts of money for prayers √† la DasukiGate, but he did not see anything wrong with the amount received by a Muslim ex-governor for spiritual reinforcement.  Nnamdi is not principled.

I am hoping you get the drift now.  Not being principled is one of the most significant hindrances to the progress of humanity, as that is the root of injustice.  If we are not able to consistently treat our fellow man / woman as we would like to be treated, then we cannot complain when such treatment is meted out to us or those we claim to love.

The importance of being principled is amplified when one has children of one’s own, as they learn most from our actions, not our speeches or sermons (i.e. words).  So, each and every one of us needs to thoroughly assess ourselves, our motives, and our actions under the guiding prism of being principled; this will definitely make our communities, and the world at large, a better place to be.

image courtesy Lolly Daskal via LinkedIn

2 thoughts on “Relationship with Self: Are You Principled?

    1. Exactly – a lot of us are not as principled as we think… Hopefully this will make us pause, take a step back, carefully assess, and hopefully make the necessary changes to the “man in the mirror.” Thanks much for stopping by and dropping a few lines :).


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