The million dollar question that dangles in my mind when acquaintances and associates make recourse to Fate, Predestination and the import of governmental deficiency in personal affairs is ’'Do people shape society or does society shape people?'' This is not only personal but it's the question of the century and my answer is that the sheer power of vision, creativity and strength that the human
mind harbours and is capable of harnessing is truly remarkable. If properly channeled and developed, it does not only have the potential of shaping society but it can also change it and alter destinies. This ethos and philosophy is well enunciated in William Ernest's 19th century poem (which happens to be one of my favourites) titled ''Invictus''. It's most famous lines confidently assert that ''. . . I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul''. These words resonate deeply with me. They are not only profound but they are also inspiring. He is alluding to the philosophy of the ''triumph of the will'' and the concept of ''mind over matter'

I share this worldview and what it affirms is the belief that real men ought to help shape the societies that they live in and invariably great men, who have the courage of their convictions, often do. I totally reject the opposite and paradoxical philosophy that has been so enunciated by those who rhetorically asks ''who can control his fate?'' they obviously, and in my view erroneously, believes that fate and destiny lies in the hands of a ''higher power'' alone. I also believe in the supremacy of God and in His ability to ''rule in the affairs of men'' but I am also of the view that to a great extent, we mortals can also control our fate and that our future is determined by the choices that we make.  Charles Kay Anyabuike, a young and insightful Nigerian, put it succinctly when he said ''weak minds are shaped by society whilst powerful minds shape society''. I nurture the ever-standing belief that throughout history it has always been the powerful and assertive soul and the strong-willed that have made the difference and that have determined the course of events and the fortunes of their people.

Without George Washington and the power of his will America would never have been independent and free.

Without Margaret Thatcher and the power of her will Great Britain would never have got back on her feet.

Without Martin Luther King jnr. and the power of his will the United States of America would not have had a civil rights movement.

Without Abraham Lincoln and the power of his will the United States of America would never have remained as one united nation.

Without Martin Luther and the power of his will the Protestant Church would never have been established.

Without Queen Elizabeth, the First and the power of her will England would have remained a tiny island-state and she would have been overwhelmed by the Spanish Armada.

Without Kwame Nkrumah and the power of his will there would never have been any concept of ''Pan-Africanism''.

Without Nelson Mandela and the power of his will apartheid would not have been crushed in South Africa.

Without Mark Zuckerberg and the power of his will there would have been no Facebook.

Without Bill Gates and the power of his will there would have been no Microsoft.

Without Steve Jobs and the power of his will there would have been no Apple.

Without Marconi and the power of his will there would have been no radio.

Without Albert Einstein and the power of his will there would have been no theory of relativity.

Without Charles Darwin and the power of his will there would have been no theory of evolution.

These men and women, and many others like them through the ages, had courage, drive, purpose and vision and they helped to shape the fortunes of humanity and the destiny of nations. Society did not shape them but rather they shaped society by the very force of their will and by the courage of their convictions. This is what is known as the ''triumph of the will''.

It is sufficient to say that what cripples most people is a lack of confidence, conviction, fortitude and faith and worse of all the fear of failure. This is what separates potentially great men and women who end up just being losers and dreamers and those that are the real heroes who end up being covered in the irresistible robes of eternal glory and greatness. The character traits that makes the real hero stand out is the ability to persevere against all odds, to endure difficult circumstances, to reject the fear of failure, to cultivate the ability to take a great step and to cultivate an unshakable belief in himself and in his cause. This is what is known as ''the triumph of the will'' and a duty summon to ignite the will in your palm.



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