The Essence Of Humanity And Achieving Happiness

A tribute to Dr Adeyemi Muiz Banire SAN as he Celebrates another Calendar Year Of His Terrestrial Existence.

By Michael Popoola Ajayi

According to dictionary, humanity is the human race, which includes everyone on Earth. It’s also a word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien.

Explaining the fundamental essence of humanity, Abdul Malek of Tecnologies DMI, Monstreal, Canada while contributing to the interrogation of ‘The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man”; F. Engels, 1876’ posited that, ‘The essence of humanity is to strive towards the freedom of the will based on real knowledge of the world and of itself– a subjectivity and the dialectical unity of the opposites of the objectivity of blind Nature (and as a part of Nature itself); in this infinite, eternal and ever-changing universe. This essence is an acquired ability that allows man to effectively change the conditions of his physical, mental and social existence based on the positive knowledge of the world and of himself (as a social being); in such a way as to progressively reduce the contradiction between subjective man and objective Nature, between humanity and the world, but never completely eliminating it. 
This necessarily is a complex of historical processes of “being” and “knowing”; mediated by dialectical chance and necessity and taking place in a temporarily life-harbouring celestial body where the subjectivity of life can evolve through discrete evolutionary leaps from blind non-living matter to the highest developed product of matter, namely the thinking brain of man’. 

To Aristotle, everything has a purpose or goal. Referring to the essence of human existence or attaining a state of good living, argued that the purpose is always to attain some good. He believes that the chief good or the greatest good for humans is Eudaimonia or attaining the state of happiness. Therefore, the whole essence of our existence is to live a virtuous life only through which we can achieve Eudaimonia.

In his writings titled Psychomachia or the Battles of the Souls, Aurellus Clemens Prudentius who died about 410 AD listed seven virtues man must possess to realise his or her essence in life and also attain the purpose of God for humanity.
The seven according to Prudentius are, first, Chastity, which manifests in living a life of purity and abstinence. The second is Temperance that finds expression in being an epitome of humanity and equanimity. Third is Charity, which means will, generosity, will and sacrifice. Fourth is Diligence, which portrays persistence, ethics and effortfulness. The fifth is Patience that has manifestation in forgiveness and mercy. Sixth is Kindness, which has compassion and satisfaction is its hallmarks. The last is Humility, signposts by bravery, modesty and reverence.

Also the centrality of Jesus Christ’s teachings concerning the virtues of man for the realisation of the real essence human existence are what was sum up as the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians. The fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

In the same vein, examining the teachings and character of Prophet Mohammed it is very clear that the Holy Prophet epitomized honesty, total submission to the will of God, compassionate to all, promotion of Justice and equality, humility, pleasant and friendly countenance, generosity, patience, intelligence and diplomacy and a family man to the core.
One can conveniently say that the main purpose of our existence is to live peacefully with our fellow man, serve God, learn, work and help others.

The question now is, where is Adeyemi in all these dialectical, moral and theological expositions and trajectory?
In a society where the evil forces of greed, selfishness and self-aggrandizement have taken over the souls of the privileged few , especially those who have had or still have the honour of attaining political and economic positions to better the lots of ordinary citizens as a result of their intellectual, moral and spiritual barrenness or where zero self-esteem and poverty have turned many to the merchants of sycophancy and eye service, Adeyemi as an ordinary homo sapient seats well within a great deal the essence of human existence and happy living enumerated above.

Also very intriguing about him is the seamlessly and virtuoso way he relates with the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of intellectual, economic and social status. As a matter of fact, the older his wine, the better and the more grace he receives as God continue to expand his coast the more humane he becomes.

While his contemporaries think about how to expand their political and economic sphere for themselves and their family alone, a restless Adeyemi with not-easy -to -describe energy and passion is seeking opportunities to enhance his knowledge and capacity to lift others up. His recent interventions in the political space and other engagements was certainly because he needs anyone’s political support or to build an army of political puns to be deployed at will, but just to help others achieve their political aspirations and to ensure due process is followed.

One is not surprise anyway, as he has not divest himself of the values as ensconced traditional African social relation like the Ubuntu philosophy which stipulates that, ‘person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human’. And the Yoruba Communalism, which is the basis of our social and economic relations.

Let me conclude this birthday tribute to Dr Adeyemi Muiz Banire SAN with the admonition of the reggae legend, Robert Nester Marley (Bob Marley) in one of his songs ‘Wake Up and Live” (Survival released in 1979) who says ‘Life is a big road with lots of signs. So, when you ride through the ruts don’t complicate your mind; flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t burry your thoughts put your vision to reality now”. As you ride through the ruts of life my very sincere wish for you is for God to continue to grant you the will and the courage to ride on till you reach your destination of fulfilling God’s purpose for your existence and may you always receives his grace.
Happy birthday to our distinguished Convener at the United Action for Change.

Comrade Ajayi is a political activist

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