The Head of the State of Israel, King Solomon David made a famous statement in Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verses 9-10, “That which has been is what will be. That which is done is what will be done. And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See this is new?” It has already been in ancient times before us.'” A close look at today reveals similarities in processes, procedures, and events which had taken place in antiquity. New devices and methodologies exist today but a close review of the past shows the existence and use of things and processes used in the present time.
Months ago I wrote on the blame game and reminded readers of the simple words of our elders: when someone points one finger of accusation at another person the other four fingers point at the accuser. We start this series with the concept of buck passing or rejection of responsibility by people first recorded in Genesis chapter 3 verses 12-13. Adam, by biblical record the first human and first man, woke from sleep to see another human being by his side in a garden filled with trees, herbs, and animals including snakes. The new human being arrived with beauty, shapeliness, and glamour along with softness which contrasted with Adam’s muscular and sculpted frame. The man found himself entranced and entrapped by the allure and believed the special creation had to be protected. Protection included actions to keep the new “weak” being from dissatisfaction and discomfort and by extension anger and disaffection. Whatever the being, known as “woman” fancied and wanted had to be met despite the probability of perilous outcome. Can we liken Adam’s position millennia ago to what millions of Adams face today?
The scripture says nothing on where Adam went at the time temptation arrived in the form of a serpent. His wife listened to the tempter (any difference with today?) despite a firm warning from the General Overseer of the City of Eden. The rest has gone into history including the argument as to whether the woman’s action had been predetermined for a divine purpose just like the action of Judas Iscariot.
The key to the fall in Eden in the context of this post lies in the first recorded act of buck-passing. God embarked on an inquisition (done till today) which led to self-defence by a nervous and confused first man of the house as recorded in verse 12 of Genesis chapter 3: “The woman whom you gave to be with me (another version says the woman you put here which meant complete distancing) she gave me of the tree and I ate.”
Till today men continue to pass the buck in relationships of all kinds. Wives cause men’s failures in business or vocation or in this season, elections. The woman has to take the blame for her husband’s weakness, incompetence, greed, and waywardness.
Did the woman fare better? When God turned the searchlight on her she said without delay as recorded in verse 13, “The serpent deceived me (another versions says beguiled me) and I ate.” The buck went over to the devil but the Scripture says nothing about God’s further inquiries to establish truth which we believe He knew.
Till today human beings continue to blame the Devil for premeditated actions which their minds in utter wickedness conceived, analyzed, outlined, and executed. How many armed robberies and assassinations and embezzlement and coups d’etat and fraud and sexual impropriety are acts of the immediate moment? Did King Joseph shoot Soldier Uriah at the spot after he saw naked Beersheba?
But the 33rd President of the United States, Mr. Harry Trumann should have taught all men and women a lifetime lesson. A prison’s warder sent a note to the President and he prepared and placed it on his desk in the Oval Office. It read, “THE BUCK STOPS HERE.” President Trumann dropped the first and till date the only atomic bomb, killed thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan to surrender, but continued to rule. The President felt remorse but refused to issue apology. Japan surrendered and till date has no standing army. Leadership at any level implies full acceptance of responsibility for own decisions as well as those of subordinates.
I listened with irritation as the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor struggled in vain to explain away the disastrous outcome of the currency change. As expected he named several heads of Federal agencies who have worked with him and stopped short of saying, these anti-graft and related Chief Executives should have stopped saboteurs in banks from derailment of our well laid out plans. He struggled to wriggle out of the mess but I doubt anyone in the press corps he addressed showed sympathy.
Should the President of Nigeria who has doubled as Minister of Petroleum Resources for eight years accuse anyone of sabotage in a regime of near zero availability of gasoline? Thanks be to God he has made no effort to explain the situation. He has accepted the buck with no apologies.
Bear in mind the position of Jesus when confronted with the case of an adulterous woman. Jews wanted to stone her by use of a Mosaic law but Jesus said, leave the law, stone her and accept responsibility if you have no guilt in you.
Today several women pass the buck when they destroy their marriages and homes by way of avoidable indiscretions. Women through unmanageable anger, unfaithfulness, greed, laziness, and related lifestyles destroy built up dreams. But one of the most fascinating Old Testament prophesies for women recorded in Proverbs 14 verse 1 says, “Every wise woman builds her house but the foolish woman pulls it down with her own hands.” A wise woman works with family, friends, colleagues, religious organizations, clubs, and neighbours to build her home. But when the home experiences destruction scripture blames her alone. When a woman blames the devil for destruction of her marriage she should be made to read Proverbs 14:1 one thousand times as punishment. How can a woman sleep with her assistant and blame her husband’s infidelity and the guile of the devil for it? Should a young man or woman with the capacity to reason and endowed with free will blame family and friends for wrong choice of life partner or anti-social behaviors?
If every human being in their daily lives accepted responsibility for their actions the world would be a much better place than we have at present, reason? Individuals consciousness of society’s revulsion towards buck passing would stop themselves from wrongdoing before they start.
Let us hear the conclusion of this matter. Imagine the President on a swivel chair in Nigeria’s equivalent of Oval Office (I have no idea of the name given to the top office in Aso Rock Villa). Imagine the boss as he swivels and says, “Gentlemen of the Press the buck stops here. I have been President/Petroleum Minister for four months shy of eight years. Agreed, during my predecessor’s six years in office the country forgot what queue for gasoline looked like and you had no idea of appreciation of the Naira against the Naira. We have restored fuel lines and before I go (if tenure elongation fails) gasoline price will reach unprecedented level. You now have queues at ATMs for the first time in our history. The buck stops on my table and you know what? No one can do anything about or to me.”