A Mind That Knows May Not Be Free

By Ladeji Popoola

When the mouth paves the way for someone’s death, our people would not call such an infamous situation a strange one because it has always been happening and it may forever continue to happen. I was in a gathering of those I knew age must have imparted them with knowledge and I hold no doubt they should be able to tell a child that is felling a tree the exact direction the tree must fall to. However, there was an issue at hand that kindled the fire of a very short-lived debate. It happened that an educated elderly person said no one could convince him to be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, his argument which I concluded was devoid of a logical premise goes thus, “The Government could not provide food for the people, but this same Government wants a person with an empty stomach to take their vaccine. I won’t.” This elderly person said this and quite a substantial number of people present at the gathering were shocked and upset by maybe what seemed to be an unwitty, rash reflection from someone who should be infuriated to hear such utterance elsewhere. 

However, another elderly person who knew where that conviction could lead the owner argues otherwise. This educated elderly person had this to say: “In fact, you utterly disappointed me by saying that. Yes, the Government in its right sense could not provide free food for you so that this trying time could be worth living, but the Government in its right sense has made the vaccine free and available to your reach.”

I have expected such admonition, and I was not disappointed to hear this. However, that the educated elderly man rejected or would reject the vaccine, I was not disappointed too because of this personal sentiment, I had heard it been said by who I believe was in his right mind before. This person also shared a similar view with the elderly man. The difference in their opinion is that the elderly man said he would not take the vaccine, however, this other person said he and his family would not take the vaccine.

Jesse Stuart, an American writer, in his article titled: Poverty of the mind. He expressed, “It is true we do have poverty for want of proper food—and for the necessities of life, clothing, better housing, better everything—roads, schools, churches, and public buildings. We have poverty all the way around. And [I will] like to include in this we have poverty of the stomach but the greatest poverty we have here, and other parts of America is the poverty of the mind.” Moreover, the part of America which this writer had in mind was Appalachia.

However, what this writer had identified as poverty there is also present in the University of Ibadan and in Nigeria. The poverty of the mind from my own view as explained by this writer is the absence of where the mind can be affordably trained but these two persons I recently encountered were trained minds like many other people that break the university Covid-19 rules and peddle myths. These two educated people are not unaware of the havoc Covid-19 has wrecked and is still wrecking in the world but they are adamantine and with their sentiments, they have no shame or fear of consequence. 

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