THE ME, MYSELF AND I SYNDROME
I spent a good sum of my young adult life in a town called Sapele in Delta state of Nigeria. Sapele is a small town with a big history. It’s a semi island town because it’s partially surrounded by the Ethiope River and has lots of creeks around it, with just one road to access the town and lots of water ways. Ethiope River is on record as being the deepest river in Afrika. And I must also add that, that little town has produced some of the most amazing talent in the entire nation of Nigeria. Either they were born there or they passed through that town growing up. Growing up in that town taught me some fundamental lessons about life and responsibility. That’s practically where I learnt how to fend for myself. But that’s not the reason for this article.
This article is about the psychology behind greed which is reflected in the Me, Myself and I syndrome. And by the way, the concept of Me, Myself and I syndrome is one of the things I picked up growing in Sapele. I remember we usually called someone who didn’t care about others as behaving in a Me, Myself and I way.
I remember one afternoon I went to meet a friend in his house, we had scheduled song rehearsals for that afternoon. I sat outside waiting for him to come out of the house. As I waited, a little drama played out right before my eyes. Three little boys were playing just opposite where I was seated; they should have been between the ages of 3 and 4 or thereabouts. As they played, they saw a man they knew passing and they all ran to him to greet him. He responded to them for a few seconds and was ready to continue on to his destination. Two of the boys left to continue their play but one remained with the man. As the man was about to leave, he gave the little boy some money, I guess two Naira notes but I can’t remember exactly what the denominations were. He told the little boy to share the money with his friends and left. I watched in surprise as this young four year old boy quickly took one of the notes and hid it in his pocket. He then presented just one of the notes to his friends as the money that was given. Obviously the plan was that he would share in the one he presented, while keeping the one in his pocket to himself. They all happily ran to a nearby shop for some sweets and kid’s stuff. I sat and considered what had just happened and it was just beyond my understanding.
Till today I still wonder why I did not correct that child, and yet this was about twenty or so years ago. I guess what happened was that I was much more surprised that he could do such a thing at that age than I was surprised that he did it at all. After all these years, that drama never left my mind.
I can’t tell you that I understood the entire thing that transpired with those kids as at that time, but now I know better that if there are things we can point to that are some of the problems with Afrika, they are greed, selfishness and the many negative cousins they carry along with themselves. But the question is this, how on earth did that child of that age think up something like that?
The Psychology behind greed
Greed is the disordered desire for more than is decent or deserved, not for the greater good but for one’s own selfish interest, and at the detriment of others and society at large. Greed can be for anything, but is most commonly for food, money, possessions, power, fame, status, attention, admiration, and sex.
The origins of greed
Greed often arises from early negative experiences, such as parental absence, inconsistency, or neglect. In later life, feelings of anxiety and vulnerability, often combined with low self-esteem, lead the person to fixate on a substitute for the love and security that he or she so sorely lacked. The pursuit of this substitute distracts from negative feelings, and its accumulation provides much needed comfort and reassurance.
If greed is much more developed in human beings than in other animals, this is partly because human beings have the capacity to project themselves far into the future, to the time of their death and even beyond. The prospect of our eventual demise gives rise to anxiety about our purpose, value, and meaning.
In a bid to contain this existential anxiety, our culture provides us with ready-made narratives of life and death. Whenever existential anxiety threatens to surface into our conscious mind, we naturally turn to culture for comfort and consolation. Today, it is so happens that our culture—or lack of it, for our culture is in a state of flux and crisis—places a high value on materialism, and, by extension, on greed.
Our culture’s emphasis on greed is such that people have become immune to satisfaction. Having acquired one thing, they immediately set their sights on the next thing that suggests itself. Today, the object of desire is no longer satisfaction but desire itself. Greed is also associated with negative psychological states, such as stress, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and despair, and with maladaptive behaviours such as gambling, scavenging, hoarding, trickery, and theft. By overriding reason, compassion, and love, greed loosens family and community ties and undermines the bonds and values upon which society is built.
(copied from psychology today website)
Deeper than greed
There isn’t just one way of knowing what drives greed and the acts that follow such tendencies, but one thing for me always stands out, that is, mindlessness. To be mindless is not to pay attention to the needs of others or not to give others their fair share of whatever it is that they are worthy of. It is quite as simple as that. I can categorically tell you that Afrika is the way it is right now in all spheres of its society, because of greed among Afrikans themselves. However, greed is not the problem, it is a symptom. The root cause of greed is thinking of ourselves in isolation from others or as members of elite peer groups that define what we should want. We are members of larger communities, with many kinds of people, on whom we depend and who depend on us. If we act with others in mind, we should begin to see changes in Afrika. Politically, economically, in business, in religion, within families, you see this trend of one person wanting to get all that is meant for everyone. Meaning that Afrika does not lack resources nor does she lack the ability to use those resources, she just has too many greedy minds fighting and collecting for themselves what belongs to everyone. And like some pathetic politicians, when they can’t have what they want, they burn down everything or cause chaos and instability.
As I write this article, my wife sent me a prophetic message from Jeremiah Johnson, a prophet in the US. I will share below what he said about the events going on in the world right now and how it is connected to the spirit of greed. He titled the message:
“AN URGENT PROPHETIC ALERT AND WARNING.
Released on June 1, 2020
On the night of May 30th, while praying and pacing over the United States in my home around 2 am, a demonic entity appeared right before me in an open vision. This type of encounter has only ever happened one other time while I was ministering in a foreign country in 2015. I have always engaged in this type of spiritual warfare while asleep and dreaming prophetically, but rarely if ever to this degree while awake.
This demonic entity had a visible and deep scar underneath its right eye, but it also had the ability to mutate or rather change forms. I watched this “being” morph several times right in front of me, yet the gash below its right eye remained.
It pointed its finger right in my face and said, “I exist to deceive the whole world. Just as there are forerunners in the kingdom of God that go before the Son of Man, so I am a forerunning spirit in the kingdom of darkness that has been sent before the coming of the man of lawlessness.”
It continued, “The scar underneath my right eye has come at the hands of the praying Church, for many of them in this hour have begun to detect our true plans and purposes to disrupt systems, divert attention, and release chaos in the land.”
At this point in the encounter, the hair on my body was standing straight up as I had never been told anything like this at length by a demonic entity. Suddenly, all I can describe is the authority and mind of Christ came upon me and I pointed my finger back at this demon and demanded, “Who is the source behind your power and influence?”
It began to laugh hysterically, a sound that still taunts me and with great rage this demon answered and roared, “The Media!”
I fixed my gaze upon it and said, “You devil that has come to deceive the whole world through the media and is being exposed right now, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to reveal your agenda!”
With a sneer it began to manifest a foul spirit and the first wave I smelled was FEAR. I saw the Coronavirus spreading across the whole world and the spirit of fear attached to it. The second wave of stench the demon manifested was HATE and I saw the cities on fire and racism escalating. The third wave that came was GREED and it was the strongest of all the smells.
In that moment of time, by way of Holy Spirit revelation, I understood that what we are witnessing in 2020, beyond a virus and beyond racism and police brutality is a diabolical and sinister agenda called “greed”. A wave of fear has hit through the virus and now a wave of anger through the riots, but the real culprit is greed!
In other words, the world is being held hostage right now by demonic forces preparing the way for the man of lawlessness. There is so much deception being spread through the media that now we must understand what we are “seeing” and “hearing” on the news and social media is a simple diversion from the real truth!
I’m telling you right now by the Spirit of God that what is happening in our world today has surpassed a virus, racism, and police brutality and the sooner we recognize what’s really going on, the sooner we can gain the victory!
For those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, we must now begin to target our prayers on the spirit of greed and understand the fight is regarding the finances!
The finances behind the virus!
The finances behind the rioting and looting!
The finances behind taking down the President!
Millions are being sold a false report. The African American race and their justified pain is being preyed on by an agenda filled with greed! The agenda behind the virus and hopes to vaccinate and dominate is greed!
After this encounter I finally see it like never before!
China. The WHO. George Soros. Bill Gates.”
Concerning the above prophecy, the one reason why I mentioned it in this article is to
remind anyone who cares to know that nothing happens in this world without some spiritual influence or influences. Meaning that to try to change or tackle spiritual issues using just physical things, new laws, technology or whatever else we have learnt to run to, will just be a waste of time.
Boldness to be a true Afrikan
It takes boldness to be a true Afrikan in these our days of betrayal and compromise. Why? The true Afrikan is the one who thinks of others like he thinks of himself. A true Afrikan is the one who will not gather to himself what is meant for the community. A true Afrikan is the one that will not fight to live in a one thousand acre piece of land, while a thousand families are living on the streets. A true Afrikan is the one whose decisions and choices reflect the reality of the common good. A true Afrikan is the one who sees evil and calls it what it is. A true Afrikan fears God and will not trample on others just to get what he desires. And the truth is, it takes a high level of boldness to be this true Afrikan, especially in these our days, where people believe that it’s money that makes the world go round and the acquisition of it puts you in high social positions.
I look at our political space in Afrika and how it seems that our Afrikan heads of state can’t seem to come up with anything useful for the people, except things that keep the flow of money running in their personal pockets and then I wonder why that is. It is the same spirit of greed which stems from mindlessness to the true state of things. Most of them live in palatial government houses and palaces, drive the most expensive cars and fly in the most exotic jets, so they have no clue whatsoever about the true state of things on the ground. And because we also have a lot of unemployed youth who will do anything for money, these heads of state are re-elected to government because such failed heads of government are never held accountable by the youth who can hold them accountable.
Can Afrikans Change?
Yes, Afrikans and anyone else can change. We just have to realize first what our problems are. We just need to first understand that our problem is mindset first before technology, western education etc. And that’s why when you give intellectuals government positions where money is plenty, they seem to instantly lose their intellectual minds and looting becomes the next thing. That shows you that the issue with Afrika has not always been lack of intellectual ability, but mindlessness and selfishness which creates greed.