Project Occupy Young Minds


As I was thinking of what to write the usual red light blinked on my phone – a signal that I have a unread message on my Blackberry Messenger and the following is an excerpt of the message sent to me by my colleague:

…..the Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went further than ever. The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.

To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go further and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste.

The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan. How did they manage? To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time, tired and dull? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active. If you are steadily conquering challenges, you are happy. Your challenges keep you energized. Don’t create success and revel in it – in a state of inertia. You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference. Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go!

End of story…

This little story can be summed up with this quote from Albert Einstein, one of greatest men that have graced the surface of this earth, in which he said “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character”

However, it’s very sad that even with the introduction of smaller sharks in “our tanks” many have given up hope of survival not to mention staying up fresh rather what we see every day is that the helpless ones are waiting endlessly for the shark to consume them while some privileged fishes are even too busy trying to be a predator instead of fighting for their fellow preys.

The World today is in a very precarious position and everywhere all over the world people are crying woe because there are bigger sharks gunning after our existence as a people. The story is even more worrisome in my native country, Nigeria. Nigeria is in dire need of young men and women who possess the right attitude and character to get this country back on the right path if we must succeed as a nation (are we even a nation? Just curious). Lest there wouldn’t be fishes in the tank but only Sharks – be it original Sharks or metamorphosed ones.  We need to develop ourselves as the upcoming generation and the future of the Nigerian State. Even if the nation is developed and we (the youths) are not developed enough to carry on, how then do we bequeath a Nigeria of our dream to the coming generations?

The 32nd President of the United State of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt said “we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build youth for the future”.  I am not too sure if the present Nigerian leaders are even thinking of building a future let alone the youth for the future. My immediate thinking then would be: if it is to be it is up to you and me.

We may not be able to help each other build an immediate good character. However, I believe one’s attitude towards so many things can be influenced with a good mindset. It’s about time we changed our paradigm totally and re-strategise to personally develop ourselves to be able to effect social and political changes we have all been clamouring for.

To this end my team and I have decided to institute a pet project which would be called Project Occupy Young Minds. The main objective of this project is to bring young Nigerians all over the world together to discuss different issues affecting our social and political landscape and also to proffer measurable solutions to the identified issues. This project is aimed at impacting social, personal and leadership development such that the scheme encourage young Nigerians to grow and change.

We shall start the project on twitter as a Twitter Hall Meeting using the hashtag #OYM and at every meet we shall give out books (business/motivational/biography) as gifts to participants (or discussants). Again, the idea of giving away books is not just to part with books but to encourage all stakeholders to read and further occupy their minds with good thoughts.

Jack London said “you can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club”. In the presence of all the sharks in the Nigerian tank” we cannot wait to be consumed but we must ensure we stay ahead in order to excel and achieve the desired result – CHANGE.

“The more a man meditates upon good thoughts; the better will be his world and the world at large” – Confucius

Let’s do this together!!!

You can find me on twitter: @bisiogunwale


8 thoughts on “Project Occupy Young Minds

  1. Nice one bros. Keep it coming. The introduction was gripping, the delivery was apt and the conclusion excellent. A novel Idea. Hope you have enough books. This can grow bigger than you think. So plan to buy moooooooore books. LOL

  2. @bisiogunwale, well atriculated write up and ur have hit the nail on the head well all stuggle like headless kichens and yet forget to find a ground the came accomodate our creative, eventhough our govt jave turn on def ear to the plite of the masses we shdn’t give up hope n don’t let down our guards as well.
    Let all creative mind rise up and stand for him or herself in this tank of nigeria and be our own shank rather than being a prey to other sharks.

    Saheed Ilori

  3. Bisi,

    I’m awed. The nut got cracked eventually. Just like Job said going backwards it makes a whole lot of sense; Intersection. We work together on this and empower individuals who can change themselves regardless of the shortcoming of the system.


  4. Well done sir, you echo my sentiments. However except on my blog where somehow I feel I can rant as much as I please, I’m a man of few words, I prefer to take my talk to the turf. If it’s not too much trouble, I wonder if you’d please take a look at these two posts below and tell me what you think. Some of us are doing what they can where they are.



  5. Hey, what a lovely and gripping intro that was. Yeah, we all need to be on the move, get new challenges and face them squarely. Our lives are not supposed to be dull but to be filled with adventures from work, friends and our relationships. Lets go there

  6. Inspiring. I love the proactive thinking and the energy to want to do something concrete. We need thinkers and doers. I am hoping that this is the beginning of meaningful work and collaboration with like minds. Great job. says:

    Inspiring. I love the proactive thinking and the energy to want to do something concrete. We need thinkers and doers. I am hoping that this is the beginning of meaningful work and collaboration with like minds. Great job.

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