THE FOOD FOR
THE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Text of the Address delivered by the
Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Is-haq O. Oloyede on the Occasion of the Professional
Initiation and Induction Ceremonies for the Medical Graduands of the College of Health Sciences,
University of Ilorin at the New Auditorium of the University on Friday, July 3,
Text of the Address delivered by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Is-haq O. Oloyede on the Occasion of the Professional Initiation and Induction Ceremonies for the Medical Graduands of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin at the New Auditorium of the University on Friday, July 3, 2009
I welcome you most profoundly to this important occasion. The occasion of graduation is always a moment of joy, jubilation and celebration. It is also an occasion for gratitude and thanksgiving as it is also a moment for sober reflection. This is because as one rejoices the grace, the beauty and beatitude of the day, one must also remember that not all those who started the journey with one eventually make it to the finishing line. For this journey you started some years ago to have successfully ended now, we give infinite thanks to Allah and we say hearty congratulations to you graduands and your families.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I use the opportunities I have to address students at occasions like this to advise and counsel, to encourage and to challenge. This is because the future of any country or society lies in the hands of the young ones like you. Thus, while initiating the medical graduands here on March 11 2008, I spoke on the fact that “the world is waiting for you” to turn it around positively. On a similar occasion on July 22 2008, I told your predecessors that “it’s all well that ends well” and as such, gratitude to God is essential. I equally anchored my address on “health is wealth” to challenge your thinking when your immediate predecessors were being intitiated a few months ago last March 25.
My dear graduands, you would agree with me that today marks a turning point in your lives. Your dreams of many years have come to pass with today’s occasion. You have assumed a class of your own by being a member of that special group of medical practitioners. You are achievers and everyone of you is a pride to his/her family and community. Each of you is now an important person because you are successful. But do not carry your success on your heads. Always remember that to be important is good but to be good is more important. This is your first food for thought.
As we believe in the best practices anywhere in the world, which has made us as a University to be attracting scholars from all parts of the globe to come and share their knowledge with us at different fora, I have often had reason to dwell on great ideas expressed by great minds. Among the ideas I had shared with students are those of Mahatma Ghandi who identified seven blunders of the modern world, as civilised as it is assumed to be. While I won’t repeat that here as insightful as I think is especially for the impressionistic youths of the so-called jet age, I believe an appropriate food for thought is recently provided by the well-known comedian of the 70s and 80s, George Carling. For those of you who are familiar with his words, it is still relevant to re-think them and for those of you who are knowing and learning from him for the first time, it is pertinent to consider where you stand in the conflicting dynamics of our fleeting society. Many have found his ideas useful and insightful and I believe so you will:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses but smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgement, more experts but more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered the outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever but we communicate less and less.
These are times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days for two incomes and more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills do everything from cheer, to queit, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to hit delete...
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment because for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Therefore, as you are professionally initiated and inducted into the medical profession, let honesty, integrity, dignity and professionalism guide your actions and interractions. Let the fear of God dominate all you do because without Him, no success is true success. It is your responsibility to resolve the contradictions in Carlin’s call as much as you can and always ensure that you always make the best out of every situation, no matter how bad. Do not worry because worry does not actually give anything; it rather robs a person of many things.
At the level of the University, it is our commitment to ensure that you have the best of training and there is no cause for any worry. Your College is one of the top three in the country a few years ago but we know it is now the best. Your teachers are globally recognised in their various disciplines and they are scholars and professionals who have made their marks. This, I must add, has impacted positively on you as the laurels and awards you have won at different meical competitions attest to. We are committed to providing a condusive atmosphere for the good job being done by the College under the impressive leadership of the Provost, Prof. B. J. Bojuwoye. The University has always been enamoured by the successes recorded by the College and we are working hard to sustain such great achievements.
With the movement of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) to the Permanent Site, the University has constituted a Committee to address the accommodation issue and the provision of other logistics associated with the movement so that your junior ones will continue to pass through their medical training without strain or stress. More millions of naira have still been earmarked for the upgrade of medical facilities and the procurement of others so that our WHO-designated Centre of Excellence will continue to soar and you graduands will always be proud of your University.
As you are departing the University of Ilorin physically, do not depart from it psychologically. Always be good ambassadors of the University and make a resolve that as alumni, you will make your own contributions to its further greatness. Great universities all over the world are great through the support of the alumni as I always say. Education is too important to be left in the hands of the government alone and the contributions of each of you as alumni will complement what the government provides. As you graduate, think of what you can also do for the University that has made you what you are.
Lastly, I want to congratulate the parents and the guardians here present on their achievements. Sponsoring a medical training is not as easy as picking an apple; it is a huge investment in human development. I congratulate you on this success and may your dreams on your children continue to become a reality in your lives. Human life is precious and producing a medical doctor is in furtherance to the preservation of human life. May your life continue to bloom and prosper.
Thank you very much for your attention and I wish you all the best.