Put Others First

I knew it would be difficult for our doctoral student, Mr Jibola Oyedeji to attend the annual Food Safety Conference in Salt Lake City Utah, USA even though his abstract was accepted for presentation. The main reason being that he couldn’t get funding from our university since he was invited to give a poster presentation. The university only sponsors postgraduate students to attend conferences overseas if they are doing oral presentation. Furthermore, the outcome of NRF – funding application for knowledge interchange and collaboration submitted for the student was delayed. But something interesting happened, my colleague and Jibola’s co-promoter, Dr John Mellem offered to partially sponsor him from his mobility research grant. My co-promoter demonstrated that living a life of significance entails putting others first. It is not wrong to state that self-centeredness is the root cause of virtually every problem – both personally and globally. If you consider Africa for example, the source of our problems can be traced to greed and selfishness on the part of our leaders (the followers are also not innocent though). But I am positive that things are changing. I see a youthful generation rising up to challenge the status quo like Dr John did. They are saying, it doesn’t have to be about me and my family only. I want to do something for my neighbor and the community. This week, try putting others first by (1) developing a greater appreciation for others (2) put yourself in other people’s shoes (3) place other people’s interests at the top of your priorities (4) make winning a group activity and (5), this is very important, pray for others.

Food safety.