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FunTimes Magazine

Message From Eric Nzeribe, Publisher: "Get Your Own Broom"

Dec 21, 2021 10:00AM ● By Eric Nzeribe

Broom seller in Nigeria, Image Credit:

If you are reading/looking at this page, be grateful! You are alive! Unfortunately, many people did not make it to this day because of the pandemic. Are you in the wrong circumstance, or do you feel that your situation is worse off? Cheer up because it may still change! At this time of the year, it’s important to be grateful and give thanks.

A quick disclaimer:

First, if you are a friend and want to read this piece as a favor, please don't. Discontinue reading now because my office does not pay me by how many persons read my article or how many pages views the writing gets.

Second, if you have a fragile ego, please, discontinue reading this article. You may get hurt and needlessly become my enemy.

Third, if you're in a hurry, please don't read this article. As you can see it is more than 300 words.

Finally, if you're looking for a feel-good article, please do not read beyond this point. The only feel-good part of this was the first paragraph. However, if you’re still here, thank you!

This conversation is heavy stuff. It concerns the essence of life. It concerns the golden rule. It calls for everyone to chip in!

There is this story about the late Bishop Michael Eneja of the Enugu Catholic Diocese in Nigeria, who was on a Pastoral visit to a small parish. However, the weather was so hot and humid that the small church hall was unbearable as a venue. So the bishop decided to move his teaching to under a tree in the church premises.

If you are familiar with these village settings, the change caused some issues because the parish priest and council members now rushed off to look for a table and amenities for his Lordship to be comfortable outside. The bishop, meanwhile, took a broom in front of the church house and started sweeping the compound.

The story continues that when the priest returned, he saw the bishop sweeping and promptly shouted, "My Lord, please don't do this to me! Give me the broom; let me do the sweeping myself!" The bishop refused his request and instead asked him to "Go and get your own broom."

In obedience, the priest went and got his own broom and started sweeping. Soon enough, the catechist arrived at the scene and saw his Lordship and the parish priest sweeping.

He nearly fainted and rushed to the priest to collect the broom from him, but the priest quietly told him to "Go and get your own broom."

Thus, one by one, people picked up available brooms, and quickly the church ground was cleaned, and the saintly bishop continued his teaching as if nothing had happened.

The moral of the story is that we, as a collective, in our little corners, could make this world a better place by just contributing our little piece.

For starters, people complain that Philadelphia is a dirty city. However, in one of his public comments, Mayor Kenney aptly stated that he knows that trash does not rain from the sky. Instead, it is people that put the trash indiscriminately on the street.

Some people drive very posh cars to the McDonald's drive-through and purchase stuff to eat for themselves and their children. However, when they finish their food, they calmly lower the car window and throw the remaining food and its packaging onto the street at the nearest stop sign. I usually wonder if I am the only one that sees stuff like this. You can do your part in keeping the city clean by desisting from that. Literally, "Go and get your own broom."

Before you start thumping your chest that you are innocent, are you in government or a position of power? How do we reconcile that Philly is the poorest of the ten largest cities in America? It is not by accident. Instead, it falls on the actions or inactions of people entrusted to steer the people's affairs. In what ways have you compromised the public good or your own core values (if you have any)? Well then, "Go and get your own broom."

Are you in the philanthropy world? How have you moved the needle in your stated mission, or are you "pimping the poor"? Well then, "Go and get your own broom."

The list goes on. Do you want to get over someone in a business transaction? Whatever you do and wherever you are, you could act from a place of kindness in your heart that will positively impact someone. This includes something as simple as talking to your children.

Together we can live the golden rule by doing unto others as we would want them to do unto us! If we followed that maxim, we would ultimately be contributing to creating a better world. No, we don't have to fix the whole world, just our little corner in it. So, "Go and get your own broom."

The pandemic has changed the paradigm from the future of work to our tastes and consumption.

Thus, FunTimes Magazine has embraced the 100% online format for good. We thank our team members and all partners and collaborators who helped us pivot and are in the trenches with us every day. We thank all media newsrooms in the Philly area especially, WHYY, WURD, The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, SCOOPUSA, LoveNow Media, Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Chester Spirit.

We thank Independence Public Media Foundation, The Lenfest Institute of Journalism, Solution Journalism, Resolve Philly, Beech Companies, Philly Ad Club, Multicultural Family Services,  Campaign for Working Families, Brown ShopRite Superstores, HealthSparks Foundation, Community Marketing Concepts, Taller Puertorriqueno, Philly Counts, Health4Naija, ICAP Inc, ABSW Inc, Independence Blue Cross, Welcoming Center, The Merchant Fund, Office of Immigrant Affairs and Mayors Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, and countless personal relationships that buoyed FunTimes in these tough times!

Thank you and Happy Holidays. 

 Eric John Nzeribe is Publisher of FunTimes Magazine who has demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry since 1992. His interests include using data to understand and solve social issues, narrative stories, digital marketing, community engagement, features in online and print journalism. Nzeribe is a strong media and communication professional with a Master of Science (MS) in Publication Management from Drexel University.