‘By the sweat of your brow you shall eat your food’

Kuolachalie Seyie

The most popular divine direction for all of us without the slightest exception is, “by the sweat of your brow, you shall eat your food until you return to the ground” Gen. 3:19. This commandment of God is given to each of us because He wants all of us to be the head and not the tail, a Job giver and not a Job seeker. To re-make our Naga world what we need is to re-build our work culture according to the biblical vision and its direction to redeem ourselves from the terrible and disgraceful Delhi dependency syndrome. The Delhi dependency or corruption definitely is as bad as a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD). It makes us a very cheap and purposeless society.


The main reason for our unemployment, corruption and lies is the wrong education and thinking in our society. We think we have no job avenues while others, non Nagas, think there are so much job opportunities in Nagaland. Why? These facts should shock and shame us into action. Out of 23,777 shops in Nagaland, only 6,724 are registered in our Nagas’ name, even then there may be so many binami transactions in those 6,724 shops in favour of non-locals. It explains why Kohima or Dimapur market is full non Nagas. “Pitch your tent in the land of hope” as David did, so that the Lord’s goodness and His mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you shall not be shaken by poverty, ignorance, sicknesses or other obstacles as declared by David.


Let’s change our wrong mindset. Let us guard our minds constantly, with a fine tuned balance. Nurture the ‘unique spark’ of our individuality; a core area to expose our unlimited talent and potential to pinnacle heights and inter-twining delicately with extraordinary traits of entrepreneurial relationships. Let us put ourselves in God’s hand to become successful entrepreneurs, motivators and lead our Naga society by becoming owners and job givers, not job seekers or slaves of selfish job providers. Cultivate “Work and Worship” culture which is the biblical vision that we become masters, professionals and owners in God’s plan and purpose; created in His image. God tells us: Be who I created you to be, ”Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, be strong and very courageous. Then you will be prosperous and successful. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”. Joshua 1:7-9. Be committed to this divine direction; our God has never failed anyone in the past and He will not fail anyone today or tomorrow if we take Him seriously. Shall we declare “Lord I believe” with all our hearts and start to think and act as He guides us?


Learning to solve our own problems by ourselves is the purpose of life, so that by the sweat of your brow you eat your food; however, it appears to be one of the greatest challenges in our Naga society today. ‘Realization of what we have’, ‘discipline to utilize the same’ with integrity is the key to our present terrible crises of “Government job dependency culture and being parasites to Delhi”. “The measure of who we are, is what we do with what we have”, said Vince Lombardi, the great American teacher. God did not create us to be parasites and leeches; declare that we are children of the Most High God; King of kings. “The harder you work, the luckier you get” Henry Ford. For instance, the God given talent of sling-shot to the teenage rural country shepherd boy David was not a big deal but the work culture in practicing the sling-shot with all sincerity and consistency, recognizing the small talent with gratefulness, commitment and integrity won the favour of God which ultimately made him the greatest King of Israel. Whether you have one talent or five makes not much of a difference; the proper application of it only matters. Set goals with proper planning and rise early every morning, to see the accomplishment of such goals.


This is the year of the Lord’s favour. Know that we are meant to be masters, entrepreneurs, owners and job givers as we were created in God’s own image and likeness, not for just the appearance but with some of His characteristics, powers, greatness, glory, majesty, love, integrity, purity and unselfishness. Always aim for excellence in ‘wise and courageous decision making’ and ‘risk taking abilities’ for the successful achievement of our goals with proper evaluation and assessment of ourselves. David was absolutely confident in God and also in his sling-shot because he had excelled in the needed skill to use it: we have to sincerely play our part. Faith without work is dead. James 2:7. We must know ‘who we are’ and ‘who we are not’, so as to activate the God given latent powers in ourselves. The devil comes only to attack our IDENTITY; once he succeeds in deceiving us of our identity, we are done for! But once we realize what our identity in Christ is, he is done for! We only need to know who we are in Christ and everything that is falling apart will fall into place again. This will redeem our Naga society from all evils -unemployment, corruption, fratricide, extortion, immorality and violence.


We are inheritors of a rich historical legacy built on our Christian faith, hard work, honesty, integrity, hospitality, courage, simplicity from our forefathers. So, can we properly plan and set practical goals to solve our economic, spiritual, social, political and local problems as our forefathers did? Overcome our weaknesses and thrive as a people and a nation against all kinds of exploitation? Our life is too precious to be left half-baked with only a casual daily routine that does not demand the best out of us. A total transformation of a young mind into a strong confident leader treading the path of a successful entrepreneur or a professional to become a ‘Job Giver’ and not a ‘Job Seeker’ is needed to fulfill the desire of God through your sweat and toil. This is the desired Naga Solution of the day which can only bring about the Naga Sovereignty you have heard so much about. It means so much to the Nagas because our elders have paid a very high price to claim it as justified by our history. But we must be responsible enough and understand that the most important part of this sovereignty is learning to solve our problems ourselves, so that we start to grow properly instead of expecting others to pay the price and we live thoughtlessly and selfishly as we are doing. My dear brothers and sisters, we just have to stop it.


The terrible crisis of “unemployment” problem due to lack of self-enterprise in Nagaland arises, owing to the fact that parents as well as educational institutions inculcate Government job oriented education only and do not stress on self-entrepreneurship or professionalism, resulting in our children becoming mere “job seekers” instead of being job givers, masters, entrepreneurs and owners. In this context, I am not discouraging government employment through competitive examinations; rather, our youth should aim and be motivated to become the best public servants delivering the goods and services that are expected of a public servant with utmost integrity and commitment to our people, which in itself is an enterprise.


In pursuance of such education, our students are sent to the various metros and even abroad and ultimately, to finance them, we are compelled to sell out our land and properties. Thus, many renowned landlords and farmers have become almost landless or completely landless and consequently, they too become jobless and dejected. Such cases can be seen in the fertile foothill belts of Dimapur and Peren districts in particular. To cite an instance, a village in Medziphema area has 150 households where only five own terrace cultivation fields today and likewise there are so many villages in Dimapur and Peren districts where so many such instances can be found. Do we on our own action, create a notion that there is no life without a government job or we would not be able to get married unless one is employed in the Government set up?


We talk of independence but this culture of Government job dependency has brought us far too many appointments even when there is no vacancy or work in the departments. We thereby deceive the public as well as ourselves staying in our comfort zone collecting salaries without work or office attendance which robs us of our dignity, self-respect, integrity, meaning of life, direction of God and pushes us towards a devalued community at large full of very unsatisfied, unhappy people. Check and search ourselves why we are not happy as Cain. Where do we stand? Someone has so rightly said “Comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing grows there”.


Seriously dwelling on the issue, it becomes our duty to show leadership as role models to each other so as to make others also discover the latent potential in themselves. We are fully loaded with talents, potential and well equipped by faith in God to pursue any profession of our choice as young people. The failure to recognize our worth is the problem today. Just going on asking God to send us a kilo of pork, sugar and rice, treating Him as our own servant will not solve our many crises.


We are not created by God to be ‘job seekers’, or ‘parasites to the Hindu, Muslim, and other tax payers. We only need to recognize and activate dormant talents, dormant seeds, dormant powers, dormant qualities and dreams in ourselves. The giant has to be awakened, seeds watered and qualities nurtured. Then we will know the higher philosophy ‘to eat our food by our own sweat of our brow’ or ‘the meaning of being created in His image and likeness by our God.’ This inheritance is divinity in itself in today’s complex world. Nagaland is blessed exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond with natural resources of all kinds. Nagaland is also not a landlocked state; it is rather the gateway to South East Asia. In this present Global village, foreign merchandise goes all over India via Mandalay-Tamu (Myanmar) and Moreh (Manipur). Nagaland is a land of untold opportunity and potentiality. We only need to do things within our reach sincerely with utmost gratefulness, commitment and integrity and honour God, then God will bless us and use us to do extraordinary things and it will work out miraculously beyond our expectations.


There are no hopeless situations but only hopeless men. The lack in quality of life or hopeless people, such as the lack of zeal to get up in the morning on time or inability to control your food habits and the likes are our problems which are absolute deviations from the image and likeness of God. The quality of life we need is the degree and intensity to which a set of inherent characteristic of human character, physical, mental, emotional balance and value system fulfill and satisfy the achievement, esteem and self-actualization needs of oneself. The greatest force in life is the hunger and search for the meaning of life and that force fulfills the purpose and design of your being. It is our responsibility to utilize our full potential to be masters, owners, entrepreneurs, job givers and not job seekers or slaves of crooked job providers or slaves of immoralities. Casualness or procrastination has no place in this competitive world. “He sees your every step” and blesses you for being honest even in the small matters. Never, never forget, God is in the details. And that’s why the Devil is equally interested in the details of your living. Who is winning in the details today?


The past cannot be changed. The present and the future are in our hands. God is asking for what one has got. Find out what is available within reach with gratefulness and commitment as David did. The genuine care for our life can do miracles beyond expectation.


I want to end with this great possibility. Think of the superabundance of challenges and opportunities as well as natural resources with which we are blessed. If by our actions we harness our God given boundless energies, and empower ourselves by listening to our Almighty God and obey with utmost sincerity, we will definitely create a benchmarking niche in this golden era of exponential economic development phase now starting in our Nagaland State. Therefore, know your own hearts properly and then act in time without delay or default before it is too late. The virtues that we need are, ‘Hard Work’, ‘Courage’, ‘Discipline’, ‘Integrity’ ‘Purity’ and ‘Consistency’ so as to be masters, owners, job givers and worthy of being God’s image; to re-make our Nagaland.