CODE OF PERSONAL DISCIPLINE
1. I will, more than ever before, subject myself to severe self-discipline. Only ‘men who are masters of themselves become easily masters of others’. Therefore, my thoughts, my tongue, and my actions shall be brought under strict control always.
2. The truest and most loyal friend I have in human flesh is my wife. She has borne our common tribulations with exemplary fortitude. Her love for me is ineffable. In return, it is my resolve to show her such love as is rare among mankind. Furthermore, before I take any major decision, or embark on any enterprise, I will consult her fully, and be guided by her wise advice and suggestions.
3. My home is among the happiest in the world. After my release, I will make it a veritable paradise on earth for my wife, my children, grandchildren, sisters, relatives, household servants, and all others who work with or under me, regardless of their station in life.
4. I will eschew anger, irritability, resentment and fault-finding. In any case, ‘I will not permit myself to speak while angry’ or irritated. I will refrain from making any adverse remarks about any of my colleagues behind his back.
5. ‘I will look on the bright side of the circumstances of my daily life, and I will carry a cheerful face and speak hopefully to all whom I meet. I will speak and act truthfully, living with sincerity towards all men.’
6. At all times, wherever I may be, I will remember that God Almighty is ever present with me, that He abides with me and resides in every cell of my body. In this connection, the following prayer of Leslie D. Weatherhead should also be in my prayer.
Dear Lord, may I take thee with me today in my heart, do nothing that would grieve Thee, say nothing that I should be ashamed to say in Thy Presence , think nothing that is unworthy and go nowhere, where I should be ashamed to be found by Thee. Let the Thought of Thy real presence with me dominate my life today, Amen.
7. God will not alter His Laws, or the widely divergent and often violently conflicting natures of human beings to oblige anyone. I must take the world as I find it: with its sprinkling of saints and its multitude of evil-doers; with his niggardliness of love and its profusion of hatred; with its grudging appreciation and its ever ready condemnation; with its limited friendship and its immeasurable enmity; with its ounce of happiness and its tons of sorrow. The list can be increased ad infinitum. ‘As it was in the beginning, so it is now and ever shall be…’ My duty, therefore, is, having taken the world as I find it with its awful and ineffable contrasts, to view anything that may happen to me in this world with Christ-like calm and equanimity, and to do all in my power to promote the progress and advancement of mankind towards those immortal ideals which are enshrined and sufficiently elaborated in the Scriptures of every Great Religion.
8. In all that I say or do, in private and in public, I will reflect courage, faith, hope, peace, harmony, humility and love.
Code of Personal Discipline was written by Obafemi Awolowo for himself in the Calabar Prisons (Cell D, up 2), and in my opinion, I indulge all to live by these principles.
Long live the principles of Obafemi Awolowo!
ADVENTURES IN POWER (BOOK ONE: MY MARCH THROUGH PRISON); PP. 272 – 273
BY OBAFEMI AWOLOWO (1985)