(By Taiwo Akinlami)

Hello dear young friends. Sure you had a great weekend and you are doing splendid today. I am excited at the sight of a new day. A new day comes with new opportunities. Our breath is a proof that we are designed to grab the opportunities that each day present with both hands.

Today is a special day. Do you know why? Today is Malala’s Day and though it is being marked all over the world, Malala Yousafzai will be marking the day from Abuja, in solidarity with the abducted Chibok girls. I believe we still keep the girls in our prayers as injustice to one is an injustice to all.

I will share with you right away the second law of protection or should I call it the second law of self-protection. It is very simple. It is not high-sounding. I even think the law is described by one word you know very well. Do you want to guess? How many of you guessed right? Well the second law is simply, vigilance. Other words for vigilance are watchfulness, care, caution, alertness, attention, observation, awareness.

Vigilance is not only a law of protection. It is a law of living. You cannot survive in life without paying attention, without being watchful, without being aware of your environment. Please note that vigilance is a decision you must make. It is also a skill you must learn. It is also an attitude you must be grounded in.

Vigilance does not give himself/herself to strangers; vigilance does not leave his/her life to chance. Vigilance sees with all of himself/herself. Vigilance is wise. Vigilance is strong. Vigilance is thorough. Vigilance does not jump into conclusions. Vigilance walks carefully into conclusions. Vigilance is not gullible. Vigilance submits himself/herself to authorities. Self-awareness is another attribute of vigilance. Vigilance knows himself/herself well and therefore he/she understands boundaries and how to keep them.

Are you vigilant? Are you aware of your environment and those in it? Are you constantly reviewing those you hang around and those who hang around you? Does vigilance guide where you go and do not go or who you visit or do not visit? If you can just be a little more vigilant, you will be protected from all forms of abuse and the predators either in adult or peer form will not have dominion over you.

Learn to question your environment. The number one enemy of vigilance is assumption. Do not assume anything from anyone. Do your best to do your personal findings before you give in to anyone or allow anyone into your personal space. So-called friends have led many young people to their slaughter. Be vigilant.

I will round up today with what I call, ‘Oath of Vigilance.’ I charge you to take the oath for the protection of your body, spirit, soul, your present and your future. Now put your right hand on your chest as you take this oath:  I will not just LOOK, I will SEE; I will not just SEE, I will INTERPRET; I will not just INTERPRET, I will ACT; I will not just ACT, I will ACT FAST, VERY FAST, so help me God.

Our space is up. I am signing out right now. Next week, I will discuss the forms of abuse you must protect yourself against using values and vigilance. Please note that I am available for interaction on this platform. Do have an INSPIRED week. Stay SMART!