Committed NYSC corpers
National Youth Corpers showing commitment in their duty post by engaging in a community project. Source: Audio within is Funmi Adam’s “All we need is love”

Commitment is a philosophical concept popularized by the 20th Century French existentialist philosopher, Gabriel Marcel. Other existentialist philosophers have discussed themes conveying similar meanings as Marcel’s commitment but differs in that Marcel‘s own conception is very much humanist, recognizes God as the absolute being characterised by love, goodness, and several other quintessential virtues. In Marcel’s commitment, man is modelled after this absolute being and seeks to achieve a level of perfection by practising love, charity, goodness, cooperation, and other virtues towards his fellow man in hope, faith, and positive expectation that on their fulfilment on his fellow man he finds his own fulfilment in this world. It is this fulfilment that qualifies him to join in a journey to the transcendent- a higher level of humanist perfection terminating in the beyond.

In his 1996 doctoral thesis, Nyong Prince David of the University of Lagos attempts to apply Marcel’s notion of commitment in the Nigerian context, recommending that it will elevate her to a position where it can serve as national standard of behaviour. The decree of 1973 establishing the National Youth Service Corps expouses elements of the commitment philosophy, as it is stated that the primary purpose of the scheme to inculcate in Nigerian Youths the spirit of selfless service to the community, and to emphasize the spirit of oneness and brotherhood of all Nigerians.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer