Dr Yusuf’s Running Against Time; A Time to Re-think, is an exploratory and incisive narrative, which provides fecund framework for interrogating the verisimilitude of long held beliefs, conventions, and practices, with the aim of expanding the frontiers of knowledge.
The book delves deep into the core of society’s popular convictions, with the aim of challenging a wrenching re-orientation which will establish a higher intellectual order devoid of parochial theories.
The book launches with the admonition on the importance of “learning to think”. This might come across as a no brainer, especially when you consider the proposition made by the Greek philosopher Descartes, where he describes man as a “thinking being”. This presupposes that man is already pre-programmed to think, and hence may not need any module to teach him on the basis for thinking. Thinking is therefore seen as a natural phenomenon of human existence.
However, some scholars believe that thinking is the most difficult human activity- indeed the singular most important activity! Building on this block, Dr Yusuf tries to establish a course for a critical level of thinking that will help society in navigating and sifting through junks from the enormous mass of information across social media, electronic media, and even words-of-mouth.
While the book frowns at the idea of “education for degree sake” without substantial knowledge to probe traditions, it insists on proper education, as a recipe for being able to access the right information, and discern between right and false information.
The book also implores its readers to constantly rethink! Rethinking for Dr Yusuf has to do with “aligning our values and imperatives with our realities”. This presupposes moving away from traditional ways of practice which imposes limitation for the course of development and progress. The book cites examples of countries in Europe and Middle East, whom through critical re-thinking of their societal and developmental journey, has built a resilient society, restrictive of retrogressive precepts and belief, and receptive to fertile ideas, capable of leap frogging the next phase of growth and development for their society. Dr Yusuf is vexed by the fact that Africa, and indeed the entire world consumes information crafted by the West, with the hope that such information holds the desired development and freedom. But in reality, such information only holds enigmatic symbolism, which only fascinates mass attention, and does nothing more than advance the interest of the producers of such information.
Book reviewed by Valentine Achums.