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Friday, July 24, 2015

THE OTHER'S VIEW


 As humans we have various factors that shape our perception. It ranges from family background, environment, books read, things seen and experienced to our friends. In every topic, no matter how popular a particular view is, there is always a minority that disagrees with the popular view.
If everyone had the same views then we’d never have arguments and discussions as we all try to push our view as the right view.
  Yes, we humans love our views and to most their views are right. Arguments and discussions are a great way to learn and discover how people reason or what they think about things. 
Ok, I always love stories, so here’s a brief one;
               
Stella and Janet chew on their popcorn as they continue their gist about Tolu’s wedding. Immediately, Janet’s phone beeps. She takes a look at it and laughs.
‘Babe, na wetin na?’ Stella asks, curious.
Janet still laughing reads it out;
‘You and your man are walking down the street and a stranger taps your bum. Ladies what would you want your man to do? Fellas, what would you do?’
‘Oya na , Janet what do you want Femi to do?’
‘Defend me as my man, of course.’ Janet shouts excitedly.
‘As for me, I’ll definitely turn back and punch the guy.’ Stella says, mouth filled with popcorn.
‘Stella, what are you saying?  That’s what your man is for.’ Janet’s eyes nearly pop out in disbelief.
‘It’s more of a reflex action. I didn’t learn karate for nothing.’
Janet drops the popcorn in her hand back into the bowl slightly offended. ‘What then is your man there for? You have to wait for him to make a move first. If he doesn’t then you do.’
‘Like I said, I’ll punch him out of reflex.’
Janet adjusts on the seat. ‘That’s the problem with you. You’re a woman. Your man’s role is to protect you not yours.’
Stella looks at Janet confused. ‘That’s what I’d do. You’re Janet, I’m Stella.’
‘The way you reason is not good. So if you have a man in the house, you’ll go and carry your gen and put it on? Act like the woman that you are. That’s what any woman would do, let him defend her.’ Janet’s voice rose.
‘How’s that working out for them?’ Stella retorts.
‘Stella, why you taking it personal?’
‘Janet, it’s what I, Stella would do.’
‘It’s wrong!! Your reasoning is weird. It’s not good.’  Janet responds in full combatant mode.

  Ok, I’ll end it there.  It’s very easy for a discussion to turn from an exchange of views into a trial of character with; ‘That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard? ‘, ‘who reasons like this?’, ‘what planet are you from?’, ‘that’s the problem with you?’, ‘you need to change your reasoning.’ I could go on and on. It turns into disrespect of not just views but of the person with the views. Even if we’re certain that the person’s views are wrong and can be damaging to them, we can tell or show them without disrespecting them.
  We also forget that people have a choice of keeping their views to themselves but they made a decision to share it with us. That is enough reason not to disrespect them. If they didn’t share you wouldn’t know to put them on trial for it.
  Let me not even go into how some people who feel they are grand guardians of the Bible, Quran, society, etc talk to and treat those they feel are stepping outside what they feel is right. There are better ways of doing things, really.
  I know a dude that dropped a friend because every time a discussion came up, the friend made him feel like there was something wrong with him, he got tired. I don’t blame the guy. If you can’t air your views freely to friends who can you air them to?
  Be they friend, acquaintance, foe, you should treat their views how you’d like yours treated, no disrespect to self. Unless it’s your nine year old daughter telling you there’s nothing wrong with her having sex and getting an abortion. Lol! Cheers!


Friday, July 10, 2015

IT’S NONE OF MY BUSINESS A.K.A e no concern me.

  When asked,’What is the problem with Nigeria?’ every man on the street would tell you ‘our leaders’ ‘bribery and corruption’. True, we all agree but do you know the root of this problem, the cankerworm we are battling in this country? I hope you’d understand in a bit.

  As a little boy, John was told by his mum when he pointed out that his friend; Sean had no sandals ,to mind his business. Anytime, little John spoke to his mum about their neighbours she’d tell him to mind his business that he and members of his family should be his only concern. As a strapping lad of fourteen, the local chemical plant was up in flames and John fetched a bucket to go help out, his mum cried and begged him. ‘My son, do you want to kill yourself because of another man’s company? It’s not your father that owns it. There is no member of our family in that fire. If you die they will not care. It’s none of our business, it doesn’t affect us in any way, and so, why do you want to die?’ John sat back at home. The local chemical plant burnt down.

 At school, John would see his mates during exams bring in their notebooks and pay the teachers to teach them in the hall. His friend, Tayo came to meet him for them to go report to the Principal. He remembered his mother’s steady words. He told Tayo, no, that it was none of their business; theirs was to pass their papers too. If others chose to use that means, it was their business and by reporting them they’d get into trouble with their teachers. Tayo sat back down. In his final year at school, John, Tayo and some friends decided they were going to break louvers and some school property to mark their graduation. A friend of theirs reminded them to think about the juniors that would need those same things they planned to destroy. John told him it was their business and not his, that he’s living his life to the fullest.

  John’s mum was in the crowd when a group of young boys were branded thieves, like the many others in the crowd, she didn’t open her mouth because to her ‘Thank God my son is not one of them. Poor boys! Well, it’s none of my business. I don’t know any of them.’ This thought of hers was the same thought, every single woman, man and child had there.  She went back home thanking God her son was not there.

  Little John enters the University, the lecturers ask them to pay money before they pass their papers, John pays his, when he is approached by some fellow students to follow them to the dean’s office, he tells them it’s none of his business. He gets into the faculty parliament. He sees what the parliamentarians are doing wrong that affects other students, he looks the other way. It has nothing to do with him, it doesn’t affect him and he’s getting paid for each sitting. The affected people should deal with their business.  The school asks for cultists that killed a professor of the school, John knows one of them but he reasons. ‘The man is not my father, uncle nor brother. I don’t know him or any of his family members, besides, Uyoma gives me protection. It’s all none of my business.

  John graduates, gets a job and rises fast. A post opens up in his company, a government outfit, an uncle sends his son who is the least qualified candidate and John gives him the job. To John, it’s in the family, he knows none of the other candidates, and it’s none of his business. The new employee comes in and they cart money away meant for public use to take care of their family. Do they know who the public is and how is that their business?  They laugh over drinks.

  John gets married and has kids. He pays his way in his office and gets a promotion to Abuja. His son, John Jr is not so bright, John pays the teachers to up his grades. He’s cheating nobody and helping his son, that’s his business. John joins a political party and gets into the House of Representatives. He looks out for himself and his family really well. What’s his business with the public? Who are they to him? A foreign company needs rights for their new aviation line. The planes are old planes. John helps them out and they commence business. John buys a house in London and moves his family down there. A company comes they want the contract for road construction, John helps them out. He hears the roads are horrible. Well, he and his family don’t go by road so what’s his business.

  Yes, multiply one John with over 140,000,000 Johns and then you get the problem with Nigeria. No one cares to make a statement, take a stand as long as it doesn’t concern them. The people sing the problems are the leaders. Blame goes both ways. You reading this post are the problem, I writing I’m the problem, the cobbler down the street is the problem, your hairdresser is the problem, every single Nigerian home or in the Diaspora, we are the problem. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean is so true with the Nigerian problem. Our leaders are a tiny fragment of it. Every man for himself. We practise the O.Y.O (on your own) system very well. We don’t do anything unless we have something to gain. We can’t even help our neighbour because he is not family. I sit up and see my generation scream, the old generation is the problem, I look at what we do, the level of depravity, the thrifty habits, the death of some languages /culture because of the encroachment of westernization which should be a good thing and our habits, our self-centred, crowd mentality disease and I look inside my mind for an image of the future in my time and I cringe but then I smile because I know some good young people too. We and only we can change the Nigerian problem by changing ourselves and the little world around us. So, start by sharing in that blame and look to the solution, reach out and lend a hand to your neighbour. Nigeria, is not an individual or a group of individuals, she is made up of different people and hearts, over 140,000,000 of them, irrespective of their tribe and religion.
  It is my business, yours and theirs. E concern all of us.

Friday, July 3, 2015

TOUGH TIMES

  It’s been ten years and a child has eluded Nike like the elixir of life. She’s tried everything. Her in-laws give her hell. Neighbours call her barren, even her friends; laugh at her behind her back. 

  Pounding the pavement is an understatement in Jeff’s case, he’s broken the pavement. Four years after graduating with a first class and still no job experience to add to his resume. His bank account is in red. In his pocket is the last money he has; a lone fifty Naira note, given to him by a sympathetic akara seller in his neighbourhood.

  Jane has gone from one relationship to the other. They all ended badly. ‘
“Doesn’t true love exist anymore?”
She asks herself as she attends yet another friend’s wedding. Age thirty is around the corner. Her parents are getting worried. Well, so is she.

  To everyone, Dotun is super lucky. He’s handsome, rich, uber successful. Unknown to them there’s pain behind the smile. He has cancer. The doctors have given him just a year.

  Samuel moves from one audition venue to the other. The judges are always impressed with his performance.
“Wow! That was really good.”
He goes home but never ever gets a call back. It’s been six months since his last gig.

I don’t know the hurricane you’re going through right now.  It doesn’t just rain around you, it pours and you can’t take it anymore.
As a believer, irrespective of your religion, there will be trials that test your faith. 
You wonder why God is letting it happen.
Remember the story of Job in the bible. The devil looked at Job and said to God. (Pardon my improvisation)
“Big G, he’s praising you because he’s got it all smooth.  Let me at him a lil.”
“Show me what you’ve got” God tells him.
The devil so dealt with Job that death seemed like mercy but Job stood with God. God told the devil it was enough and went on to bless Job with multiples of all he had lost.

Some things you should know: 
God loves you, even if it looks otherwise. 
He will never give you more than you can handle. He sees you.
He wants to use your situation so others will look at your overcoming it and praise His name.
Even if friends desert you, God won’t.
He’s listening, call on him.
  Whatever your trial may be, tough times never last but tough people do. You will bend but you will never break. Don’t give up.
Remain blessed!

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