Tag Archives: human nature

Where Are We Now?

10 Sep

The long vacation started end of July for some pupils/students, early August for others, and like every other holiday, the children could not wait to really get into it. Then, the menace called Ebola set in. The press had a field day, spreading terror how best they could. It was like “Catch Ebola in the bus-stop nearest to you”. What else could ruin a holiday than a life-threatening virus.

Granted, the sensationalism created a lot of awareness, (let’s not talk about the bathe and drink salt saga) and a whole lot of changes in many. Notable amongst others is how orderly Nigerians became…no more pushing and shoving at bus-stops, minimal body contact inside of buses, and then the hand sanitisers!

I think producers of hand sanitisers made their greatest sales this period. You can find hand sanitisers sticking out of purses, back pockets, breast pockets… Even those who know nothing about the sanitisers use them these days. For some hand sanitisers replaced the hand creams. It is not surprising to find some using hand sanitisers after washing their hands with soap under running water! Strikes me as quite funny, since the washing of hands with simple soap and running water is really all that is needed, maybe the sanitisers are for ‘double’ protection.

Next we have multiple resumption dates for schools. The Federal government’s directive to adjust the school resumption date was greeted with mixed reactions. Those whose entire livelihood depends on schools’ resuming would not hear of it. If you ask me, all the brouhaha over the resumption date is entirely selfish. Have we really sat back to think about what would happen if this virus enters the school environment? We shall be talking about the wiping out of whole families! The ‘it is not my portion’ ideology alone would cause the biggest problem.

Many, due to their religious affiliations do not believe that anything ‘bad’ can happen to them. This in itself is a high powered self deceit. Bad things happen everyday, even to the most righteous of men! Anyway, back to Ebola, how many parents would have a child running a fever, vomiting, etc and associate the illness to the dreaded virus? We would first try out our usual self medication, during which time the virus would simply pass on to others within the family. If that doesn’t work the next port of call is the church for ‘faith healing’. Even if there is a nagging suspicion of what the problem really is, who would be brave enough to give it its rightful name, after all ‘it is not our portion’. Of course, the hospital is the last resort.

So where exactly are we now? Are schools resuming on the 22nd of September? 13th of October? Indefinitely?

Putting aside our selfishness, what exactly is the right thing to do?

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Love…a Unique Feeling

9 Jul

It’s been said, and rightly so, that humans have the greatest capability to love. I am sure that the reason for this is that our fellow occupants of the planet, the animals, do not really know how to express love like humans, they work by instinct. So that means that when the hen gathers its chicks under its wings it is not actually love, it is being instinctively protective of its young ones. When the lion fights off intruders into its pride, it’s not really love for the lionesses or the cubs for that matter, it is, like the hen, also protecting its domain…instinctively.

Then we come to humans. When we talk about love as it relates to humans, there is always the tendency to think only about romantic love. But we are wrong, romantic love is just one of the types of love humans display, there are others. We humans show love in four different ways

  • love for family members. This kind of love is found in every society. People would bend over backwards to take care of their family members, the expression ‘we are family’ seems to make some action which otherwise would have been looked upon as wrong, to be acceptable. It takes sometimes ‘superhuman effort’ to go against one’s family, it is often considered unnatural. As unnatural as when a mother decides to do away with her child.
  • brotherly affection…the love among friends. Children born of the same parents have a unique bond. It is so great that they try as much as possible to look after each other and protect each other even against their parents sometimes. It is therefore no wonder some would say of a close friend, “We are not just friends, we are brothers /sisters. Animals can only practise this kind of love in cartoons or animations.
  • romantic love…that is the love that exists between spouses, a husband and a wife, a man a woman. It is a warm feeling that attracts these two opposites and brings them together to form a family where the other forms of love are born.
  • agape…unconditional love. This love transcends all others because it is a love that is not bound by family ties or friendships. Agape makes all the other forms of love pale into insignificance. It is the kind of love that moves someone to protect a total stranger at the expense of their own life. It is principled love, a love without hypocrisy. The foremost personage to display that love to us, was and is God.

It is important that we do that which sets us apart from animals. Let love rule our hearts and our minds and indeed our thinking. With love in our hearts we would not take up arms to kill each other in the name of terrorism or crime. Let’s imitate God’s selfless love and be happy.

WhenTeens Begin to Wish to Die…There is a Problem!

12 Jun

When I remember my childhood, I remember dreams…dreams of castles and princes in shining armour, dreams of having a dozen adorable children to dote on, dreams of living to be a hundred and fifty and yet NOT growing old, dreams of my parents always being there no matter how old we get to be, visions of becoming a celebrity and always rising to the cheering and applause of a massive crowd (even rehearsing how I would wave to them in response to the applause).

Tall dreams all of these, but such was the joy of childhood and adolescence, NEVER in the agenda was death! Then the world was more focused, though the badness was still there but the most heinous of crimes were only found in the movies.

Now worse crimes than movie makers can conjecture are committed in real life, the resultant effect? Our children who really should be living carefree lives now want to end it all. We have severely depressed children than at any other time in our generation. (I remember it was considered impossible for a child below 18 to have a headache when I was growing up, the general thinking was, “What is the child thinking about so as to have a headache?) Now children are born with headaches, they have brain tumours and problems that even adults find difficult to understand.

When I read about what is happening to Paris Jackson, I cannot help but feel for the poor fifteen year old who preoccupies herself with thoughts of dying. She is simply re-living her father’s life…no childhood.

We need to feel pity for the children, the teens of this generation. They have far more in their plates than some of us had for two score years put together. Could it be TV, the world’s warped idea of entertainment and humour? Are we in such a dead hurry to have our children grow up that we bring them face to face with adult problems and expect them to rise to the occasion?

Whatever it is, let’s let the children play, when they want to, skip about when they deserve to, talk like children when they have the chance…Let’s let the children BE children.

Who Really is Stronger?

6 Jun

When you hear the expression “wear the pants” it means ‘be the man’ right? But these days when both the men and women wear pants it becomes increasingly difficult for some to digest the full meaning of that expression. Since women are fully into the job market, the traditional family setting is fast dying. The common scene is mom and dad driving off in the morning to their respective workplaces while the school bus takes the children to school. Then after a hard days work, mom and dad returns and mom heads to the kitchen and if dad is generous enough he joins her in preparing the family dinner, but if he wants to “wear the pants” he sits in front of the TV and expects his dinner.

Now I am no feminist and the idea of women’s lib thoroughly irritates me.But when I see what the womenfolk have to go through from day to day, I really must give it to them (or to us for I am very much included).  The full time working mother is also a full time housewife for whenever she comes home she must keep house, doesn’t she? And when she asks for help from her macho husband he claims he has had a very tiring day and needs his rest and yet we are called the ‘weaker vessel’!

Well I believe the menfolk should show more of that machismo by trying to help out more around the house especially if the missus also works full time. I mean…what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, right? They should ‘wear the pants’ more by exhibiting that physical strength for which we have always known them. We shall greatly appreciate that for one thing every woman craves is a MAN who really ‘wears the pants’.

They Know Us Better

28 May

I was feeling irritated as I was doing some chores the other day, when my eldest daughter walked up to me and started narrating an experience from school. Now I pride myself that I always pay attention to the children come what may, but this day I was…irritated. Even more so is the fact that she speaks so fast that I normally give her undivided attention to catch every word she says especially when she is speaking excitedly. That patience wasn’t there this because…well you are right, I was irritated. So I just short her up and made some nasty remark about her never being audible enough. Well I just said a bunch of things that had a lot of “never” in it. Even as I was saying it, a tiny voice was telling me, “You’re doing this badly, you are generalising, not good, not good”. But I just ploughed on telling the voice in my head “I just want to be alone, I can apologise later.”

As if the voice in my head was not doing enough damage to my psyche my daughter stood her ground. She looked totally unaffected by my rants. I paused from the dishes I was doing and gave her a hopefully intimidating look. She wasn’t looking intimidated either. She said to me, “All you need to do is ask for a hand for I am sure you know you cannot do everything around here. So hand over the sponge and stand over here while I do the dishes and tell you my experience”.

I felt deflated and like a small child who has just been scolded, I handed her the sponge and stood where she asked me to stand. She collected the sponge, gave me a smile as she shook her head. We both burst into laughter simultaneously, all offences forgotten as she proceeded to guide me through her school experience.

As I listened to her I could not help but thank God I have a daughter who actually understands me even more than I understand myself sometimes. And I decided to share because I know somewhere out there are a lot of us parents who have such understanding kids. We really should be grateful for that!

April 2013 In Retrospect

30 Apr

Today is the last day of April. Tomorrow would be the first day of May, May Day for short. But I am not looking at the worker’s day which is tomorrow, I am looking back at April as a whole. April was the month I grew up most…considering that I am over forty it means my growth must have been somehow stunted. Now don’t get me wrong I am not some kind of pygmy. I just grew up because I have come to see life as it is…a circle of happiness, excitement, expectations, disappointments, shock.

Mine has always been a life of laughter and a few sprinkles of sadness which NEVER got me depressed…so to speak. But in April I had a full dose of the ‘bad things of life’. I can’t start recounting them, or rather I won’t start recounting them, so I don’t feel bad again, but I have decided to learn from it. I have learnt to be more prudent, less trusting and most importantly NO MORE NAIVE. 

So you see, I have really grown up. It really takes bad experiences to jolt one to reality and somehow I am happy I got the jolt.

So ‘in your face life!’ I am up and ready to write my next book.

Ansa…The Return

18 Mar

CHAPTER TWO

This is impossible!

 

It was about three years ago that Ansa, the son of Nana went missing. His disappearance caused quite a stir for he, like his father was a skilled hunter. It had been the day his sister was to be given away in marriage and his outing was supposed to produce the meat to be used for the ceremony.

Nana had sent for her husband’s longtime friend, Osei, but he had not been available. Nana had been frantic as the time for their guests to arrive drew closer and closer. An occasion which was supposed to be joyous had become a disaster. The wait had been long and agonizing. Nana could not comprehend why the gods would allow the two men in her life to go in the same way.

The night had come, their visitors had gone and still there was no sign of Ansa, or Osei who ordinarily would have shown up as soon as she sent for him. It crossed her mind that they might be together, but she dismissed the thought. She had reasoned in similar lines when her husband disappeared but it turned out that their path had not crossed then. She figured he must have gone for one of his customary journeys which always took him days to return.

The young men of Denkera gathered in groups to form a search party. The gathering of the young men gave Nana a feeling of déjà vu. It was like when her husband went missing, but this time her son, Ansa, was not leading the search party, he was the one they were to search for.

Nana watched the scenes of her life play before her. It was curious that Osei was not here. He had always promised he would be here in her time of need. What time greater than this?

Kofi, son of Dankwa, was to lead the search.

‘Nana, don’t despair. We shall find him,’ he comforted her.

Nana was grateful for the encouragement, but something told her that her son would not be found. There was something ominous about his disappearance and Osei’s absence. It was exactly the same thing when her husband disappeared five years ago. Osei had been conspicuous by his absence.

She shook her head to clear it of all the negative energy clogging her thinking. She needed to stay positive. She needed to be strong for her daughter whose great day had been marred by such misfortune. She prayed that her would-be in-laws do not consult any oracles over this. She knew how superstitious her people could be. In fact she could imagine how she would take it if this was happening on Ansa’s wedding day.

The search party was out all night. When they returned the next morning it was to report that there was no trace of Ansa.

To Nana, the report still left a window of hope. It was better they had not found him than that he be found dead.

The search had continued till late in the evening. Ansa had been missing for a night and a day when Osei finally showed up. As soon as he caught sight of Nana he put on a show of pure distress.

‘Nana, my dear Nana,’ he cried unashamedly. ‘What tragedy has befallen you?’

He held Nana in a tight embrace as he apologised for not being there when the incidence had happened. He proceeded to assure her that he would move heaven and earth to bring Ansa back.

‘He is the pillar of this family; the gods cannot do this to us.’

‘What can I do?’ Nana replied. ‘I cannot but patiently wait for the search party to bring in their report tonight and tomorrow morning if need be.’

Osei cleaned the tears on her face with the back of his hands.

‘I would organize my own search. You know how well I know these paths, my men and I would comb the area inch by inch,’ he said.

‘Won’t it be better if you joined forces with the search parties already on ground?’ She suggested.

‘No’ he quickly dissuaded her. ‘They would just get in the way. I prefer to work with my own men.’

‘If you think that is the best…’

‘I think so’, and turning to Mensah, ‘We had better move now. We have no time to waste.’

Osei hurried away with Mensah. For what it was worth, his act was quite believable. He was smiling inside him…he was actually going to get away with this.

When they were well out of earshot of everyone Mensah said, ‘I don’t know how you do this, that woman is really distressed.’

And when Osei gave no comment he added, ‘Something tells me the boy we have in custody is her son.’

Osei turned to him menacingly. ‘You know you are really beginning to get on my nerves with your constant yapping.’

‘I know you are good at this business, but nobody plays this kind of game so close to home,’ Mensah insisted standing his ground. ‘And for your information, I do not fancy the idea of your passing me off as one of your ‘men’.

Osei decided to soft pedal.

‘But you would agree with me that the boy is beyond price.’

‘That is not the issue; you are part of the search party for a boy YOU abducted. How do you explain that?’

‘That is my problem, don’t you think so?’ Osei replied sarcastically.

They walked on in silence for a bit then Mensah said matter-of-factly, ‘This would not end well’.

‘Leave that bit to me,’ Osei answered proudly. ‘I shall show you that I am the proverbial tortoise.’ Then he laughed out loud ‘The slippery eel…that is what I am.’

Mensah shook his head. He knew that this situation was quite dicey and he very much wished he could extricate himself from it.

‘I thought you were a brave man Mensah. Don’t worry, we shall pull this off.’

Mensah feigned a smile. But his heart was far from smiling.

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