By James Patrick
If there is any religion that people from this part of the world must practice whole heartedly, is learning how to unconditionally care for other people who do not understand our language, people who do not communicate like we do, who do not behave like us, people who are not from our tribe, region or religion, people who we do not know at all and who our paths may never cross again, probably until the end of time. We need to learn how to start caring for total strangers who we don’t even know where they come from, nor do we know where they are heading to.
In this part of the the world, we have all allowed sentiments likes tribe, religion and ethnicity to dampen the humanity inside of us. We, most especially the adults amongst us, have so become judgmental about people to such extend that we pre-judge people before knowing them. We preprogrammed our minds about who people are without having the opportunity, first, to seat and interact with them. We don’t give people chance to exhibit their character, so that we can accurately decipher who they truly are. We just move ahead, forming unfounded theories upon theories about people we meet everyday base on the ugly stories or unsubstantiated tales we have heard about them from other people. Another thing we are good at, is that, we stereotype people. We associate certain bad behavior to some people and believe that anybody coming from such part of the country must, of a necessity, have such bad character.
It weakens my borne marrow to hear Nigerians uttering words like: “I will not help him because he is not my tribal man. ” some other times, you may hear depraved sentences like, ” we won’t help her get the job, contract or scholarship because she is not a Christian or a Muslim. ” other times, you may hear statements like, ” I can’t help him because we do not worship in the same worship center. Or you hear words like, “he is not our church member so the opportunity would not be given to him even though he is super qualifies for the job.” This is how debased and degraded we have become in terms showing love and care to our fellow humans. We have categorized and also compartmentalized our natural instincts of showing care to our fellow human. This is how low we have reduced the irrefutable principle of caring for our fellow human to mare a transaction. Our love and care is no longer sacrificial, there must be some ulterior motives attached to it. In Nigeria today, we only want to help those people we know and people who know someone close to us. We only want to help those who can repay us either now or in the nearest future. Our definition of who needs help is not the young man or woman dying of starvation on the street ( he or she can die for all we care). It is not the poor child who was chased out of the classroom due to lack of school fees. It is not the mendicant who comes to us seeking for peanuts to feed his empty stomach – No! Our definition of showing love and care starts and probably ends with those we know, those we can trust and those who can reciprocate the exact measure of love and care we showered on them.
Once it becomes obvious that we might not be getting same caring we would give out. Once it occurs to us that the person in question is not unconnected to us in anyway, ( tribe, religion, family, or friends) we immediately close our bowel of compassion against such individuals. We care less if they live or die. We care less if they feed or starve to death. It’s none of our business if they die in their present predicament, even though we have all the means to salvage their poor souls from languishing in hell here on planet earth. The society we all live in today has become this volatile because we intentionally refused to take care of the abandoned children who were not from our loins. We refused to show them love and care. We allowed them, from a tender age, to suffer pain and rejection to such extend that the humanity in them died while they were growing up. Some of these children do not have an iota of human feeling in them anymore because they have been so subjected to an unimaginable level of inhuman treatment that their souls have changed to that of a beast. From a tender age, from their formative days, their biological parents abandoned them and pushed them to the government. The government abandoned them and pushed them to the free will of the people in the society. We the people also failed them by not showing them any form of caring in deeds and in words. The only time we look towards them is only when we want to use them as slaves to do dirty jobs. We treat them like animals and today, animals they have really become.
Today, we are longer safe inside our own country due to the simple fact that we neglected to show care – because we care less about the suffering of other people around us, especially those we don’t know. This selfish, self-centered, uncaring attitudes of many of us in this country must change. We must put humanity first before ourselves. We must put humanity first before our tribe. We must put humanity first before our religion. We must put humanity first before our selfish ambitions. Nobody is telling you to feed the world. I am not telling you to be the Messiah of the whole universe – far from that! All am saying is that the humanity in you should alway prompt you to help when you are in the position to do so, not minding the personality, tribe or religion of the person in question who needs your help. All I am saying is that, in your little corner, care for people without caring who they are or where they come from, that is the humanity in everyone of us we must never allow to die.
BY: PATRICK JAMES
PHONE NO: 08138534313