When we were Young Part 2 – by Abidemi Adebola “Sometimes our best love moments
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believe in people” Roy T. Bennett
Just like many of my recent posts, I always wanted to write about some of the obvious truths and realities staring us in the face as a people. There are probably tons of subjects I would love to write about and hopefully, I will get round to it sooner or later. But today I write about the love we lost as a people.
This is not a self-righteous rant. But please allow me vent!
I will start with a couple of scenarios from our everyday lives and then I will talk through at the end;
Scenario 1 – The Traffic Scenario
If you live in Lagos, this is surely not a strange scenario. You probably see it every day.
You are driving through traffic and some other dude driving in the next lane maneuvers “rudely” into the space ahead of you or tries to prevent you from changing lanes the moment you turn on your trafficator light. And this has nothing to do with the model of the car, or whether it’s a lady behind the wheels or a senior citizen. Some do it deliberately passing on their frustration and road rage into other drivers delay.
I always have this to say – We are not going the same way and you simply cannot arrive at my destination before me. It’s not a competition and I wonder why we must struggle to do everything even in the traffic!
Staying on the traffic scenario; while I know that our system for traffic management is seriously flawed, some drivers simply have no respect or regards for the traffic lights at important junctions. They drive past even when the light is red! When we break the very laws designed to help us, how can we say love exist. Breaking the traffic light would put other users in great confusion and turmoil. A distracted driver would simply run into the offender. Do we not care about what happens to others when we break the law?
I know I know…you probably already have answers for me!
Scenario 2 – The Queue Scenario
Is it not a reflection of our distaste for order and ultimately respect for fellow human being when we shunt queues?
For starters, it is to some extent, natural to be self-oriented. After all, what else do we know? We are at the center of our own worlds, always looking to serve our interest alone. But there is a queue and it serves to create orderliness, but we look at those on the queue as lacking connections or having more time on their hands. What happened to waiting our turn? What happened to staying in line or waiting patiently? We got no chill, no love, no patience!!
It is clear that we only think about ourselves. We selfishly compete with unknown forces and care for no one else. We are self-conceited, self-centered and all the nasty “self-*” words I can’t even think about right now!
“Where is the love?”
But love used to exist. The things we see now are not new, they have become rather prevalent and increasingly annoying.
If you look at the news today, it is replete with gory stories of all sort of human atrocity committed against fellow humans. How we can live with these sort of deep lack of love/hatred for each other is a wonder!
Spouses poisoning and killing each other, grandparents sexual misconduct on minors, friends killing each other for money, corrupt politicians committing funds intended for general good to private coffers, kidnapping, rituals and omg…..i certainly can’t run out of examples!
People like it when others fail and suffer. They get assured they are not alone in that predicament. They have trouble feeling happy for others and have no element of compassion left in them. People think only about themselves and their families, how they can enrich their pockets so generations would enjoy their largess. People desire nothing more than being ahead of their friends (who many times has no idea there is a competition) in every facet of life and they would do anything to make this happen. They want to get rich quickly and they are prepared to skip the growth stage, in the end we are left with half-baked millionaires!
I refuse to cite examples! It’s a rant!!!
How difficult is it to love? How far gone are we?
Surely you cannot love your fellow human and behave with this level of impunity and with reckless abandon? How do we think it would end?
It is almost depressing when you think about it. There is absolutely no love whatsoever in the equation. None!!!
Edmund burke in his opinion says;
There ought to be system of manners in every nation which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.
While the country is bedeviled with a lot of other evils, love surely is one important and common evil across all fronts. Even though it sounds far-fetched and almost impossible, we must start radiating love. From our humble enclaves, our homes, our workplaces and other similar gatherings. Our fixation with prosperity has impaired our ability to love each other.
When we lose love, we lose a great chunk of what makes us human. We cannot expect a change to happen if we keep doing the same things. Therefore, we must start to show genuine love everywhere. It may cost us time, money, energy, but nothing fulfils a day until we show love without expecting same in return.
Can we just take a break to share some love today. Help someone in need, speak to that neighbor needing some advice, park without making others’ lives miserable. Consider the noise your stereo is making in your neighborhood when your aged neighbor is trying to catch some sleep. Stop tossing garbage into other people’s home. Stop making other people’s life miserable. Stop thinking about yourself for once! Be self-less!
Apologize when you hurt others, drop the ego, let peace reign. Drive with others in mind, stop competing on the road, life is much more intense than the adrenalin that gets you to make other drivers uncomfortable. Consider keeping to the law, stop taking advantage of the collective resource for yourself. Think first about others, act with them in mind.
Afterall we are all still humans!
Juan Crisostomo Ibarra once observed that the prosperity or misery of each people is in direct proportion to its liberties or its prejudices and, accordingly, to the sacrifices or the selfishness of its forefathers.
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