I’m going to write a short story again. No, wrong, I shall write much more than merely one. I shall write quite a few. I’m excited. That writing-mood has finally caught me again. Being angry and irritated/ irritable does that to you. It opens your eye. Makes you see possibilities, how things could or should (and hopefully eventually will) be. Yes, being annoyed does all that to you.
Well, at least it does that to me.
But today I shall tell no story. Today I shan’t be true to myself either. No, today I shan’t be Pinkus.
Today, I am Ranti. And as Ranti, I will rant!
I don’t feel very smart. Not at the moment anyway. But I feel full of life and strength and a healthy dose of sense.
I look back and marvel at how much information I used to soak in. Those days. Biology, chemistry, physics, music, arts, history, geography. A well or perhaps fountain springing of knowledge, I used to be. Now, I don’t see my brain’s capacity to contain much information any more.
It used to be all about knowing much, and then a bit more. My brain was thriving, taking in as much knowledge as it could. Nothing could be wasted or ignored.
Today, however, things are different.
Today, I do not seek to impartially experience as much as I can. Then, I was passionate about experiences as a whole. Indiscriminate. All experiences were useful. And to some extent that was true. Today, however, I seek to know less and understand more. Situations, people(s), societies, characters and personalities, meaning, God.
These days, I learn a bit (comparatively speaking, anyway) and seek to apply it wherever and whenever I can. I guess it is part of growing up. Walking the world with open eye. Realizing that things really only make sense when stepping back and looking at the big picture. Which naturally also means that certain things you can and simply will never know. There are things bigger than me, and things bigger than you!
I am still trying to figure out whether that realization is (or should) be reason enough to curb my desire and need to go a-searching for the ultimate..
The ultimate WHAT is the question here.
The question is incomplete, I know. But I’ve chosen to ask it regardless.
The ultimate life, career, calling, relationship..
Perhaps, the Ultimate One?
It’s funny how loosely we use words.
Our choice of words itself often makes no sense.
What does ultimate mean anyway?
Well, for the sake of this post, we’ll just say the actual definition of the word is negligible. In one way or the other, we will all still relate.
There are a couple of things that are simply just ultimately annoying. Never mind what ultimate means to you. To me some things are just ultimately wrong to me, while they are less so to you. I guess there are ultimate levels and grades in everything, and that’s ultimately okay.
Having lived in Nigeria for quite a while now (it’s been 7 months!) that ultimately annoying– list is threatening to become endless. I am, be it as it may, ready for that challenge and will beat the threat to it. I shan’t crumble under the weight of it all.
The weight of what, you ask?
I can be rather dramatic at times. I know that. It’s really rather glaring. An indisputable fact. And I question people’s bewilderment. I really do. If you don’t get the obvious, you obviously have more issues than your struggle to decipher me. But I digress. My drama is really just jokes. And when it’s not, it’s still not serious enough to be taken seriously. I can promise you that. If you (want to) know me, you really just need to understand.
Understand that and please do understand that I’m a very principled person. Even if you’ve never seen me in my serious mood/ mode, I have principles. Everything outside of my principles is really just a free-style. The Butterfly!
Let’s take a closer look inside.
If you want to walk with me (as I have chosen to walk with you) I really need you to understand a few things. It’s funny, you see, that I have never ever had to explain this to my other friends. It’s one of those things that are just normal. Perhaps one of those things I have always taken as a given (give and take). As the sole foundation of all my cordial relationships. It’s one of those things that simply come (and go) with being human(e). Or at least I thought so. I am beginning to think differently, and I am not quite sure I like it.
Apart from security, good streets, clean running water and a decent electricity supply, Nigeria(ns) lack(s).. manners!
Now blame the government for that!
I know what it means to be part of a social class. Whatever that class may be. If you happen to live here, you’ll find yourself boxed. People always find ways of boxing any/everyone. Whether that be based on ethnicity, cultural background, socio-economic standing, family name or fame, your nationality or wealth. You will be boxed.
Nigerians are fond of these things.. this class system. Either thinking themselves better and making sure you think them (to be) too. Or, if that isn’t possible, at the very least emphasizing your inferiority in on way or the other.
People do it wherever they go. All the time. When talking to the hungry police, the uneducated maid, the brash nanny, the sweaty market woman, the tired driver; they make sure to emphasis just how beneath them you are.
I am not a driver, nor do I fall into any of the aforementioned categories. I am simple human.
And as such, I act humane. At least I like to believe I do.
The Guardian published an article titled “Maid set ablaze dies in hospital” today. My colleague at work passed the paper to me, knowing it would thoroughly upset me. I shook. Her employer burnt her for “stealing a piece of meat from the pot”. I was infuriated. And this was just on story out of so many.
We often think ourselves better than others. Better than those who treat “lower lives” worse. But how good are we really?
The other day my friend wanted me to send my driver to pick her up. After calling to tell me
“Okay, send your driver now”
after we had picked her up, she now said
Okay, I have to go to the supermarket. Ebaeno.
having done this and that here and there, we dropped her off in the evening, to an..
Alright, I’ll see you Wednesday!
I was not upset or annoyed. I was just irritated. All day we’d been together, not once did I hear her say please or thanks. Not to me, not to the driver. Even I found myself saying thanks all through. Whenever there was/is a need. I say it. It doesn’t hurt. I tell my driver “please” and “thank you”; and so I really do not see why or how someone else should not.
We were taught to say please when asking, and thanks when receiving something as kids. Anything! A gift, a promise, a favour, food. You want, you ask nicely. You get, you receive thankfully! It’s really not that complicated. To some extent it shows a level of manners. Home-training.
I’ve noticed this in and with quite a handful of people. Pastor Tony calls it “the millenials (born between 1980-2000), living with a sense of entitlement. The belief that certain things are ours by virtue of us simple being. Not being good or kind hardworking or determined, not even for being a believer, but simply being alive” and I tend to agree. To some extent..
I don’t totally agree because I am a millenial too. And yet, as big-mouthed and bold as I am, as witty and sharp-tongued, I still know what lines not to cross. What things not to say. To (not) talk or act a certain way. To show others respect not based on class or social standing. Actually, not based on anything at all.
The other day I told that very same friend, “That was really rude, you know” and was told, “How? See this one, I am older than you o”.
I got confused. Apart from the fact that she was hardly a month older, did that mean respect was based on age? I have friends years older and others much younger than myself. And yet, I treat them as equals. Which really just means as humans. Although I totally agree with the concept of honouring your parents/ elders, I really do not see what showing respect has to do with another’s age? Although respect does vary in style and expression, I want to believe even a 4-year-old feels loved, accepted and respected when communicating with me- in whatever shape or form.
I find it worrisome that one should think it okay to act a certain way.
Let’s all try harder.
Ultimately, I want to believe our parents taught us better..