We’re all a little bit screwed up, some of us are just more screwed up than others
More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that human beings are not inherently nice. Yes, people are capable of doing good things but those same people can also be incredibly mean and sometimes there’s no rational explanation for the change in behaviour. It seems as though a large part of growing up and living as an adult is about avoiding other peoples’ screwiness from messing with your head too much. Wounded people are to be found on every corner of life. They approach you out of their wounded perspective and try to apply that to your life and if you’re not discerning, you can begin to internalise that view of your situation. I’m learning to distinguish between being sympathetic to someone else’s situation and getting mired in it myself. Sure, I fit into this category from time to time but this is also a message to myself to learn to contain my bad stuff and not go about trying to inflict it on everyone else.
Words and Frogs
It’s amazing how you say one thing and the other person hears something completely different. Yet you can’t control for that. Once the words leave your mouth, you can’t control the way they will be perceived or understood and the reaction they’ll generate. Like an old teacher of mine used to say, ‘words are like frogs. Once they’re out, they can’t be re-captured’. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I tend to say little. Particularly around people I don’t know, I can be very guarded. It’s not intuitive but the risk of being misheard/misunderstood is one that you have to take at some point to actually allow someone to know you better. This is a lesson that I am yet to fully absorb in my life.
My overall mood with regards to Nigeria is one of hope but there are times when I wonder whether other generations before ours have felt the same way. Whether they eagerly anticipated each day with the conviction that the country was finally about to turn the corner, only to end up 30-40 years later disillusioned by the reality on ground. Has there ever been a generation more full of the hope that opportunities bring than ours? Will we also end up disappointed like our elders? I sincerely hope not but amidst all the hope and excitement I harbour, these questions nag in the corner of my mind.