Whenever I have a fully-charged battery, it seems my phone is heavy. And when the battery is drained out, it seems light. Why? Perception. Most of the things we believe are not always true. Just like most Nigerians have foolishly held unto the aged belief that people like Sylvanus Omoniyi who have long and bushy hairs, are thugs, terrorists, and irresponsible. Perceptions. Perceptions are not always reality.
Most of us have lost opportunities and valuable relationships because of what our parents told us, because we have refused to think for ourselves. We label everything. We label people. We classify them. We stigmatize people because they are different from us. Anything that is contrary to our beliefs and idiosyncrasies, we fight against. We don’t create time to reason. We jump to conclusions anyhow. We judge people before listening to them. Perceptions.
Muslims believe they are better than Christians because they are practising Islam. Christians also believe they are better than Muslims because they are practising Christianity. People who go on low cut believe we long-haired humans should shave our heads and become like them. But, we long-haired people have never forced them to grow their hairs. We have never for once terrorized them. We have never judged them. For once.
People are inconsiderate. They are always self-centered. They think only about themselves. They never stop to think about the other man. That is why a Christian will tell you that you can’t make heaven if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ. That’s why Muslims keep shouting everyday by 5am, disturbing us with their loud megaphones, denying us our sleep, deceiving themselves that they are worshiping God, or calling others to prayers. Which God commands you to disturb others?
We don’t understand many things as humans. And we have refused to question. We follow blindly any road that is shown to us. We don’t research. We don’t study. We don’t ask questions. We believe everything dogmatically. We hate for no reason. Intolerance. The unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect opinions or beliefs contrary to one’s own. The refusal to tolerate or respect persons of a different social group, especially members of a minority group.
When I say anything against Chinua Achebe or Nnamdi Kanu, Igbos will turn it into a tribal war. They will not bother to find out whether what I have said is true. They will be ready to fight. They will be ready to shed blood. They will be ready to cut off my head, just because the people I talked about are from their tribe. The same thing with Yoruba people. If Wole Soyinka commits an offence and an Igbo rebukes him, Yorubas will stand up and say they are insulting Wole Soyinka because he is not Igbo. Most humans don’t reason well. That’s why when squirrels come to my Facebook and shout, I always read their foolish comments and just smile. The problem of humanity is self-centeredness. We always want everyone to be like us. Even foolish people want company.