I live in Lagos and every day I am surrounded by angry people. It’s like cosmically, Lagos has been programmed to be an angry place. Everywhere you go; there is always at least one angry person. Angry bus conductor and angry passenger; angry customer with the angry market woman; angry customer at the bank with the angry bank teller (even though they try not to show it, you can tell the teller just wants to slap the eyes off the customer’s face).
Honestly we need to calm down.
I remember NYSC camp. Anything and everything stretched me beyond my limits. Something was just always pissing me off. Dirty toilets, 4:30am bugle sounds and my things were always getting missing. People would take your stuff and not return it and that always got me angry. There was this particular morning I woke up looking for my ‘scooping bowl’ (the bowl I used to pour water on my body while having my bath, get it?)
This was not the first time it was happening. Someone always took my bowl and as always, they wouldn’t let me know they did, then I’d have to search all over the room for it. This morning I was really pissed. The night was cold and I had been too lazy to cover myself properly; the water was cold and there was no where I could boil it so it was certain I was going to have a cold bath in the cold weather. It wasn’t even the least funny. Only to find out my bowl was missing. I started to shout;
“This thing is no longer funny. Every day, someone will come to my corner and take my bowl without telling me and when I need it, I won’t find it. Can’t we just respect ourselves? If it was anybody else you wouldn’t find it funny too so please just stop. If you are with it just bring out and let this thing not happen again. If this kind of thing happens again…”
I was on auto-pilot. Shouting, warning, threatening and running my mouth, till my eyes met my still cold bucket of water waiting to be bathed with that morning.
The little voice of reasoning in my head whispered “anger that cannot even boil water”
Think about it. I mean in all your threatening, when it comes down to it what can your anger do really? Is it able to charge your phone? Can it fry egg? Does it have the capacity to generate enough energy to power an electric bulb? No? I thought so too.
When we are angry, we threaten to do anything and everything. Bring the roof down. Break everything in the world. Slap somebody. Kill everybody. One simple question you probably have not asked yourself is:
“Can this anger even boil water?”
So the next time you get pissed off and your temper starts rising, you feel this strong urge to kill somebody and burn their body on a stake to serve as a deterrent to the rest of the world; please take a moment and ask yourself:
“Can this anger boil water?”