Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who killed your Individuality????

  1. 1.
    the quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind, especially when strongly marked.
    "clothes with real style and individuality"
  2.      Sym: uniqueness, originalitysingularityparticularitypeculiarity,distinctiveness, distinction, differentness

It is often said that there is that one (or two or three) thing about us that makes us different from every other person... that makes us unique.

That thing that makes you stand out. That quality you possess that make others remember you long after you leave the room

I wonder if anyone over the age of 25 especially in Nigeria still possess their special quality. Or at least still possesses all of theirs. The illusion of social acceptance has robbed us of our Individuality, of even the memory of how we used to be.

Social acceptance is profound...its number three on the hierarchy of needs of every individual. After psychological need and the safety need comes the need for social acceptance; Maslow refers to it as 'a need for love and belonging'

How subtly we go from who we are to who others think we should be, and begin to act how others feel comfortable with us acting around them… and we reason that this is fine so long as they accept us and we belong to them and they show us love. So what  if I have an opinion different from others, it doesn’t matter, what matters is checking first to make sure those we receive love from agree with the proposed opinion.

So what  if I want to have my dessert before the main dish? Nah we reason that it isn’t socially acceptable…so far be it from me to be caught with a piece of cake before I have eaten my vegetables

So what if I prefer pants to dresses, it doesn’t matter, the culture you have noticed in your place of work suggests that you look more serious wearing a dress…oh and it doesn’t matter that the company’s policy doesn’t dictate either ways, you just know you’ll blend in better with dresses, you just might have to learn to wear heels often and practice your leg crossing better

So what if my idea of a good evening is relaxing at a lounge like Mouse Pad in Lekki phase 1 with soft classic music and a calm ambience because that’s the environment you need to unwind after a long day’s work? Well it doesn’t matter what you want because you are considered boring if you don’t prefer one of the other alternatives that have music blaring to ‘Surulere’ ‘Your waist your waist all I want is your waist’.

I remember a friend, I don’t know what we were anyways, we were in probation stage of  dating, sort of.. I think… arghhhh!!! I had gone for his birthday, was the first to arrive and after sometime his intercom rang and he was informed another guest was on her way in… he said okay, then turned to me and ever so smugly he said:

 Chichi is coming in, she’s my friend, please don’t embarrass my friends  

Honestly till today I don’t know what that was supposed to mean. All I was doing at that point was flipping the channels while I was eating chicken pepper soup. Fast forward two hours later like 9:30pm after all his guest had arrived and we had eaten and drank and it was time for me to leave… he walked me to my car and hugged me and said:

 wow you got along so well with my friends and you blended well with them, thank you so much’ or something and in my head I’m like ‘what the hell? I was sitting there all this time being there for you and you were watching hoping and praying I don’t embarrass you with your friends??? Seriously who gives a Sugar Honey Iced Tea’ but I responded with a smile and I left. 

But the thoughts of that day still linger till now, I’m sure if my head isn’t correct I’d have found myself thinking:… how do I act to please and talk and shit and moan and eat to please and not to embarrass this guy and his friends, then his family and then our kids.  OLORUN MA JE OOOOO

You see the more we try to blend, the more we give up one unique thing about us each time. Very soon you would not remember if you like your eggs boiled or fried or raw. You just become so used to being like others that even you will not remember what is unique about you. When you get to that stage, don’t expect others (Boss, wife, husband, pastor, kids, client etc) to think you have anything different to offer them than the average person. You are just like every other person. Someone to be forgotten

Social acceptance is profound, its key and its all the things it is… but it’s not worth giving up your individuality for. The world is a very big place, so if MR(S) A isn’t comfortable with who you are and what you stand for and can’t accept you like that, move to the next person (or office or church or mosque or city or house) and the next and the next till you find who accepts you as you are. 

Don’t give up your individuality just because doing so makes another person more at ease to relate with you on their terms. 

Take pride in whatever it is that makes you different. Individuality is what divides you from the rest.

Happy Democracy Day in advance 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bokoharam Is Not The Enemy

Let us be truthful and call a spade a spade for once in this country... we have far far bigger enemies than the so called sect names #Bokoharam. 

From what I remember in the latest spam message MTN sent me, Nigeria gained Independence in 1960 and became a republic in 1963, and since then we have not had a moments peace in this country. If it is not one coup after another, it is Biafra and if its not that it is some dark shade wearing dictator, then to corrupt politicians then the fuel subsidy unrest to the APC and PDP's battle of wits everyday in our news papers and bloody battles behind the scenes... and many old power hungry men and more nonsense I don't have the time to recall.

In my opinion, the white man left us alone to our devices way too early, we learnt nothing about Administration, we learnt nothing about Economics, we know nil about Management and least of all we know nothing about social empathy. Oh yes we have all the degrees in the world because our society places emphasis on paper, but having all the degrees in the world doesn't buy us common sense, it doesn't make us human... it doesn't teach us love. It just makes us one big society filled with Educated illiterates .. illiterate that celebrate mediocrity. I'll hold that thought.

It's not news that Patience Jonathan has no command of the English Language. Infact I doubt if the First Lady has had proper education. However that's no news

It's still no news that she has not tried to improve herself (as a person occupying the position of first lady) from the incoherent English she manages to spew from time to time. .. and that's such a shame on both her and the president. But that's old news

The bigger shame though is that Nigerians, residing in this safe-less, insecure, corrupt mess of a country (where children are killed on a daily basis...where 234 girls can be picked from their school and held hostage for three weeks and counting...) would rather crack jokes about the obvious (madam's English) during her speech at the conference she held, than try to focus on the reason she called the meeting in the first place. 

Back to that thought you are holding, I bet if the First Lady of the United States had given a similar speech albeit in perfect American English we will clap loud in adoration, tweet about it, many will say 'oh what a fine lady'. Because that is what we celebrate. Michelle's speech will be deftly delivered and half of her message lost during the process because guess what??? half of the citizens of Nigeria won't even understand what she said. But we won't those kine things dey totori us. 

Madam has delivered her speech in a way she understands, yes she could have done better than that, but she didnt... what she did do however is  talk in the language that every Nigerian understands, including the market women, the fish sellers, the palm wine tappers, the farmer, the PhD holder, the graduate of English, the lawyer, the engineer, even the 9 year old child can understand, but what do we do? We laugh about it, we call her names, we make T-shirts that read 'there is god oooo'. And I wonder, how does this jest and merry making at Madame's expense  #bringbackourgirls. If you make a joke about it the first and second day I can understand it because it was funny....but seriously till now? And we say we are intelligent? BAH!!!

Nigerians in Nigeria are we normal at all?  A country where we can't empathize? A people who are so intelligent that they look only towards making mockery of other people's inadequacies whereas their country ranks amongst the top unsafe countries? There is an issue on ground and till now we are still laughing at Patience?

Boko Haram is not the enemy, the black man is the enemy of himself...we are our own poison in this nation. 

What a joke of a people.... really, there is God

Nutty Jay