I was in a bus going to work on Monday and playing “cooking fever”; a game I use to distract myself from checking the time every now and then. Not that there is a strict time policy at work, I just hate getting to work later than everybody else plus I enjoy being alone for a while to get my act together. So, as I was saying, I was playing my game when I suddenly heard the driver cursing the woman at the toll gate for not giving the right change. This woman only withheld 10 naira because she did not have any to give him but my driver flared up and started calling her names. A man who must have wondered what the big deal about 10 naira was asked the man why he was cursing so early in the morning. The driver explained that they never allowed him pass even if it was just #5 naira left to complete the toll fare. One thing led to another and people started talking about how unkind people are especially people in authority, no matter how “small” the position.
Trust Nigerians to blame the tribe, religion or both of these people. Like, “no Christian can do that except these Igbo people or those Muslims are terrible people especially the Yoruba ones”. The argument was like that and it was beginning to annoy me until the driver spoke about an Indian woman that was one of the top bosses at his former job. There was a policy at the work place that any driver that damages the car through an accident or whatever will automatically be sacked but this woman, who is an Hindu worshiper (I hope that’s right) stood for a driver that had an accident, repaired the car with her own money and asked the guy’s job be kept. Of course, people were against her and it was shocking to hear that a pastor was amongst the people that asked that the driver be sacked so he would learn his lesson (as if accidents are intentional).
This woman’s story got me thinking about a lot of people who have ever tried to reach out to me at one point or another, especially strangers or people I barely knew. They were always people who either don’t believe in God or don’t take the religion thing seriously and that brought me to my conclusion, people who are kind are kind because they are kind, not because of their religion. So, whether you’re a Muslim, Christian or an idol worshiper, you will be kind because you have it in you and not because of your religion. Of course, you’re supposed to be nice to other people because in many ways, your religion teaches you to be kind and help others but I’ve come to realize that people use religion as a cover up for their bad attitudes.
Being a Christian or a Muslim doesn’t automatically mean someone will be nice to you. Your tribe is not the certificate you need to be kind neither does someone have to be of a particular religion before you will be nice to them. Be kind because it is just the very normal thing to do and your act of kindness means a lot to so many other people than you think. Besides, you never can say who is watching you. So, whoever you are, show to people that there are still people who give a damn about others. Don’t make it about your tribe or religion or your status, be nice to others because the world need so many nice people; there are too many assholes already.
So, when you go to sleep today, make a decision to be kind to someone tomorrow, next tomorrow and the next. Don’t stop being nice to people around you and strangers you don’t know. You know how good you will feel when someone just gives you something out of the blues; make someone feel that good too. Remember, one good turn will always get you another…