At one point in our lives, every Nigerian; if not every human must have felt the fates are or were against us, or as we put it in Nigeria; ENEMIES (haterz).
We all know about those times when we didn’t get or haven’t gotten (some of us are still going through our trial period) our desires (good for us in the long run or not), it is ‘normal’ for us to blame it on an external factor. We fail an exam; the lecturer failed us, we don’t get the desired job or promotion; we are being victimized. It runs from the mundane to the ‘serious’, somebody else always has to be responsible for our pains. Sometimes we have a particular someone or some people in mind as responsible for our ills, at other times; it’s just general haters and enemies. And what do we do to and with the enemies; Naija style- we petition the heavens against them i.e. we pray against our enemies.
Do not get me wrong, I have nothing against prayers, I believe in prayers. However the truth is a lot of times the one we believe is ‘doing’ us isn’t the source of our own pain, it is we ourselves. Most times; we are the very enemy we despise and attribute our pains to (Besides, what happened to praying for our enemies and not against them?). The funny part is; as you are praying against your enemy, someone else is seeing you as an enemy and also praying against you.
We spend quality time blaming others for things which if we think clearly about those issues, we find ourselves culpable as well. We dwell so much on the enemies, working ourselves up, giving ourselves hypertension, ulcer, migraines and some other ailments which we will turn around and blame on the ‘enemies’. I know; they are haterz, enemies, destroyers of destiny, etc., the issue is we spend so much time hating on and paying attention to these ‘enemies’, time we could have spent fruitfully improving ourselves and blocking avenues for the ‘enemies’ to encroach.
There are no steps to avoid enemies; they are a fact of life. However, before you label anyone an enemy or any mishap a work of the enemy; examine yourself if you aren’t the cause of your woes. You failed an exam (your lecturer failed you); did you answer the exam questions correctly? I remember an incident when I was in school, my friend failed an exam, and then the gist started flying that the lecturer ‘asked her out’ and she refused. When I asked my friend, she reminded me she was ill that day (true I remembered) , and that after the exam she realized she answered the questions wrongly, this was so contrary to the rumor flying, and some people were already cursing the lecturer on her behalf.
Which brings me to another style of hating; hating your friend’s enemy. We inherit our friends and loved ones ‘enemies’; a lot of times not even taking time to enquire on the reason for the hatred. We ‘buy’ the issue, it becomes our issues, and their enemies our enemies. We go to any length to fight for our loved ones. Some people have been hurt physically and otherwise for things they knew nothing about, while the parties involved are left relatively unhurt.
Visit any popular Nigerian blog, or raise any issue socially and you will be amazed at the level of hatred in our society, people hate for a variety of reasons, most often inconsequential, or for no reason at all. Yet we wonder why there is a higher incidence of sudden deaths in our nation; the most common cause is hypertension, people are hypertensive for various reasons including; hating! The person you are hating and carrying the persons issue on your head might not even know The person you are hating and carrying the persons issue on your head might not even know you exist, whereby the person knows; he/she is probably not paying you any attention (except if you both are in a hating contest).
My take on the whole enemy/hatred issue is; we need to purge ourselves of all hatred. If you aren’t comfortable with a person, ignore and avoid them, don’t hate. Accept people for who they are. You get what you give; if you give goodness, you will get good and if you propagate hatred, or make yourself an ‘enemy’? You will get what you give. The Holy Bible enjoins us to Love our Enemies; can we try that for a change?
Till next week.