WE CAN DO BETTER

Sometimes, you need to take a break from social media to keep your sanity. You’ll be shocked how despicable fellow humans can be when they have access to a smartphone and the internet.

I know you are trying to make sense of the image above so I’ll give context to it.

The image is a screenshot of some kind of SOS sent by a Twitter user and the response by one of the tweeps.

I’ll break it down for you…

Two days ago, there was an attack on a train conveying folks from point A to point B, in Nigeria 🇳🇬 In that attack, lives were lost, many sustained various degrees of injuries, and some were kidnapped.

The lady, Chinelo, in the captured tweet above was one of the casualties of the attack. At the time she tweeted, she had been shot hence, her tweet

I’m in the train. I have been shot please pray for me

It was to her tweet that the other tweep, Abolore, responded

Are you dead now?

Well, it turned out that Chinelo died eventually.

I hope you catch my drift now. And you see why I began the way I did?

Did Abolore kill her? No. Could he have done better? A whole lot.

By the way, his wasn’t the only terrible response. It was just the most brutal.

But let’s play the devil’s advocate for a moment and advance reasons for why he responded the way he did…

  • Perhaps the lady was trolling, as many internet users do.
  • Maybe she was just raising a false alarm
  • Could be a clout chaser
  • Probably has an ulterior/ignoble motive for doing so

We can go on…

Truth is, no matter how hard we try to see from the commentator’s perspective, nothing will validate the weight of his comment.

He is foolish and shame-worthy who answers a matter before he hears the fact. The scripture said that – Proverbs 18: 13.

Why should you have to respond if you cannot prove the genuineness in a fellow’s utterance? What happens to examining the situation before rushing to a hurtful conclusion? But much more, why must your response be filled with bile?

When self-restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible.

Mahatma Gandhi

It’s one thing to make a wrong judgement call and another to be insensitive. It however takes an individual with a poor sense of empathy or low degree of emotional intelligence to put out such a response.

Maybe I’m just weird, but I have deleted more drafts than I have posted. I have several perfected articles that will never be read by anyone but me. I have made to respond to numerous messages/tweets/posts but deleted my response at the last minute.

I ask myself,

  • Is it worth putting out?
  • Do I have to comment, respond or publish?
  • What do I seek to achieve with it?
  • Is it going to be of help, value, edification, or otherwise?
  • Are my emotions, sentiment, and prejudice getting in the way of what I write?…

By the way, Abolore later deleted his tweet and locked his account. But what’s done is done. Maybe he’ll be regretting his reaction right now. Just maybe.

Thank God for social media! What a blessing it is: Giving voice to all, amplifying the voice, connecting people, providing a wealth of knowledge, exposure and awareness…

But for all its goodness, it has also exposed the beast in many – unfettered, uncouth, impulsive, bestial, and ill-mannered. ‘Wokeness’ is the stock-in-trade. Many are all about clout-chasing and social media engagements and validation.

Our virtual conversations and conducts are reflections of who we truly are. Meanwhile, our actions have consequences, whether offline or online.

The biblical injunction to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath still holds.

I pray for fortitude and comfort for the family of Chinelo and everyone who lost their loved ones in the attack.

Chinelo

May we have more people who are circumspect, kind, and humane.

IN A RACE WITH JUST YOU

Some time ago, I went for an interview for an editorial role. There were only three of us to be interviewed – two guys and a lady.

The time came for the first (written) test for which we had 1hr 20 minutes to complete.

While I was still reading the instructions and going through the questions, the blessed lady was already answering away. You’ll be surprised at the speed with which she was going.

“I’m through”, she said at some point.

What?! I checked the time and it was just barely 30 minutes into the test.

“How can you be through”? I screamed at her (in my mind, of course).

Even the interviewer seemed bemused.

“Are you sure you are through”? She asked her. The lady replied in the affirmative.

Meanwhile, at that point, I was just 60% into my answers.

I almost became panicky.

However, something in me said “You were allotted 80 minutes for this test. It’s not even half the time yet. Take your time!”

So I calmed myself, ignored the lady (who was now busy with her phone), and continued with my test.

I took my time, yet finished ahead of the set time.

Then came the time for the second test (a personality test). This one was quite complex and the interviewer took her time to explain the instructions.

The lady kept nodding to her explanations, urging her to move to the next phase.

She gave us the test papers and before you could say ‘Jack’, the blessed lady was already ticking away. Yet again, she finished way ahead of the rest of us.

It turned out that she was answering the questions amiss all along. The interviewer was kind enough to go through the explanation again and then gave her a new test paper so she could start all over.

Interestingly, she made some mistakes in the repeated test.

I have yet to understand the reason behind her self-induced haste. She was always in a rush to finish, only to return to pressing her phone.

Was she that smart? But just too smart to be a little patient to review her work?

Was she trying to impress the interviewer, show off her intellectual prowess?

Did she have other important things to address on her phone or she just couldn’t wait to get back to her chit-chats?…

Whatever the reason is, one thing was certain: She was not going to be spared for any (silly/obvious) mistakes she makes in the tests, especially the ones directly connected to the core editorial functions.

Why? She had all the time to patiently answer the questions but chose to go fast and furious.

Yes, speed and accuracy should be a plus for an editor. However, being ridiculously fast to execute works can be tantamount to making costly mistakes – a bad fit for an editor.

By the way, I could have been carried away by her speed, gotten myself drawn into a rat race, end up doing a mediocre job and make a fool of myself.

MORAL?

Don’t run in another man’s race.

Just because some are running doesn’t mean they are running aright or even have a destination in mind. Some run at lightning speed just to crash eventually.

Be circumspect. Run your race with wisdom. Don’t be carried away by the speed with which others are going.
What works for A doesn’t always work for B.

Of course, don’t be tardy or overly laid-back. Do what you ought to do as and when due, and with the vigour/diligence it deserves. Life is all about balance.


I know it’s been a long time since you heard from me and I owe you an unreserved apology for the protracted absence. One thing kept leading to another and the gap kept getting wider. I hope it’s not too late to catch up with you on all things lovely. Hopefully, I can pick things up from where I stopped and make it up to you in good time.

It’s always love and hope from me to you. Feel free to reach out to me on ayansolaibukun18@gmail.com