I developed a love for TED talks during my first year in school. I was fond of taking out time to watch TED talks on the laptops of my friends. One particular talk that I’ll never forget listening to is The Danger of a Single Story by popular Nigerian (permit to add, Igbo) author and story teller, Chimamanda Adichie.
TED talks, by their very nature, aren’t very long talks. And in 18 minutes, Miss Adichie took her listeners through certain short but nonetheless powerful stories that had been built through out her entire life. Her message was simple: single stories are bad. Not only are single stories bad, but they also steal a certain form of dignity from the people being represented in them.
Depending on whatever part of the world that you are in right now, you may be in 2018 or just about to hop into 2018. And one thing is common with this season. It’s so common that it can even be considered a tradition. New year resolutions! Cuts across several religious worldviews and ethnic groups. Almost everyone makes new year resolutions, and almost everyone fails at them. What if I presented an alternative to the tradition? What if such resolutions were actually bound to fail, even before we stepped into the new year?
I’m not as consistent a writer as I’d love to be. The frequency of my blog posts can be high at one moment and then, almost as though I was injected with some sort of drug, become so low that it seems as though I stopped blogging altogether. The reasons for these short (and sometimes, long) hiatus are often not the same. Now, I don’t stop writing altogether. I journal, take notes from the books that I read and from the classes that I attend, sermons that I listen to, and write my random thoughts on my notepad app almost everyday.
He comes to you for a job
But you call him a worthless pig,
Hopeless and without a place in this world
And He bears it all without saying a word
You come to his backyard to farm
And he asks for a portion of the produce
But you call him a greedy robber
Yet, he bears it all without saying a word
One time, you meet him at a dinner
And you ask to be placed at a different table
You say that his mouth odour was like the smell of faeces
But he bears it all without saying a word
Your thugs enjoy beating him
One night they beat him till he can’t move
The tears flow freely from his shattered heart
All without him saying a word
Then you decide to go for the big kill
You murder his mother and sister in cold blood
You tell the world that they were evil people
And that they never deserved to live
He will come for you at night and set your house on fire
And you will perceive the aroma of your wife’s flesh
You will survive only to be shot from his pistol
“I never thought you could this,” you mutter as you die
But the truth is that he couldn’t do it before you came
You built a monster, one act at a time
He never said a word because he waited for your apology
And you said all the words, all, but the right ones
© Eleazar Maduka, 2017
Image Source: Dreamstime.com
I’m grateful that you trusted me with your secret.
Sitting across from me at the kitchen table this afternoon, you poured out your heart. When you married your high school sweetheart at 19, you never once suspected you would be in this place. Now, at 39, after twenty years of marriage, you call yourself gay.
Many years ago, I got to understand the concept of Jihad. I was told that it was a core belief in Islam, and was led to believe that every Muslim wanted to have my throat – they just didn’t get the chance. I have a balanced understanding of the religion now, however, and get really sad when my brothers in the faith attack Muslims unjustly. I believe it was Dr. Ravi Zacharias who said something along these lines, “If what the other person says still sound ridiculous, then you probably don’t understand what he is saying”.