Lord, These People Have Seen Their Own Shadows!

Dear Father,

You know, in this highly forested village of ours, there is this believe amongst us that if you are working for somebody, regardless of how much you receive in monthly salary, there is always this perception that you are doing that employer a favor.

And this has kind of extended even to our public offices, where instead of people performing their constitutional duties or task for which they have been paid, they always want a tip or something. Their thinking is that for an example, if you run the kind of business that some us of do: They see the advertisement coming and all that or the printing contracts.

The assumption is that they are doing you a favor by raising these revenues and so you should be happy that they did the job for which their daily bread is also dependent upon and forget that the very money goes right back to pay bills. 

You know, it is kind of funny Father, that even at the level of the Traditional Council people still seek lobby fees to confirm people or even the National Cake as if by passing on the National Cake is a special favor  apart from what the poor people of this village have put them there for.

It is kind of absurd, you know, to be seeking tips or bribes for something you have been paid by the poor people sweat to do. Yet, the chiefs at the Traditional Council see nothing wrong with asking people from the Castle to give them lay thing before they do the village’s job. And it is the same thing for which they are taking all those plenty money and riding in big, big cars around here. But they are always hungry.

And Father, this is the kind of behavior that has been entrenched in our village. So, it comes from the kitchen of a single family, where the mother sends the child to blow the fire to enable her fry the fish that will go into the household soup. But the child demands a pay, which is usually a piece of the fired fish for blowing the fire or something else.

And then it translate to the schools, students want extra points from the teacher for cleaning the chalk board that the teacher will use to teach them. Then onward it goes in to the larger society where tips and bribes are demanded to do a job that you were hired to do for which you are being paid.  The thing then developed into a kind of cultural practice. And so no matter where the person finds himself that habit must show up.

You know, the entire circle then reminds me of this proverb that says that you can take a man from the bush but you cannot take the bush from in him. In other words, no matter a person’s status in society, his or her true self will always show.

A friend told me the other day that every society has its own traditional practices-its own ways of doing things no matter how hard you try to change it, it will always surface. And it doesn’t matter where a member of that particular society is placed in terms of social status in life, that habit will show up, except that person is being placed in a very strange environment wherein the cultural norms and traditional practices are totally different.

This is so true Father; you can’t just divorce certain things from a society, especially at the time it has been considered as a social norm-everybody thinks its okay.

So what this means is that if you were to act in a way different from such practice and wants to be a straight guy or bring into play something else, take for instance a society wherein it is very normal to take tips or bribe before performing one’s constitutional duty, a total stranger from a society that believes in transparency will find it very difficult to succeed at some level, because he or she will not understand the language of the people and therefore what should have taken him few minutes will even last up to a year or two.

So it brings me back to the chiefs at the Traditional Council, pray tell me, the poor people put you there to do a job for the village, but for every time, things are send to the Traditional Council for the Chiefs to act upon they behave like they don’t care, so all they want is a stimulant, something to put them to work as if it is quite different from what they were put there for in the first place.

Instead of first looking at the general good, they look at how much those people that bringing this thing to us have chopped? And as the question lingers, a demand for tips to act upon it gets high.

Now, I heard they say before they spice-up the national cake, they must get something first or they add on their regular stuff, now as this continue poor petite traders in the village are unable to do their sell-pay because no way.

And what happens in return is that the very people who made them chiefs suffer.  But what the people care anyway, most of them have already seen their own shadows. They are not formidable forces around here, so those who want to be formidable forces around here will have to decide.

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