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Lord, what kina people are we?

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Dear Father:

You know, I am the type that is very difficult to frown at my kids whenever it comes to disciplining them-no matter how hard I try to do it in anger. So in order to make them feel that I am serious, I would often fake the frown.

And because they know that is not just me when they see the fake frown, especially my son, he would wear a smile on his face-something that will send me bursting into laughter and eventually telling him to leave my sight but with a strong warning that would be turned into a joke to tease him.

When that happens, the seriousness with which I had attached whatever, he or she may have done would be turned into something that we would all joke about in the house-which is not good though. But this is what we all practice here one way or the other in our homes-even parents who caned their kids after the fury go on laughing about the wrong that child has done with other family members in the home.

What this does most times is that it takes away the seriousness of the issue at bay and soften it to a point. Don’t get me wrong sometimes it works though. It works because other kids or family members in the home use the act or the wrong committed by that child to bully him or her and eventually that child tend to reframe from such behaviour.-For example stealing in the home and wetting of beds.

But Father, what we may not realized is that we bring these very behaviours from our homes to our fiefdoms and villages and even to the larger village. Are you surprise Father? Don’t be because this is exactly what we do in our village here on a daily basis.

The most current example of such behaviour is the death of the Banker from our neighbouring village who went on jolly, jolly with his friends and felt off the boat into the sea just to be discovered dead days later and the former Oil Man who was found dead lying on the beach after he had gone into to a popular hotel here for recreation.

Now, the discoveries of these two bodies which were found by the beaches here drew furry from villages against our big, big people with some villagers expressing fears for their dear lives as if they would kill the people in power.

So, like we do our kids, some villagers frown at our big, big people and if you had given them the opportunity, they would had gone to the extent of lynching our chiefs, elders and even the Old Lady.

But today, they are all making jokes out of these horrible events. “Do I look like somebody who can go on beach?” some would say. “Wait now, you think I am stupid like …..for them to do me on the beach.” another joke would go like that.

And at the end of all these humorous comments would come laughter and other comments I would not like to include in this letter to you Father. But this tells you how far we can handle issues of serious concerns.

Nowadays, it is very common to hear a young girl whose fiancée had broken their engagement-saying -he died during the Ebola. It is not that the person actually died but it is a way of getting over such experience that the relationship could not hold. So to avoid the plenty explanation as to what went wrong-the girls would say, “I was engaged but my boy friend died during the Ebola outbreak.” End of story.

But what is more serious about all of these is that it takes away the magnitude or the seriousness of the effect thereof and often we never hear about some of these cases again. For example the recent deaths of the two prominent individuals in our village. Only the grieving families are left alone to mourn their loss while the rest of the village make fun of those tragic events and there is absolutely no clear cut answers to the victim’s family questions.

Some say that makes us a resilient people-the ability to quickly forget a tragic event and move on so quickly is for me beyond comparison. But is that what resilience really is? At one point we are all over the place and another moment we make fun of those very things that had us screaming in fear?

I am told jokes of horrible incidents that occurred here during our village stupid carnage as if it is part of our normal ways of life. This leaves me wondering what kina people are we Father?


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