In NYSC camp, we were all divided into platoons: 10 in number, in my case…actually, I think nationwide…sa, I happened to be a member of platoon te…sorry, 10 platoon (our Camp Commandant swore he’d kill us if we called the platoon first…“Is it ‘Naira 200’ or ‘200 Naira’? Jus lemme catch you!” Whew! Close one!)
Anyways, each platoon was given a daily activity…no, chore would be a better label…to do, which was mostly either cooking or cleaning. The night before what I’m about to describe occurred, my platoon was responsible for cooking, and they did well, I might add! When I went in the evening to get my meal, one of the ladies serving, a fellow 10 platoonite (quiet, Autocorrect!) gave me a very nice smile after I commended their efforts in the kitchen. I liked the smile, and her generally bubbly nature actually, so I decided I’d personally commend her later, so she’d keep up the good habit.
Well, the next morning, on the parade ground, the moon was almost full, so you could see quite well for that time of the day (which was 5AM! Gosh, the things we did for our nation!), but not too clearly though. I made it a habit of mine to greet those to my immediate left and right “Good morning”, and wouldn’t you know, today Ms Bubbly walked right past me, and stood to my front!
“’Scuse me”, I tapped on her shoulder. “Hi! Good morning! Sorry, but were you amongst those serving food in the kitchen yesterday?”
“Wow…you kind of look like her.” She did, under the moonlight at least…and the NYSC cap made the mistake even more likely, in my opinion…
“Yep.” Well, why let a good opportunity to mingle go to waste? I introduced myself to her, as did she.
Then came the awkward part: “Are you in this platoon?” she asked.
I gave a surprise chuckle. “Uh…yeah! I am a member of this platoon.”
“Really? I haven’t been seeing you…”
“Well, I’m actually not very – ”
She cut me off. “That means you’re not active in this platoon then…”
I could not help but laugh (in my head, of course, though I did chip a little chuckle in, you know, the way gentlemen do when a lady cracks a…oh wait, deviating…back to story…back to story…). Her line of thought amused me! “I don’t see you…therefore, you are inactive.” The laughter was inevitable! Giving it a little thought, I decided I’d muse on it later when I had the chance…
It made me wonder…how many people have this same kind of mentality? On a wide spectrum of subjects, though each man differs from another, I’m sure this same mentality exists in a lot of people. Far too many people, unfortunately, only pay attention to or regard what their eyes see, and not what they don’t! Off the top of my head, I can mention some likely victims of this rather myopic thought process: God, the devil, hidden sins and vices, hidden glories and victories…I mean, the following shouldn’t be hard to recognize; you’ve probably even heard (or said) them before:
“I don’t believe God exists…if He does, then why don’t I see Him?”
“I’m telling you, there are no good people in this world anymore!”
“There’s no way I can ever get AIDS, or any STD for that matter…not me! Besides, those things are all medical baloney…”
The underlying thought I trace in all these is: “Because I can’t prove/don’t see/don’t understand this subject, it must not be important/not exist/not be real/not be active”.
Well, dear reader, if you are also guilty of thinking this way, let me see if I can help you break out of your rather dim periscope…
You don’t see electrons moving…why not stick your fingers in the wall socket, believing you wouldn’t get shocked? After all, if you can’t see them, they must not be active then!
You don’t see the police/court judges 24 hours a day everywhere you go…why not rob a store, or kill someone? You should suffer no consequences…after all, if you don’t see them, they must not be active then!
You don’t see white-blood cells, so they must not be active then, eh?
I hope it’s obvious to you by now, that just because you don’t see/don’t know/don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist/isn’t important/isn’t active!!! This world is rich in so many behind-the-scenes activities! At work, at home, in relationships…so much goes on in secret, dark places and hearts: a deeper conversation than words! It’s one of the things that make this world so life-fully intriguing! However, if you refuse to change, and are still adamant on thinking like this, then I must warn that you are potentially opening up yourself to be harmed by a number of dangers you refuse to acknowledge, at the same time denying yourself of a lot of joys in this life, all because you refuse to accept their existence/significance!
© Adeleye Adeolu, 2011. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the author’s permission.