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Hurt People Hurt People

Did I ever mention to y’all that I’m Christian? I didn’t?! My bad. I actually am, have been my whole life.; saved, sanctified and saintly, Amen…? This isn’t random, the information will make sense later; just stay with me…

So couple of days ago, I put up a post on my WhatsApp status that went something like:

"I just find it REALLY amusing and increasingly hypocritical how men are all over the place wailing now that women are brazenly cheating with their full chest and bum and everything else in between. And NO, I'm not referring to the paternity fraud saga going on; I'm talking good ole infidelity!
I mean, niggas have been steady stepping out for ages because 'men are polygamous in nature'. Shebi women's libidos too are stepping up now, no be gender equality we de talk since?
Anywho, my only question is, 'Why y'all outchea doling out bullshit in measures you can't take half of?' Na men una be oo, let your inner odogwu shine through and stop bitching!"

Of course the jab was at men who themselves have been or are unfaithful to their partners; I’m seriously ALL FOR fidelity. So here’s the thing. In recent times, there has been a MAJOR spike in activities of infidelity being carried out by women in committed relationships, and the men are neck-deep in misery and despair. Is this a good thing? In and of itself, NO. But in the context of Nigerian men, I’ll say all is well that ends well. Can I get an AMEN…!

Anywho, so while there’s folks (mostly ladies of course) in my inbox screaming ‘yaaasss girl!’, and a couple menfolk going ‘you’re wrong for this’; my homeboy weighs in and reminds me the patriarchy has been living large since the days of Jesus Christ, when male adulterers would be set free and the females stoned to death. Listen! My gender has been going through this nonsense for millennia, why is everyone suddenly so shocked that they’re hitting back now? Why is the hypocrisy so loud? And don’t people ever observe stuff? Because the truth is, when folks are being constantly hurt with no remorse and/or apology in sight, they eventually start acting out, and NOT in a good way. Don’t believe me? Sit tight, I’ll give you a few instances.

Instance 01. We often wonder why refugees from the Middle East escape to other countries and after they get good and comfortable, start trying to enforce on their hosts the EXACT same systems of oppression they ran and sought refuge from. Reason? Hurt people hurt people.
Instance 02. Look at psychopaths (I watch Discovery ID a lot). More often than not, the craziest of them went wild after some traumatic experience at some point in their lives. The hurt somehow wasn't properly dealt with. The result? They hurt other people in unimaginable ways.
Instance 03. Let's bring it home. Nigerian Lecturers. If you attend[ed] a public university in Nigeria, there's a GREAT likelihood you're more than familiar with phrases like 'Nobody gets an 'A' in my class'; or 'I don't know why you people are complaining about not graduating on time. During my time, we spent [insert ridiculous number of years] for a 2-year course, so relax'. Why? Some unfortunate lecturer had made them miserable in their time, so they feel obligated to pass on the suffering.

Sometime ago, I was listening to one of my favourite poets talk about [dealing with] grief, a topic I’m all too familiar with, as are probably a good number of you. She talked about how some of the most regrettable things she’s done were during her period of grief, as a way of dealing with it. She had gotten to a place where it was like ‘OK God, since you let me hurt, I’ll make sure you hurt too. So you can also feel how I feel…‘ And so she went on to make some messed up choices. Again, familiar territory for me. But that was also a very enlightening moment for me. Does her trying to hurt God make sense? No. I’m not even sure that’s possible but that’s not the point right now. Does it make sense that when we’re in pain, we kinda feel better when we inflict the same (or worse) pain on those around? Nope. Yet here we are. I honestly believe it’s our minds’ way of dispelling the hurt we feel. We (Humans) are very primal creatures; we feel, we react. Simple! Truth that has come to sit with me now is that HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. Crazy thing is, we often don’t even realise that’s reactionary behaviour! It’s a trauma response.

Remember my homeboy I mentioned earlier? While we’re in the middle of all this analysis, he gets worried that my theory means the world is at the mercy of man’s emotions, which are beyond erratic at best. Valid point, because we kind of are. But self awareness will save us.

The gospel of Christ is a message of grace. GRACE = Unmerited Mercy. This gospel tells us to forgive those who wrong us, even when they are not repentant, even when they don’t ask for our forgiveness. He tells us to ALWAYS turn the other cheek. This to me, is one of the hardest things you could ever ask a man to do, but do it we must, especially in light of this information. As biblical as this charge is, it is also a very universal truth. You often hear people in trauma therapy being told to forgive their oppressors so they would free themselves; see the similarity? We need to develop a PAUSE & REFLECT habit with EVERYTHING WE DO. Why are we doing this? Who are we doing this for? What are the downsides to this? Long-term effects nko? Is this even edifying? And for Christians, does this speak well of the God I represent here on earth? These are some questions to help guide your reflections. Humans are sorely limited by knowledge; meaning our best work/behaviour happens within the confines of what knowledge we have. We need to know better to DO better y’all. Master yourselves.

Coming full circle to what brought us here in the first place; Women & Infidelity. I bet you forgot! Does it make sense to you now when I say this is merely a lash out from centuries-old oppression? It was bound to happen at some point, we just weren’t paying attention. But like I said, PAUSE & REFLECT. Dear woman, how does this behaviour serve you? Again, this is about folks in committed relationships.

I am no Philosopher, nor am I a Psychologist. I merely spend my days observing phenomena to avoid thinking about the joke that is Nigeria. And I have managed to observe that the universe will be better to/for us all if we at least TRY to be kinder to one another. Because HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE

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