Yuletide: Fighting the major human killers
Among other months in a year whereby a particular day or week is mapped out for certain celebration(s) or remembrance, Christmas, which is celebrated in December among Christians across the world has always come with a special feeling that cuts across the minds of old and young.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ, the son of the Most High God was born on 25th of December; therefore, they celebrate His birth every 25th of December. It is no doubt that the period is a time of Joy, exchane of gifts and a time people travel around the whole world. From city to the village and from village to town as the need arises.
Christmas is a time for not only celebrating the birth of Christ but also creating time for the celebration of other events such as: weddings, naming ceremonies, cloths wearing ceremonies, carnivals, Masquerade parades, cultural day, meetings and so on. It's a memorable period when people get to meet those they have missed for a long time with such excitement that knows no bounds.
The road becomes busier than usual; day and night, as people ply at all hours convenient for them to travel.
This celebration is older than everyone presently living on the planet Earth now. But still, the amazing thing about the atmosphere of this period and the urge to do things as usual have still remained the same. It doesn't appear old to young and old at all.
As soon as the year hits September, preparations for this celebration start and everyone starts hurrying to meet up with the financial requirement for the special month of December.
As though this holds a lot of joy for people, some have this trending negative belief which is also as old as the Christmas celebration, which they tagged “ember month” which starts from September and ends in December as dangerous months when Occult men, women and demonic forces take over the roads and the earth, maim lives of people by causing accidents on our roads which may lead to instant death or thereafter.
It's heart breaking to note that the death records during the December Christmas celebration had been on geometric progression from time immemorial. I have no doubt either that some demonic may be responsible for some of the horrific occurrences as they are accused of.
The essence of this piece is to draw our minds to a corner where we should sit back and understand that man could be a killer of himself in most cases, while accusation for his death goes to the same angle of blames.
One of the deadliest killer of man has always been impatience, many have ended their lives before their time as a result of being impatient.
A bus driver who has been on the road from January till December and making money will not be satisfied still with the much he had made over the months but would increase his driving speed in December to make double returns that he could not make in other days of the months. He maneuvers and overtakes vehicles without caution even where the danger seems to be very clear.
It is amazing to see a driver overtaking a long lorry while another is very close and on a high speed and the implication is that, if he fails to overtake the lorry successfully, he cannot go back. At that point, another accident may be recorded and we begin to mourn again.
Drunkenness on the other hand is another killer. The mouth can never say it is enough so long as there is breath and the hands continue to feed it. What goes into the mouth if not regulated can destroy the man. Everywhere you go, people tend to offer you something to eat and drink especially drinks, but you are not under any obligation to drink each time you are being offered a drink.
One thing that I have observed about people especially among my fellow youths, is the weakness or inability to say no to invitation to consume alcohol even when some are staggering as a result of the quantity they have consumed in a day, they still want more. It is now a thing of pride to announce the number of bottles one can consume; that makes one a big boy.
Some as a thing of pride or whatever they may call it would not allow the bar tender to remove a single consumed bottle from their table, maybe to create awareness for people around that indeed they have consumed more than usual in few hours and have the money to pay.
In some cases, the driver of the vehicle that conveyed them to the bar, may be among them and would have taken at least seven bottles which cannot guarantee a stable drive; at that point, they all are staggering, will board their vehicle and speed off. Many young men had ended up that way.
Married men are not excluded in this mess. Visiting your in-law(s), friends and family is never a taboo, neither is it a crime for them to present you with assorted drinks to consume in their excitement to see you. They mean well but too much intake of the liquor in that bottle doesn't mean well for you. You must remember that you have the sole responsibility to return your family safe to your base from your inlaw's place, if you went with them, or return safe to your wife and kids if you went alone.
The havoc that the intake of excessive alcohol causes to human life during Christmas cannot be overemphasized. It does not end in December. Some as a result of their lack of control of how they consume alcohol, damage their liver and kidney without knowing it. Suddenly, a man who travelled for Christmas celebration returns to his base by January and starts suffering from kidney or liver problem which may claim his life after which wizards and witches in his village or one uncle or aunt will be accused to have poisoned him to death. Although such incidents of poison could also occur, I am not disputing.
Desperation cannot be left out as one of the killers which some people allow to destroy them. Christmas has always come and gone. But some people would not learn lessons from the past ones. It's on record that desire or desperation to meet up financially, or measure up and so on had endangered the lives of many in the past and this year's Christmas may not be exception to people who love to be where they do no plan before hand.
It is not bad to have elaborate Christmas, but if you do not have close to your earlier budget for Christmas, Then, it is necessary to cut your coat according to your cloth. Readjust your plans. It is not and will never be a crime to do so.
While your life still remains with you to plan for other Christmas to come, Christmas should never be a do or die affairs.
I do not own a car now, does not suggest I do not love cars, but I know some people who do not own cars before now, but they now own one.
So there is hope I will own one. Our destinies vary, our breakthrough may not come at the same time. But it will come.
The use of phone to one’s detriment is another killer that needs to be addressed.
To be safe during the festive period, we must take all necessary measures to ensure that is achieved. We remain alive to celebrate other Christmas to come. This of course is a thing of choice to live or die.
This period has been known to be a dry season whereby incidents of fire outbreak, usually are on the rise due to the dryness. A popular Nigerian musician who is now late, in one of his songs that it he sang in the native language, said, “ Onye chi n'azor, na azor onweya. Onyekwe Chiya ekwe!” (He that God protects, guards himself. When you agree, God agrees!)
Few days back, gory pictures of a beautiful lady with the one she took when she was still alive hit Facebook in which the poster stated that the lady in question was preparing for the 70th birthday party of her mother, along the line, she ran out of cooking gas. While at the gas station to get her gas cylinder refilled, a call came in, on answering the call, there was an explosion that later claimed her life. If she knew that 'devilish' call could come through and cause an explosion that could claim her life, she could have switched off her phone even for the rest of the day to be on the safe side. Avoiding making calls, answering calls at gas filling station, petrol station, kitchen, and generator house is very necessary.
Some of the mobile phones we use have the ability to ignite fire or cause explosion when they are being used around explosives. Therefore, to be on the safe side, when using your phone this season and henceforth, avoid using them in places I mentioned above. It is terrible to check the level of fuel on a generator set using the phone touch light whether the generator is running or not. More dangerous to use kerosene lantern to do so.
Life is precious in as much as we also know that death is inevitable, but carefulness could go a long way to help us preserve our lives. A friend of mine had fatal accident earlier this year that claimed the life of the reckless driver and others, but my friend survived. My friend narrated the ordeal on how the driver over sped his limit and drove recklessly. The passengers including my friend warned him to slow down but he continued and even increased the speed which led to the accident. My friend later regained consciousness in the hospital to be told what happened and about those who lost their lives including the reckless driver.
Sometimes, we must not wait for reckless drivers to destroy our God given precious lives before we could stop them.
If after much warning and he could not heed, alight from that bus or taxi and join another one. But this sounds difficult as we may begin to think of how much we have paid for that fare. But in all, nothing spent or lost can be compared to the loss of one's life. Some may not have spare money to board another vehicle, still not an option or reason to allow oneself to be killed in that vehicle, beg people around where you alighted, if you must do so to be alive and safe.
The truth is that, God saved the life of my friend, but we can all see that the danger was very clear. Sometimes, we are close to these dangers but we don't heed to our heart to take a step to stop it because of one little loss or the other that it may cause us.
If you want to board a bus or taxi and realize that the driver is drunk, it is a enough signal that you should look for another vehicle.
We cannot also overlook the untold hardship that we are experiencing now to be one of the most dangerous killers among all. But we must conquer all with strong faith. I boarded a taxi with an old man few days ago, the man as old as he appeared said “Since I was younger till this date, I have never seen a government like the present one in terms of the kind of suffering people who voted these leaders in are being subjected to by the same people they voted for”. I could not utter a word. Before you think of going to rob the bank because you are experiencing hardship now or engage yourself in one crime or the other, remember that there are security agents and when they lay their hands on you, the same people who subjected you to the untold hardship will sanction your execution after trial. That is if you make it alive out from the crime scene. You may be mobbed by your ' fellow sufferers'.
If you cannot afford a bag of rice and other food and luxury items this year as you had always afforded, do not kill yourself over them. You have always had that and more are yet to come in future. But you must do yourself a favour to stay alive. Don't say you cannot bear the shame. It is better to bear that shame which is not totally out of your making than to be lowered to the grave amidst tears that break the hearts of your loved ones.
Compliment of the season! See you in 2018.
Chukwudi Sopuruchi is graphic designer, 08032703003.