First, it was Tunji the beggar, and now this. The on-the-bus adventures continue, featuring a special guest… my friend Lizzy 🙂
The whole thing happened earlier this month. We were on our way home after what was a ladies day out with the TWTW clan when an interesting fight broke out. An actual fistfight, with blows flying left, right and center over quivering heads of passengers (imagine if one got gobsmacked in the confusion, long before we all died ).
So what exactly started it, you might ask?
Hmm. Fifty Naira (N50).
A woman old enough to be my mother asked the conductor for her N50 change, and he refused. I think it was a case of her expecting her fare to be N50 less, but he insisted it wasn’t.
That was all. Some insults here and there, and before we knew it, they decided to step things up and get physical. The whole situation just seemed too sudden and surreal, and I remember Lizzy and I staring at ourselves with similar “What the… ?” expressions.
Then it happened. The red-eyed driver looked back, trying to calm his friend down. The problem was that his foot was still on the gas pedal, and the bus was moving forward at full speed.
All for what was definitely more than a minute. Or two.
Any Lagosian would understand how recklessly fast public buses can go. Now imagine that, with the driver’s eyes in the opposite direction while having a good ol’ conversation.
In shock, I yelled out to the driver to look forward. And in anger, his piercing eyes went right through my soul, with some Yoruba insults flung in my direction. Again, way beyond the comfort zone time-wise.
He finally returned his sight to its rightful place, but by this time, Lizzy and I were over the situation. We asked to be dropped off by the side of the road, and our request was granted. The bus sped off as the fight continued, as we stared on, surprised, upset but grateful that we were alive and well.
Lizzy’s comment to the whole thing struck a nerve. What was the root cause of the craziness; what could have potentially led to lost lives? Anger with huge spoonfuls of pride. The elderly lady felt insulted during their verbal squabble so she lashed out. The driver did the very same to me, translating my yell as an attack, not a warning.
Bruised egos, over N50 of all things.
Days later, I find myself reflecting on how much pride has wrecked. From the number of marriages that have been ruined simply because of ego, to followers who are directly or indirectly oppressed by prideful leaders.
What starts off as a little seed grows into this huge monster . One that may not hurt anyone until much later, when it’s an ingrained habit beyond control.
I know I have my egotistical moments. And someone once told me that shyness is also a form of pride, because you are centered on yourself over others. Maybe this is something you can relate with, so it’ll be a lesson for two, to put this in check before it ends up hurting others some day.
A sense of others, not self
Humility, not pride.
All fuelled by a constant abiding in His love, learning to walk this way all the days of our lives.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
How far can this pride issue really go guys? What lessons have you learnt from it in the past? Feel free to share below.
Photo credits: Tumblr and PSL