It is a popular saying among our people that if you want to know how it pains when people are pinched, you should first pinch yourself. If it pains you real good, you will then know how someone will feel when you pinch him or her. In other words, if you enjoyed the pain, then it may be an indication that another person may enjoy it. If not, then, you ought to know that if you do it to another person, it will not be right. I think, this is why it is biblically said that we should do unto others as we would want them do unto us. This is what is generally known today as the golden rule.
Brethren, I have been thinking! I have been thinking to know why people do most conscienceless things they do. I think the main reason why people do things without heart this time is because they do not ask themselves, “What if someone does it to me? How will I feel?”
You know, these days, someone can just walk into your house, go straight to your dinning table, and take the food you are ready to eat, just because he thinks he has more strength, money or connections than you have, and because he does not ask himself, “What if someone does it to me?”
What comes to my mind now is the law of Moses – an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, “do me I do you!” This law is relevant in this matter. I think Moses gave that law so that people might restrain themselves if they remembered that whatever bad thing they did to others would be the same measure they would receive. If one is about to pluck out someone’s eyes and he remembers that his own would in turn be plucked out, the pains and disfigurement he will feel, then he would abstain from doing the thing to some other persons.
If you remember that by the Law of Moses, if you kill someone’s child, your own child will be killed, and the pain you will feel losing your own child, you will not like to kill someone’s child.
Anyone I am not trying to resurrect that law because our Lord Jesus taught us otherwise. What I am doing is to use its positive side to bring the point home that it is not good to do to others what you will not like any other person to do to you.
When we were growing up, I heard a woman say to her husband, “May someone do to your sister what you are doing to me”. It did not quite make some sense to me then. Honestly, I thought it was one of those “husband/wife” talks. But as we started growing up, what she said started making sense to me. I kept wondering what the man did to her to attract such comment or curse.
I came to the conclusion that it is possible that the man converted her into his punching bag or drum. It is possible he starved her and her children, and lavished his money on other women. It could be that he never showed her any love or even bought her a dress to make her look like others. In short, it is possible that the man generally broke her heart, called her names and treated her like a piece of wood in the house. Whatever, the woman spoke from the abundance of her broken heart. You could see her pains. You could see her crying and holding her about-to burst chest in her hands.
There is something I want every man to do now. I want them to think! If your wife could make such comment or place such curse on you, think! Think of how you will feel if someone does to your sister what you are doing to her. I am sure you will like to go fighting her husband. I am sure you will lodge a complaint to his kinsmen. I am sure you may even ask her to come back to your house. Why? Because you do not like what her husband is doing to her. So, why then must you maltreat someone else’s daughter or sister entrusted to your care in marriage?
It is possible that you are that terror in your village. People do not come home again for the fear of you. You want to be the only cock that will crow in your village. You do not want the progress of any other child apart from your children. Anyone that rises up must be brought down by diabolical means. When people say good morning to you, they are in trouble! If they do not say good morning to you, they are in trouble. What if someone does to you these things you do to others? How would you feel? Imagine the pain you will feel if at the point you want to start enjoying the fruit of training your child, that child dies. Are you saying God forbid? Then, you must not do it to others?
If you are fond of chasing after other people’s wives and young daughters, you must ask yourself, “What if someone does it to me?” If you are a “sugar-mummy”, how will you feel if someone, another mummy, is doing with your son what you are doing with another mummy’s son?
Recently, it made headlines on the print and electronic media how some people looted the pension’s funds. People have served their nation creditably and retired. They are entitled to their pensions and gratuities. You ask them to come and stand under the sun for days in the name of verification. Meanwhile, you are waiting for their money which you fixed in a private account to mature. It does not in anyway move you that these are old people who should be treated with care, love and respect. Then, you remember that fixing the money into private account and taking the interests is no more enough and you decide to siphon the money for good. Think! If someone does it to you, how will you feel? Or will you not retire one day?
Jimmy Cliff, a renowned musician, saw a political leader who was a tyrant and despot in the prison, and it gave him a song. When the man was out there, he throwing people into jail as if it never caused pains. But at a point in time, the law caught up with him and Jimmy Cliff asked, “What do you want in a House of Exile (prison)? I thought you said it would not happen to you. Now you are looking like a fish out of water. Now you are thinking and startled”. If he did not build prisons, he might not have ended in prison. Do you remember Haman? He built gallows for Mordecai who had not done anything wrong to be hanged. He did not think or ask, “what if some one does it to me?” But behold, he was hung on the same gallow he made for Mordecai. (Est.7:9-10)
When you, as a political leader, think that that has given you the impetus to muffle every opposing voice by incarcerating the owner in jail without trial, think! Think of how you will feel if someone does it to you! When you dig graves for people to be pushed in, think and ask yourself how you will feel when someone pushes you into your early grave!
May be you are a thief or an armed robber! Ask yourself how you will feel if someone steals all you have ever worked for or lived for.
Are you one of those who stay in your office or house and send other people’s children to go and kidnap for you? Are you one of those who send other children to go and carry ballot papers for you during elections at great risks to their lives? Are you one of those who send other people’s children to go and burn down other people’s houses for you during elections? If someone uses your children for these deadly assignments, how will you feel? If someone burns your house or kidnaps you, how will you feel? If someone snatches the ballot box in an election in which you are a contestant and in which you are clearly winning, how will you feel?
These days, many people go around breaking homes with idle gossips. They pitch brothers against brothers. They pitch mothers in law against their daughters in law. Some people blackmail others to bring them down. Some testify falsely against others and have caused them, by such false testimonies, to lose their freedom, property and even lives. What if someone does it to you? How will you feel?
Madam, Mrs, Lady, Dame! How many people’s daughters have you blocked from getting married? It is possible you were approached by the prospective husbands or their people to know about the proposed brides. Why did you have to tell lies against them? Why did you say they were possessed by the mermaid spirit when you know it is not true? Why did you say they have slept with every man in town when you know it is not true? Why did you say they are like their mothers, wicked and ruthless, when you know it is not true? Why did you say their lineages are cursed with madness? If someone does it to your daughter, how will you feel?
The probable reason why you are fighting your departmental head or leader or Traditional Ruler is to take over that position. To you, the good things he does are bad and the bad things he does are really bad. If you were that Traditional Ruler, if you were the President of your Town Union or family head and someone does it to you, how will you feel?
As I talk now, someone out there is sitting on someone’s file or promotion. He would not bring it out either because he expects to be bribed first or because he has some other person he is more interested in, who may not even be qualified for that position, anyway! It may be it is a matter of payment for contract done by someone who have had to borrow money to execute same, and you are sitting on the payment. If someone does the same thing to you, how will you feel?
Brethren, I know that those who are fond of cutting off people’s heads from behind never ever allow someone to walk behind them with a matchet. Therefore, if you want to be honoured, respected or loved, give honour to others, respect others and show them love. If you want to be happy in life, do not cause others sorrows.
Today, the Boko Haram menaces have persisted because the perpetrators of the evil acts of wasting human lives and property have never sat back to respectively ask themselves the question, “What if someone does it to me?”
It is a popular saying that “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander”. The collorary to it is that “what is bad for the goose is also bad for the gander”. If we cherish our skins so much that we cannot cut it with razor blade, then, we should not cut other people’s skin with razor blade.
If we love ourselves so much, we should also transfer that love to others. After all, the bible enjoins us to love our neighbours like ourselves. If we love our neighbours like ourselves, there is no way we shall do to them those things we cannot do to ourselves. There is no way we can cause them harm. If we remove from the way all those things that cause harm to others, then there will be peace because everyone will get what is due to them. This is justice. It is equity and fairness.
I know that vengeance or the spirit of retaliation is also helping to destroy our world. Nations have fought wars these days which claimed millions of lives simply because one nation is trying to avenge the killing of one or two of their own by the other? The same applies to families and individuals, like one family trying to take their vengeance on another family for something that family did, which it was not supposed to do.
Brethren, the question “What if someone does it to me?” is healthy in our time, a time when evil is pervading our world and trying to cover it like the water covers the sea or the sand covers the earth. A dispassionate or honest answer will definitely bring the love, peace and justice, which are presently on their heels in our world. All that I am say is, “Think about yourself, and think about others!”