The Taxi driver kept complaining, “I’ve been in this country for 6months and the people here are no good. They treat you like aliens and no body wants to be nice to you”.
And then he narrated his ordeal from the border. How after he had been harassed and exploited, they got stranded and he had to help his fellow passengers (from this same country) with transportation, feeding and clothes.
He went on to conclude that after his experience in the country, he’ll never be good to anyone from this country again. In fact, when he goes back to his own country (another West African country), he’ll make the people from this country pay dearly for everything that he has gone through.
We asked him if he had met any good people in this country, if anyone had been nice to him and if anyone had gone out of their way to try to help him, and he answered yes to all of these. If yes, why would he then decide to punish a whole people for the errors of a few of their countrymen? We asked him what his own attitude towards these people was and he said he had to defend himself.
I felt bad because I realised that this is the way a lot of us think and behave, gearing to mete out punishment on someone for the sins of his brothers or her people.
Why can’t we all just try and get along? Why can’t we all just hold hands and hum, hug trees and wear ‘Jesus’ sandals? Why can’t we look beyond the today and think of the bigger picture? Why can’t we all try to broker peace rather than tearing one another to pieces?
We pleaded with our Taxi driver to change his attitude towards these people and expect them to treat him nicely. Like my sister always says, ‘If you expect something, you’ll get it’.