Sunday, 18 December 2011 00:48

Maturity Is Knowing When To Quit Trying To Save Folks

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A father at some point recognizes that his children are now adults and leaves them alone; he leaves them to go to the world and live as they see fit.

Living as they see fit includes making their own decisions and making mistakes and learning from them.

All behaviors have effects; we take the consequences of our behaviors. This is a basic law of nature; no one can prevent you from taking the effects of your thinking and behaviors. Some people call this law of cause and effect karma; call it what you like, the fact is that our behaviors have attendant consequences for us.  If you make a mistake you reap its effects and, unfortunately, in an interconnected universe all those around you also take the consequences of your mistake (as well as of your good behaviors).

If a father tries to prevent his children from living as they see fit so as to prevent them from experiencing pain he is smothering them and is a bad father. The child must be allowed to put his hand on fire and get burned and from the pain he feels learn not to put his hand on fire any more.

God himself allows his prodigal sons (all of us) to leave him and go try to live independently and make mistakes and then realize that they cannot live independent of him hence return to him, return to their real home.  God does not prevent us from coming to this world, from going on the journey without a distance (there is no distance between us and God; God is everywhere so wherever we think that we go we go in God; we are always in God but pretend to be separated from him).

A few years ago an Ijaw-English (she is mixed race) lady friend of mine, Sokari Owukari (she lives in London) referred me to Nigerian Internet forums. Before then my life was not involved with Nigerians. I was teaching at the University of Alaska and did not have any kind of dealings with Nigerians (or Africans or black folks for that matter for just about all our students are white with a handful of Eskimos and Athabasca Indians).

I began reading what folks write on these forums and my eyes latched to the particular way Igbos wrote about other Nigerians. Their language was extremely abusive of other Nigerians. They showed total disrespect for other Nigerians. Whatever they said was a put down of Nigerians. It is as if they enjoyed insulting other Nigerians; they thought it kind of cute to put human beings down rather than uplift their already dejected spirits (we are born and must die and rot so deep in our minds is existential depression; we all need to be cheered up, not degraded by our fellow human beings).

I was shocked by this perception. Basic psychology tells us that all human beings want to be loved and respected by their neighbors. I want you to love and respect me. From that awareness of my needs I know that you want me to love and respect you. Therefore, I must strive to love and respect you.

In Christian categories: Jesus told us to do unto others as we want them to do to us. How do you want other persons to do to you? In answering this question, try to be honest and stop playing grandiose games with yourself.

You want people to love and respect you. Therefore, Jesus asked you to love and respect other people. He said that all the laws and prophecies of the old can be summarized in the dictum: love yourself and love all people.

The first psychological axiom is that people need love; when loved we feel secure; we feel a sense of belonging to those who love us; when not loved we feel unconnected, abandoned and all alone in this world. A sense of aloneness engenders anxiety, fear and depression (existential angst).

Love is what joins all of us together; in joining, union, we feel secure, peaceful and happy. The greatest gift parents can give to their children is to love them for in so doing they would make them feel secure, peaceful and happy.

The second psychological need of people is social respect. We all desire respect from all people in our environment. Abraham Maslow placed social respect the third in his needs hierarchy: 1, physiological needs; 2, security needs; 3, social acceptance or respect needs; 4, self-esteem needs; 5, self-actualization and seeking of meaning (hence spirituality).

Every human being must have food, feel safe in his world, and feel respected by those around him etc. to be able to pursue self-actualization; that is, one must feel socially secure before one tries to actualize ones potential. If one is not loved and respected, Maslow says that one is stuck at the third basic needs level and is not going to be able to actualize one’s self.

(Many people are not loved and spend most of their life seeking other people’s attention and admiration and in the process achieve very little with their lives. Those who were in Carl Rogers’ terms loved and accepted in an unconditionally positive manner tend to be the achievers of this world.  Igbo culture accepts Igbos conditionally, that is, mostly when they seem accomplishing and rejects or ignores them when they seem like failures. This seems good but look deeply and what do you see? For their entire noise making about how successful they are none of them, let me repeat, none of them, has accomplished anything that the rest of the world recognizes as important; they are dancing at the periphery. Their greatest writer, Chinua Achebe, wrote children’s books; his books do not appeal to any one eighteen or over. The point is that these peoples boasting about their accomplishments are phantom accomplishments.)

I do not need to refer to Maslow for it is self-evident that we all need love and respect from each other, and know it.

If I disrespect you I have offended you. Every child knows this reality. If that is the case how come Igbos seems to enjoy insulting people, right and left?  Why are they depriving people of their basic need: love and respect?

Igbos do not respect people; and the worst part of it all is that they insist on not respecting people; they like to disrespect people. These people actually enjoy putting people down! Only Satan likes doing such an inhumane thing! (They tell you that they are superior to their neighbors and then when you test their intelligence they score the same as their Nigerian neighbors. The average IQ of Nigerians, Africans and, indeed, black Americans is the same. On the whole black folk in Africa and in the new world tend to score fifteen points lower than white folks and, interestingly, Asian folks tend to score fifteen points higher than white folks; some say that Asians are the smartest human group…if American universities admitted folks on merit  Asians would be the majority at its top universities and Africans would at best be at the worst universities; the world economy, as we all can see, is now dominated by Asians presumably because they are very smart folk…they are not smarter than other people; they are merely more disciplined and hardworking; would you expect the devil may care Nigerian universities to produce students who can compete with, say, studious and disciplined Korean students, of course not).

To disrespect people is to attack them psychologically. It hurts when people do not respect you. Those Igbos who do not respect their neighbors are deliberately trying to hurt them, to inflict psychological pain on them! They are attacking people’s sense of worth and dignity.

Those who attack others, who disrespect others, who insult others hence deliberately inflict psychological pain on them are not nice people (nice persons love and respect all persons).

Do you want to make people defensive? If so then do not love them and do not respect them. A person would chop off your head in a jiffy if you did not respect him. This is human nature. In fact, in International Relations studies we learn that nations often go to war for prestige purposes; insult a people and they would go to war with your nation!

By putting folks down, Igbos are making others defensive (asking them to prove their worth) and, more importantly, asking other people to counter attack them hence they are  counter attacked and killed.

In effect, they get what they asked for when they are attacked for otherwise why were they attacking people psychologically by disrespecting them?

Even little children figure out that all human beings want to be loved and respected and do not want to be disrespected.

Igbos are human beings despite their delusional behavior; as such, they know the fact that all people want to be respect. See, they pursue narcissistic goals that would seem to make them important and respected; that is, they are seeking respect from people so they must know that people are like them and seek respect, too.

Or, are they too insane to think that only they deserve respect? I would rather not think so, for if that is the case then we need to place them in psychiatric hospitals and give them neuroleptic medications to correct their disordered thoughts.

When Igbos do not respect say Hausas or Yorubas, they are deliberately choosing to inflict psychological pain on them, for they recognize that those people, like all human beings, want respect and feel pained if not respected.  Igbos deliberately choose not to respect those around them, to give them pain.

Those who deliberately choose to withhold from people the most basic need people have, love and respect, are evil!

In choosing not to respect those around them, Igbos are engaging in evil behavior! Those who engage in evil behavior have produced a negative cause and reap a negative effect.

Evil persons generally are rewarded with pain (and they deserve what they get!).

You may not know it but the fact is that despite the jabbering by childish scientists to the effect that there is no God, that only chance, accidence and randomness determines everything, the fact is that there is a moral force in this world.

The universe is just; there is poetic justice in the universe. We reap what we sow. If you insult people instead of respect them the universe requires that you be attacked and killed to get what you deserve.

Nothing can happen to us without us wanting to experience it; thus, Igbos want to experience attack and get attacked (if they did not want to experience attack how come they attack people psychologically).

These people have a death wish; they are engaged in a macabre dance. They knowing of the fact that they are giving folk’s pain by insulting them do so anyway. They deliberately give people pain instead of love. They are therefore evil persons.

Jesus Christ asked his followers to love and respect all people; he walked his talk and loved and respected all people.

To be a Christian is to follow the example of Jesus Christ and love and respect all people.

God is love and his children are love. A true child of God only extends love and respect to other children of God (Jesus said: love God with all your heart and love all people to be called the children of God).

Those who choose not to love all God’s children and since God is in his children have chosen not to love God. Those who do not love God and his children are evil.

As evil persons they live in pain, in a hell of their making (hell is right here on earth, not elsewhere).  Unloving and disrespectful persons live in pain, in hell. They always generate conflict between them and their neighbors; they generally are attacked and hurt. They get what they generate and reap what is coming to them.

I have done my best to alert Igbos to what they are doing and its consequences for them.  Instead of listening they give me empty scholastic responses, amass silly evidence of what other Nigerians did to them to justify their insulting other Nigerians. They forget that regardless of what other people did to you that you are supposed to forgive and love them…isn’t that what their supposed savior, Jesus, told them to do.

I have asked them to dance a different dance, the dance of love for all people to be loved by all people. They refused to listen to me.

What else is new under the sun? Mankind has never listened to its prophets (and come to think of it, I was born one; I am actually their high priest of Amadioha; as a child I was put through the dibia initiation process).

I cannot make them love or respect their neighbors; I can only urge them to do so. It is up to them to love or not to love, to respect or not to respect all people.

So far, they have chosen to not love, that is, chosen evil and as evil persons reap the consequences of their evil behaviors.

I know only love and must love; I cannot join their evil train (a night train, not light train). I must therefore leave those who choose not to love alone. I have done my part and henceforth my hands are clean (akam du ucha).

I have seen a foolish people and pointed out their foolishness and they refused to learn and continue those foolish things that make their neighbors angry at them and attack them.

They will always take the consequences of their choice for loveless living. The definition of not loving people is evil.

Not even God can prevent them (his children) from taking the consequences of their lack of love.  I must leave them to their mad behaviors (to not love and respect folks is to be mad).

At the clinical level, I have told them that madness is belief that one is superior to other persons. How can one child of God be superior to other children of God?  God is in all of us so how can one God be superior to other Gods?

White folks who in the empirical world are more scientifically and technologically advanced know that they are not superior to technologically backward Africans; they know that we, all human beings, are the same hence respect black folks. But here comes an obscure African tribe that objectively have not contributed anything to science and technology or for that matter to anything else, certainly not to the art of governance and economics (they didn’t even rise beyond rudimentary levels of social-political organization) come around deluding themselves with their imaginary superiority.

Just think about it: if Igbos were at the level of white folks they would run around telling everybody that they are an objectively superior folk (as highly developed Germans did and subsequently were clobbered by primitive Russians).

I took the trouble to explain delusion disorder, grandiose and persecutory types; in delusion disorder the person takes the human desire for power and superiority to extreme levels.  We all wished that we are powerful and godlike in power but the fact is that we are not.  A sane person accepts that he is powerless; whereas an insane person thinks that just because he wishes he had power that he is in fact powerful.

You are not powerful for any human being can put a bullet into your head and kill you; the son of God has power but derived power, power from his father; for only God has power; by ourselves we can do nothing but with God’s power we can do everything, brother Jesus told us.

It breaks my heart seeing Igbos insult people, disrespect people hence setting things up for them to be attacked, discriminated against and marginalized in Nigeria (they are so hated that very few Nigerians would vote for an Igbo to be the president of Nigeria); I want to prevent them from doing so.

Alas, in the real world I am just a powerless child of God and cannot prevent another child of God from doing what he wants to do, even if it is foolish, and experiencing its consequences.

I have done my best and as a good father must do must now leave these children to make their decisions and make their mistakes and take their consequences and learn from them…they want to learn the hard way. Such is life, c’est la vie.

Being is unbearably light yet we make it hard for ourselves by not doing what it asks us to do: love ourselves and all people.

God is love. Heaven is love. No one enters heaven who does not love all God’s children. Hate one child of God and you are kept outside heaven, live in hell, in pain.

May the self-chosen dance of madness continue; the children of love, God, separate from love and on earth pretend to live as the opposite of love hence attack other people (since God is in people to attack people is to attack God) to get attacked and being attacked convince themselves that there is no love, no God.

Love and be loved, respect all and be respected by all (as we give we receive; Nigerians do not respect Igbos for Igbos do not respect them…be a smart alecky person and ask which precedes which: chicken or egg; just love and quit being a prick). In love you live in peace and joy. God is love, peace and joy.

Insanity is choice to not love people and their creator; sanity is deliberate choice to return to love, to loving all people and their creator. The choice is in each of our hands.

Having done my part, performed my existential function as the truth sayer, I relinquish my obsessive concern with Igbos behaviors, and watch with amusement as they make beds of thorns and sleep on them. They sow hatred and reap the whirlwinds but see themselves as innocent victims that bad things happen to and blame other people for their pain.

No, you made your bed and sleep on it; you receive the consequences of your choice to insult and disrespect instead of love all God’s children, Hausas, Yorubas, Edos, all people hence love their father.

Jesus said: as you do to these children you have done to me and my father; love all people and respect all people and you have loved and respected God for God is in all people.

In conclusion, let me state the pithy aphorism that maturity means knowing when to quit trying to help folks, stopping trying to save them from their mistakes.  A mature person allows folks to live as they see fit, make their mistakes and take their consequences.

Buddha realized that people’s pursuit of ego, separated selves, gave them pain and that there is nothing he can do to eliminate their pain other than to tell them to relinquish their desires, especially, the desire for the ego separated self.

As longs as folks identify with egos they must live in pain and there is nothing any one can do to prevent them from experiencing pain.

The enlightened person (a loving person who knows that he is one with all people and God) says his bit but sits around seeing people experience pain; he is aware that he cannot stop them from so experiencing.

If you knew that God is in all people what would you do if you wanted to love and respect God? You would love and respect all people! Let those with ears hear.

And on that note I end my mission to Igbos and redirect my attention to what really interests me, science, philosophy and psychology.

PS: Now let the Igbo motor mouths start running their powerless mouths, cursing me out, calling me a hater of Igbo and myself. Poor fools; they do not know who truly loves them. A person who loves you tells you the truth, not lies. Why do I even bother with these people when I could be doing other things if not love for them?

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176