THE MEAN ONES By Abdulfattah Adeyemi

We meet people who are mean every day! They seem to be everywhere: at work, as neighbours, in the streets, at the airports, even in places of worship. It is worse when this meanness is perpetuated in the family!

One would even be astonished on how some marriages are so awkwardly put together: a nice guy marrying a nasty lady, a jovial woman married to a malicious piece of work, called a husband. How do we explain a butterfly living under the same roof with a cockroach? How did we manage to bind a duo that does not cling? Is this Wedlock or Padlock? Of course, when a pig and a sheep are thrown into the mud, we know the animal that would take pleasure in the dirt and the one that would feel uncomfortable. It is a whole lot of pain, agony and discomfort for a sane spouse to have to live with a mean one.

Generally, mean people would turn playgrounds into battlefields; sow seeds of hypocrisy in the minds of close associates. These are the kinds of people that would make speeches on guidelines for quick divorce during weddings, and advertise funeral services to the family of a sick person.

They would present shoes as gift to someone without legs, and buy a camcorder for a blind person – all in cruel sarcasm. This is because they are not concerned with how others feel: no empathy, no remorse. Their conscience is numbed. Cruelty makes them tick.

Mean people would make others sustain mental injury, and then ridicule them as they run away with their bleeding emotional wounds. They spoil funs; kill moods, end joys, and dash hopes. It is hard for them to say words of encouragement, or show gratitude. They don’t express appreciations but condemnations. They would neither commiserate nor congratulate.

Worse still, mean spouses are emotional baskets; no one can possibly fill them up. They could be like a ticking time-bomb that can explode any moment. This can force their spouses into a tight corner of tip-toeing around them, not wanting to evoke another prolonged meaningless malice, or provoke an unpredictable tantrum like someone that is possessed.

How should one handle a mean person? Take revenge? No. The best way to treat them is not to be mean in retaliation. If possible, one should not take them to heart, because their meanness really has little to do with others, but a lot to do with them. They are only seeking out someone who would take analgesics for their own headaches? They are the ones that need help.

Therefore, let us forgive all the mean people that have hurt us. The world is sick already; it is nice people that can heal it. Marriages are ripping apart; only nice spouses can cobble them together. The mean people are like the house flies: it is part of their nature to seek dirt, speak trash and spread malady. We should be like the bees that see the good in every flower. Let us surround ourselves with people who would bring sweetness into our lives.

We should all unlock our compassion, free our minds, feel others’ pains, share their joys, appreciate their efforts, and commend their hustles.

We should listen to others’ stories, heal them with our tales, and be nice to them. If our lives would have any meaning, then, we should stop being mean to others.

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