Thursday, 20 April 2017

A SHORT STORY BY CHIAMAKA GERALDINE ANYAECHE.

                                                    
           My Easter Palaver.
           On Saturday I was on my way home from a job I went for. I finished late at night only to realize that there was no bus to take me home. I had a reflex led stage light I had been asked to carry home by my boss. I grew tired of carrying the light with my palms, the weight was something else. I couldn’t hold it any longer. I kept it on a table there and still waited a ride home. I know the table belonged to a woman that vended bread at the junction.
            I stared at the empty road with two persons that waited for buses as me. Two mad men walked past behind me. They were quarreling, one told the other one that he was a devil and loved wearing iron. The road was dead with silence only the voice of the mad man was heard. One raked while the other one kept mute and lingered around him. The next thing I heard was a loud bang. One of the mad men had carried the light and thrown it into a wide deep gutter. I screamed and he ran away. It had rained heavily that evening and it was still drizzling.
          I screamed out of fright thinking the light had fallen into dirty water. One of the guys that waited for a bus there jumped into the gutter and grabbed the light back. I got a little free when I noticed that the gutter was not water-logged. I prayed in my heart with hopes that the light would still be functional again, nothing broken or spoilt inside. I stood at Unizik junction for nearly two hours before one door-less shuttle finally popped out. I asked why there was no buses and shuttles, the driver said; “don’t you know that students have all gone home and people also traveled for the Easter holiday.
         I was marveled at the rate at which students dispersed and everywhere became empty almost like a ghost town despite the fact that GLO mega jam was in town. I held the light closely without dropping it anywhere else. The weight didn’t matter in fact I didn’t feel the heaviness any longer. That was minutes before the door-less shuttle appeared. We all hopped in.
       When I got home, the first thing I did was to test the light. It was working but there was no light reflexes from it. I opened up the light only to find out that the bulbs had broken. Where am I going to find new bulbs?
            
         
     

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

AN ARTICLE ON GOSSIP.



GOSSIP






      As a growing child, I’ve been warned severally by my parents to avoid some folks in the community and stay very far away as possible as I could from them. They warned me to turn to the right when they were coming from the left and vice versa. My mother would say “If they give you anything to eat or a gift, show me first.” She would say it with wide open eyes, a long stare and a strenuous face. I would nod my head in acceptance and pledge to do all that she had said to me. 
     But my father, he was worse. He would go ahead to tell me that those folks I have been told to avoid are devilish, evil, diabolic, occultists and dishonest men. I would be scared of them, so scared that I would create a world for them in my little domain of illusion. I would imagine them wreaking havoc, being evil, seated in their covens at night in long flowing red robes sometimes black performing sacrifices, and each time I saw them I stayed away as far as possible from them. 
     It was not just my parents, people living in the vicinity whispered bad things about them too. Know that I have never talked with them or gotten to know them for who they are and what they really are. I remember one of them gave me a pack of pencil. I rejected it and when I got home, I was proud to tell my parents especially my father that I resisted the devil. I would add more stories to make it more dramatic. My father would nod his head with a smile, tap my cheeks and he would say well done. 
     After a few years, when I started to understand some certain things, I realized that it has all been a gossip that they have come to believe and accept about those people. I even became friends with one of them. When I got to know more about him and who he really is, I was in dismay for all I have done and believed about them even before getting to know them. What gossip did to me then was these; it gave me a false sense of who they were, and I saw them as what I had heard before getting to meet them.


       


        Gossip is an idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal life or private affairs of others; the act of gossip is also known as dishing or tattling. It is also a means by which people can track competitive names and so uphold extensive indirect reciprocity.
                How gossip can be spread;

  • ·         Social Media (Online news, blogs, social networks, etc.)

  • ·         Newspapers (gossip columns)

  • ·         Peers etc. 

  
                        Reasons why people gossip are;
·          

  •  Insecurity; People use gossip to hurt people in order to feel better than others and to feel like they have the power over others. Insecurity is the main reason why people gossip.
  • People don’t feel a sense of belonging when they don’t have the information they have about something or someone. 
  • Intimacy and a sense of connection; many people crave a sense of unpretentious human bond and warmth with one another. Gossip is the swiftest way to hook-up with another human being. The feeling of being able to confide in someone about something judgmental is social superglue. 
  • Validation; Sometimes gossip act as a validation for feelings. It can prove your point of view somehow because you able to tell about someone who did you wrong.

  • Fear of the unknown; when people don’t have information that they want, they are anxious about the unknown and will try to assemble it from others especially if the information seems to be a secret. They spread the information they gather not minding to verify if it’s true or untrue.

  • Assimilated trait; some people can’t just do without gossip. It is already a part of their daily activity. They can’t stay a day without telling about someone else. 



  
                                                                Dangers of gossip.
     Gossip can do a lot to someone or a cooperation. It can steal a self-esteem, cause stereotype, destroy relationships, hurt and break someone.  

"According to the bible, gossip is spread by wicked people: they stir up trouble and break friendships. Proverbs 16:28". 

 It can cause a misunderstanding among two people and it steals joy. Also hearing gossip about people especially people you are not familiar with can change the way you see them. The most dangerous part of gossip is that it steals another person’s reputation. A reputation is fragile. When people gossip, they crush something priceless.


                

              Men and Women who gossip more?

                                         


      It is a common believe or should we call it a single story that women do gossip more than men. But is that really true?


     It is commonly believed that women are the ones who love to spread rumors and gossip about friends behind their backs but today, men are not better off. Men adore a bit of tittle-tattle and will do anything they can to be the center of attention with their colleagues and peers. Although men and women love to gossip, gossip tend to bring men closer and tears women apart. Favorite gossip for men include; drunken friends, old school friends, rumors about possible relationships in the office or the boss, promotions, sex, salaries and the most attractive girl at work, while women were found to be more likely to complain about other women, other people’s sex lives among others. Yet another study recently conducted by the global research company revealed that men spend are average of 76minutes a day chatting and gossiping while women spend just 52minutes. New research reveals that women regularly use ‘indirect aggression’ by criticizing their competitors’ appearance, spreading rumors about their personal lives and affairs. It was reported by a social issue research center that gossip accounts for 55% of men’s conversation and 67% of women’s, a smaller gap between the two sexes than usually though. One cannot tell who gossips more among them but the fact remains that men gossips as much as women do. So basically men don’t gossip less than woman nor do women gossip more than men. 









      In the Holy Scriptures, it was the people of Ziph that went to Saul and gossiped about the hiding place for David for Saul to kill him, 1 Sam 26:1-2. Here it was not just the women nor the men that gossiped him. Also because Mordecai did not bow down to worship the King Ahasuerus, Haman wanted to kill Mordecai after learning who he was. He looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews throughout the kingdom. Haman went before the King and lied about it saying that there were people in the kingdom who disobeyed the King because their culture was different from theirs. And the King issued a decree for Haman to go ahead but Esther intervened. Here, it was not a woman that gossiped and lied against someone but it was a man, Esther 3:1-15. 
Nick, Kurt and Dale in Horrible Bosses always gathered in a bar after work to dish about their bosses and how horrible they were and even went as far as planning on how to eliminate their bosses. These is also a good instance that men gossip as well as women do. Women can’t resist a good gossip so do men. Discussing people over a bottle of wine, whispering into their ears about people in the libraries, train stations, bus stops are more than just fun, relieving and enjoyable past time among girlfriends and so do men.
In 400BC, in ancient Han, every villager in the Kingdom of Ch’in believed that the King Masayoshi died in a war but later realized that the king was alive after all. Everyone was pointing fingers at the empress saying she was the one responsible for the false rumors that was spread but the King came out to say he was the one that spread the rumors to make his enemies drop down their guard in order for him to strike.


                    





      Gossip has been from antiquity. According to a study published online by journal science, the human brain is wired to respond to gossip. It added that gossip helped the early humans get ahead. Gossip helped them predict who is friend or foe. The research showed that getting secondhand information about a person can have a powerful effect. It showed that both men and women gossip a lot. This research showed that humans are wired to pay more attention to a person if we have been told that they are dangerous or dishonest or unpleasant. Gossip doesn’t just influence opinions about people, it actually influences how you see them. Even the primitive men who lived in small groups needed to know things like who might be a threat and who might be after a particular mate. Just like women, men too are constantly monitoring who is sleeping with who, who is friends with whom, who can be trusted and who can’t be trusted. Men however are more concerned with displaying their strengths and showing off women by dueling- bantering and exchanging playful insults among boys but women can’t do that. Men get to call gossip different names like trash-talking, getting the gist, talking.
       Duel and Duet’s author John L. Lock, a professor of linguistics told Salon.com the word gossip has a pejorative sound to it but with it, women are in a sense servicing the moral code of the community. Psychology argues that it is human nature to gossip, both men and women gossip. The only thing that differs men and women is that men are more interested in who is up and who is down (sports obsession is one of it). Women gossip more about social inclusion and moral alignment, who’s in and who has merit. Psychology also says that the key element of gossip is story telling. We tell each other tales about people’s success, failures and our moral lessons from them. Both women and men tell stories. People tell their best friends private stories about them, people also confide in their family members or leaders and these stories leads to gossip because we end up using stories and mistakes as illustrations. 







      As adults, both men and women carry the weight of self-doubt which is very common to the human experience. Compounded with the ongoing myth of competition, word uttered against someone may feel like supremacy. The only time people feel like they have the upper hand is when they are convinced of our insignificance. We don’t have to tear someone down. We do that mostly when we have the feeling of being at the bottom and we try to bring someone down with us. Almost everyone gossip but the bottom line is that none of us benefit from it. Let’s not feed into another stereotype by engaging in a vicious attempt to dismantle the reputation of others.
      In summary, gossip in as much as it is bad is also good. In addition to all the dangers of gossip, gossip is not a trivial past time: it is essential to human social, psychological and even physical well-being. Men gossip as much as women do especially with their mobile phones. 33% of men indulge in mobile gossip every day or almost every day while 26% of women do that. Mobile gossip is always easier. Saying that women gossip more than men is like saying that women wear more perfumes than men. Most people believe that women gossip more than men because that is what it is called when women do it and when men do it, it is called another thing.



Gossip by Geraldine Chiamaka Anyaeche.
      

A SHORT STORY BY CHIAMAKA GERALDINE ANYAECHE.                                                                 My Easter Palaver.   ...