S(H)IBBOLETH: Tsunamis of the mind

// Odd | S(H)IBBOLETH: Tsunamis of the mind
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

A pastor was preaching in church one Sunday on how one could bring about a positive change in one’s life. As in the usual call-response strategy of audience involvement, he said: “Everybody, say: ‘Change of attitude’.” Everyone echoed, “Change of attitude.” Continuing, he said: “Change of focus” and everyone religiously echoed that too. Then he said: “Change of conduct.” There was a young man who, because he was not concentrating, responded “Change of condom” while others said, “Change of conduct.” A slip of tongue? The English language could be a trap in the resemblances one finds between some words, especially those referred to as homophones — which sound alike but mean different things. English words like “conduct” and “condom,” in having some segmental sounds in common, could also be a source of temptation as well as a “WikiLeak” for a young man who probably has a lot on his mind. Anyway, whatever might have been the abundance of his heart, we still blame the English language for betraying him.

My students have perfected their skills in outsmarting me whenever I attempt to use them in demonstrating the consequences of inattentiveness in class. Not wanting to be subjected to ridicule, they would, in response to my question “What did I say last?” tell me: “You asked, ‘What did I say last?’” Some of them, especially the back-benchers, would be busy discussing some other issues, or playing with their mobile phones, while a lecture is going on. When I discover this and try to expose them, they choose to become tricksters. Does it matter if I tell them: “Try to be here when you are here”? Sometimes the classroom interaction as an event located in a world of distractions turns out to be a hide-and-seek, but we enjoy it and use the humour to bring back wandering hearts. Not that such interruption is desired in a lecture that is strictly tied to time, but what can one do but use the exposed weakness of inattention to try to rebuild the lecture as a collective engagement with knowledge?

We live in a world where the mind is under serious siege, with many people creating more and more distractions for themselves and others, and becoming increasingly absent-minded in their performance of daily activities. A tsunami of the mind surges forth and sweeps them away from a coordinated life. Just think about the number of patients who, in some societies, have perished in the hands of some doctors and nurses because of wrong medication. Imagine some surgical materials — pins, threads, even scissors — forgotten inside a patient’s body in a surgical operation and the patient later opened up again after suffering terribly for weeks or even months with the strange luggage! And what does the sticker on the door of the doctor’s consulting room say? Perhaps this: “We Cure; God Heals.” Wonderful!

OK, imagine drivers — including riders of commercial motorcycles — typing messages on their mobile phones or searching for phone numbers to dial while driving on busy roads. Look closely on the windshields of the vehicles and you would find a sticker that reads: “Angels on Guard” or “Back to Sender; I’m Covered by the Blood of Jesus.” The blood of Jesus must be juju that wards off road accidents, even when the driver’s actions invite such accidents. Indeed, many vehicles on our roads drive themselves, or are driven by supernatural forces, and passengers only get to their destinations by a stroke of luck.

Sometime ago I bought some ‘special’ loaves of bread from a five-star hotel, hoping to make my family’s breakfast table a bit different. Indeed it turned out to be tragically different for, as we were eating the bread, we found staple pins inside it. In fact, it was my tongue and teeth that first made the shocking discovery! I wasn’t quite sure that my children hadn’t swallowed some in their hurry to get done with the breakfast and be off to school. When I phoned the hotel and complained in the bitterest terms, what else did I get but apologies and excuses on how a packet of staple pins fell inside the flour and the baker thought they were all eventually removed! The noises in our heads which are sometimes installed by the kind of culture in which we find ourselves or by our own inability to make the right choices, inevitably prevent us from concentrating and doing things appropriately. A serious tsunami of the mind is silently devastating some societies and does require the same kind of urgent attention that we give the physical tsunamis in the world today.

Tagged : 2014 World Cup, Egypt Army Overthrows President Mohamed Morsi

Headlines Newsview all

Father abandons his three children in boarding school for eight years

Three children abandoned in a boarding school in Abule-Iroko in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State are longing to meet their parents ... Full story

University Students Storm Lagos Club To Strip Dance For Money

Cave night club could have passed for any other club but it is not like any other in Nigeria. It is a strip club where ... Full story

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison for the manslaughter of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

There was almost complete silence in the courtroom as Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in jail for the manslaughter of his girlfriend Reeva ...

Popular Musician Feyisayo Mojisola Oyetade Dies On Child Naming Ceremony Day

A popular hip-hop singer has died on the naming day of her 8-day-old baby boy. The singer, Feyisayo Mojisola Oyetade, who is a popular singer in ... Full story

Husband Snatching Mess: Femi Anibaba's Wife Tells Ronke Odusanya She Can Have Her Husband

Folape Sokoya, wife of Femi Anibaba, the man Ronke Odusanya was accused to have snatched, has finally spoken on the issue and has also wished ...

Boko Haram divided over peace talks with the Federal Government

Following the ceasefire deal the Federal Government entered into with Boko Haram, the violent fundamentalist sect has split into two. While one faction wants peace, ...

Dilish Mattews - The Truth About My Affair With Edo State Governor

Pretty and sexy Dillish Mathews, became famous when she made it to the top and announced the winner of the 2013 edition of Big Brother ...

Stephen Keshi expected in Ethiopia for contract talks

Former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, is expected in Ethiopia this week to finalise discussions with the country’s FA on the vacant national team job, ...

Boko Haram captures another town in Borno State

Suspected members of the terrorist sect, Boko Haram, have captured another Borno town, Abadam, after laying a massive siege to it. It was gathered from security ...

Over 3,000 Students Fail Bar Exam At Nigerian Law School

Apparently there was mass failure at the Nigerian Law School this year. The Nigerian Law School recently released the 2013/2014 August result, and it was ... Full story

Boko Haram Militants To Release 218 Chibok Girls Monday

There are strong indications that the 218 schoolgirls abducted six months ago in Chibok, Borno State, by the violent Boko Haram sect may be released ... Full story

Comment on: S(H)IBBOLETH: Tsunamis of the mind

Rate this article

0

Featured author

chuky01

Breaking News

Popular Actor, Chike Bryan Returns From Kidney Transplant In India

In June 2014, Nigeriafilms.com reported that President of the Scriptwriters Guild of Nigeria, Chike Bryan, was diagnosed with kidney failure and needed a transplant in ...

Jaywon Returns Home For King's Coronation

Former Kennis Music big boy, Jaywon, recently returned to his hometown, Egbe in Kogi State for the inauguration of the new King of Egbe, after ...

Kenneth Okonkwo Obtains PDP Nomination Form

Reports reaching us indicate that veteran Nollywood actor, Kenneth Okonkwo has purchased his nomination form after indicating his interest in a seat in the National ...

Chika Ike, Manager Spend Lavishly In Dubai

Africa is a continent where the institution of marriage is held sacred, but recently, the fusion of the Western culture into the African way of ...

Nse Ikpe Ruins Hubby’s Philosophy

Nollywood actress, Nse Ikpe Etim, may have caused her husband, Clifford Sule to have a rethink about his philosophy about love.The actress, who became a ...

Don’t expect miracles from me – Amodu

The newly appointed coach of the Super Eagles Amodu Shaibu has asked Nigerians to be moderate in their expectations of the team even as he ...

After Father's Burial, Beverly Osu Carry’s Live Python For a Living

Gone are the days when Nollywood makes use of fake instruments and other things to make movie look real. Thumbs up to the rapid development ...

Oritse Femi Lavishes N224 Million on Material Things Alone

‘Double Wahala’ crooner, Oritse Femi, is actually reaping the fruit of his labour as he has moved into his a newly acquired duplex valued at ...

Awards Have Exposed Me To Many Things—Tope Tadela

Nollywood actor, Temitope Christopher, popularly known as Tope Tedela was a relatively unknown face in Nollywood until he beat several established names in the industry ...

Man Declared Wanted For Dumping Kids In School For 8 Years In Ogun

A man identified as Mr Segun Adepegba, who was said to have absconded after dumping his three children at Solid Model College, a boarding school ...