Smashing the old ways

Younger children are being diagnosed with anxiety, while colleges say rates of anxiety are higher than ever among their students. It’s not hard to see why; our world measures, grades, and judges everything young people do. Every social media post is “liked” or not, cyber-bullying is on the rise and kids feel pressure to achieve like never before.

Dealing with the normal stress of home, work and life is already a challenge but at some point we will face other pressures too: money worries, job stress, family conflict, traumatic events, addiction, caring for a loved one. Layered over these immediate concerns is the general sense that our world, our country and our communities are increasingly unsafe, plagued by international conflict, political discord, rising anger and incivility, violence, and even climate uncertainty.

When it comes to dealing with these fears and stress, most of us realise that smashing a microwave in a safe room is not going to cut it. Behind this kind of therapy is the idea that our fears and frustrations build tension that can only be released through violence. Certainly, taking a sledgehammer to a television set is better than taking our emotions out on others, but the theory that anxiety can be banished and peace achieved through the application of violence is simply not true.

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And here is where I introduce my beloved Nigeria into the mix, Nigerians are more than anxious, we are dead tired having suffered all forms of expectation fatigue and exhausted all known medications. Government at all layers and across platforms seems destined on the path that builds all forms of anxiety for the citizenry.

Not having a high blood pressure these days is not normal; the pressure of being Nigerian is becoming unbearable, we all are putting on caps that have snakes underneath and pretending to be at peace.

We wake up to some confusion on banking charges and allied charges by communication companies. In anxiety the communication ministry suspends plan. Have you seen the floods in Lagos and other states? These rains come every year, yet wreak same measure of havoc, imagine the anxiety and no amount of smashing would change much, except maybe we are smashing the leaders responsible for all the mess.

There is a growing need to depart from the current way we are treading; we cannot continue on the same path and expect to get to the proverbial “there” when we are not even on the road, the need to smash old ways is very important.

Are we ready to really smash the current trend? Two thousand being sacked in Kaduna by bandits, security agents that continue to parade criminals and not address crime, army monitoring responsible dressing and identification when we have not addressed the institutional issues around national identification and the lack of independence in the judiciary, so much that it is one law for the rich, another for the poor, one law for the ruling party, another for the opposition

Fact is that some smashing has to be done or else we will remain stuck. Call it restructure, call it remake, rewrite the constitution, whatever it is we want to do, we need to smash, break the holds that are bent on destroying this beautiful country.

Prince Charles Dickson PhD,


Nigerian Tribune

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