The social protocol
Sir: There’s always a moment for everyone, when doing the right thing doesn’t quite seem the first instinct. You recall that moment you purchased a ticket for a massively hyped show and you stood under the sun endlessly for your favorite artiste to come on and preparatory to that, a wack upcoming rapper/singer was nudged on stage to whet your appetite for the real deal, but he kept rambling on and on doing the exact opposite of that? Oh..yeah, remember you booing him out, and in some cases depending on how much he annoyed you with his wack music, you threw sachet/bottled water and other weaponry on stage to punish him for daring to waste your time with anything less than his very best!
You also recall those state-of-the-art moments we cruised into church in our best outfit, tailored to the specificity of our personality, while a ‘mere’ Usher with a rehearsed signature smile directed us to a seat, but we were better off elsewhere and ended up ‘ushering ourselves’ to a different place of comfort? (sure you remember.. It hasn’t been so long you did that). We have all in diverse ways broken ‘The Social Protocol’.
Many times as Christians, we try to overkill the process of arguing out our faith and presenting it blameless to anyone who feels differently. It is crucial to note that while we are deeply rooted in the concept of Christianity being ‘the light’, a Muslim or Atheist, or whatever religion feels equally the same passion for his/her faith as well. Simply let it go and make nice! There are times we are also guilty of speaking in our local dialect, when there’s a third person in our presence who doesn’t understand it.
How do we handle conversations with people? Are we so negative for others to hang around with, that instead of training ourselves to always give compliments, we rather use buzz-kill sentences like “How come you got so much acne on your face?” “Been so long I last saw you, you’ve grown some terrible belly fat!” or sarcastic comments like “Wow! You’ve gained so much weight, I’m sure if you could shake off some of that weight, you’ll be a swimsuit model!” Do we just show up unannounced at people’s homes without first putting a call through?
In all our little ways of verbal or social media interaction, we have jettisoned in some way, the protocol of socialising which has propagated avoidable issues like unnecessary internet fights (twitter rants and the likes), religious hatred, marital crisis and so on. But we can create a better world of mutual respect by immersing ourselves deeply in the right social attitude.
Nimi Princewill is a writer.