Close shave with a soldier

03 May

I was driving back home from school this afternoon. I decided to take the Unity axis because my bank was along that road. I needed to use the ATM.

Entering Unity Road, there was a hold-up. The situation wasn’t so bad anyways. Soon I was holding my head out of the gridlock and as I prepared to zoom off, a motorcycle came riding abreast of me. There were two men on it. The man on the front seat called to me “wetin you dey drive now?” I looked at him. Since I considered his speech an insult, I simply looked away. That way, I had spoken a million words.

A few seconds later, the motorcycle overtook, came directly in front of my car and suddenly slowed down. I recognised the man and wondered what he was trying to do. I swerved here, then there, trying not to hit him and also not to come to a full halt. I simply didn’t want to be engaged by him.

The rider made sure he positioned himself in front of me so that I would have to either hit him or halt. I slammed my brakes. By now, I could see the guy was wearing camo combats trousers. No doubt, he is a soldier. My heart skipped one beat (just one).

I still had the option to reverse to gain clearance and then get around the motorcycle and get away. I didn’t. I had halted, engines still running.
He alighted and walked towards me. I tried to remain as calm as I could. I didn’t like the scene that was fast forming.

Now, Mr Soldierman was at my window and I was furiously thinking. I didn’t know what I had done wrong.

Fine, I had read and heard about how soldiers have brutalised civilians and even members of the Police Force in the recent past. So, should I be scared that a soldier was here to harass me? By Law, would he be right if he assaulted me in any way? I have rights as a citizen of this country. Nobody, not even a soldier should take the law into his hands. The fact that he was a soldier shouldn’t mean he’s above a civilian.

^^ that’s how to think. Yet, that’s still NOT how to think.
If I maintained I was right and engaged that soldier, I would have dragged myself into unfamiliar terrain. I would have worsened his anger. He would likely have used his fists or even weapons on me. I certainly would have lost if I chose to fight.
Even if I got justice later, I still wouldn’t have gained anything.

As he came towards me, I interrupted his angry words with “sorry, sorry.. I’m sorry”.
Did that make me a coward? I don’t think so. As he kept venting his anger through his words, I saw that he was angered by the fact that I treated him as a nobody by not even replying his [statement? Speech? Insult?]

He poured out his anger for maybe like ten seconds as I kept saying sorry intermittently. He turned around, got back on his bike and zoomed off.

I zoomed after him, caught up with him, and overtook.. Sped away. I didn’t do this to prove anything. I had simply resumed my life. But as I’m writing this, I feel that was a significant move.

^^ significance: I unwittingly proved to myself and to him that I was above both him and the situation he had just caused.

Don’t think you have to say “sorry” only when you’re wrong. Saying sorry saves us a lot of trouble. It saves us having to argue and argue about things that don’t really matter. Saying sorry isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength and wisdom.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.”


Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


8 responses to “Close shave with a soldier

  1. Jembe

    May 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    what u did wasn’t easy…saying sorry when you’re right but u still averted a battle that was unnecessary. Some might say ‘u no get liver’, ‘u no b man’,’u too dey fear’,’u no sabi ur right’,etc but i think what u did was wise.

  2. arseboy

    May 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Menn, ds hapns a lot! Bur unfortunately dis guy is a soldier…its so unfortunate we live in a lawless country! It pains me deep into my heart! And d most annoyin fin is dt ders rily nofn mch any1 can do abt it; even if u av connections dt can deal wf d guy, he wud av first dealt wf u and embarrased u! Wise decision al d same!
    P.S-nxt tym, dnt hesitate 2 ping me, wud brg ma muscled chest(I wish!) 2 com fight 4 u…loool!
    Gud choice bro!

    • Eit Neves

      May 6, 2012 at 1:14 am

      lol, big muscles you really wish..

  3. dotun

    May 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Good stuff. That will save a whole lotta things, just SORRY!
    Kip it ^p

  4. Eit Neves

    May 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks much guys. I believe the lessons are already learnt.

  5. oyebiyi oyeronke

    May 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Guy,I salute your courage.that move is highly inspiring cos ordinarily I wouldn’t have done the same.but thank god for the maturity u’s a big lesson 4 me.

  6. Tayo

    May 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    What you did was just on point. Someone told me years ago, the magic in these three phrases/words: “I’m Sorry”, “Please” and “Thank you”. It was really wise and smart of you to have calmed a boiling anger with that rare strenght in being humble and peace seeking . Lest i forget, that was a good write up, AY.


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